When frost strikes during the Winter months all to often mean your lawn will be damaged, which in turn means you will have a harder job getting it ship shape for Spring and Summer. However with a little bit of preparation and effort you can help to minimise this damage, saving you both heartache and money.
As they say, prevention is better than cure, so the first steps to keeping your lawn protected from frost damage should take place in the weeks running up to the colder months of the year:
- Keep your lawn hydrated. Watering the lawn all year round is always going to be important, but as far as this particular problem goes it’s absolutely vital. Water your lawn generously but infrequently before Winter so that the grass is forced to make use of every last drop before it receives more water. If the lawn receives water just before a frost this will raise the temperature of the soil, reducing the impact of the cold temperatures.
- Keep your lawn fed. A healthy lawn should be fed with appropriate nutritional supplements in addition to water, and in the colder months you should specifically focus on adding a greater amount of pot ash than you would use at other times of the year. This will aid in both the overall health and the regrowth of the grass.
- Avoid walking on the lawn in its frozen state. The frozen grass leaves will be broken by the weight of your foot and will damage the grass, leaving unsightly marks when the grass thaws
- Check for lawn ‘heave’ as a result of frost just before the beginning of Spring. This normally settles down of its own accord, but if necessary you can use a garden roller to flatten the lawn back down again
If you’ve been a bit lax in your preventative measures then fear not, your lawn can still recover from frost damage even if it takes more work than if you had prepared in advance.
- Keep on watering! Just as it can prevent frost damage, water can also help it recover. A good daily schedule that ensures 10-15mm of water across the whole lawn will give it the best chance of recovery.
- Keep on feeding! Yep you guessed it, just as watering the lawn will help it recover, nutrition will too. During colder times of the year you should use low nitrogen fertilizers as this will keep the lawn fed without encouraging unnecessary growth, which will only become vulnerable when frost strikes again.
- Be patient. By it’s very nature grass doesn’t move quickly, and this is true also of it’s ability to recover from trauma. Once the weather warms up you can expect to wait at least 2 to 4 weeks before a lawn will start to show signs of recovery.
- If it looks like the damage requires more aggressive treatment than water and fertilizer then you might want to consider reseeding the lawn, putting more down more seed than you might do normally if necessary. If this step is required then it is best to wait until the Summer months when the worst affected grass types are likely to stand the best chance of recovery.