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Will Frost Hurt My Grass?

Worried about frost on the ground? Not sure what to do about your lawn? The frost itself may or may not be harmful, but certain winter activities can definitely hurt your turf. Learn how to protect your grass in winter with these tips from Berns Landscaping.

When Does Grass Frost over?

The ground freezes when temperatures are consistently 32°F or lower. Even if there is no snow on the ground, water around the blades of grass can freeze at that point. Ground frost in Detroit often starts around November or December. The month of December has an average high temperature of 38°F and an average low of 26°F, which means that temps are around the freezing point throughout the month.

What Causes the Grass to Freeze?

During the day, your grass has the sun saturating it with powerful nutrients. At night, the grass loses energy as it starts to cool down. When water vapor in the air hits the cold blades of grass, frost forms. It doesn’t have to rain or snow for grass to freeze. 

Frost Can Hurt Your Grass, But Not Always

A light freeze occurs when the blades of grass freeze but the ground beneath does not. This allows the roots to continue circulating nutrients through the turf. If the grass gets damaged, the roots can deliver healing nutrients to the blades to help the grass bounce back in the spring.

In the case of a hard freeze, both the ground and the grass freeze over. This prevents the roots from nourishing the blades, which could kill the grass altogether. Berns Landscaping will take steps before winter and in early spring to revitalize your turf and reseed as necessary. We can’t control Mother Nature, but we can fortify your lawn to fend for itself.  

How to Protect Your Grass from Damage in Winter

Even with extensive preparation, winter frost is mostly unavoidable. Nevertheless, you can combat frost damage by following these steps:

  • Do not walk on your grass in the winter. The frozen blades of grass are brittle and will break more easily than they do in spring or summer. Avoid walking on your grass as much as possible, and wait until the warmer times of day if you can.
  • Store lawn furniture and decorations. These items can suffocate the lawn and create dead spots in your grass.
  • Pick up fallen branches and leaves. Much like lawn furniture, these objects can cover the lawn in a negative way. Consider having your trees pruned before winter to eliminate dead branches before they fall.
  • Water your lawn before a freeze. This sounds counter-intuitive, but it works! As the water in the ground evaporates, it releases heat and energy. This prevents the ground from freezing or reduces the amount of frost that develops.
  • Get winter plant protection from Berns Landscaping. We provide elite landscaping services for every season, including fall cleanup and landscaping winterization. Our experts will create a personalized plan to protect your lawn and refresh it in the spring.

For more information about winter lawn and garden care, contact Berns Landscaping at (586) 756-1145.