Protecting Your Lawn From The First Freeze

 

Dormancy

In the winter, warm-season grass goes into dormancy to protect itself from the harsh cold, kind of like hibernation. In order to protect themselves, the grass shoots will turn brown and die in response to short days and longer, colder nights. Keep in mind that the nature of dormancy allows the grass to make a full recovery once the weather warms up. However, please note that if the temperature falls below 20°F for several hours, there could be damage to warm-season turfgrass. Be sure to keep in mind that your lawn is capable of building up a tolerance after a few frosts and will respond by increasing the amount of carbohydrates and proteins inside. Once the temperature outside starts to warm up, you’ll want to wait at least a few weeks to give your lawn time to recover and start growing again. Be careful not to mow too closely at first, or you’ll risk scalping your lawn.

Water

It’s one of the most well-known ways to protect your lawn from frost: water it. Watering your lawn during the weeks before the first cold front will help the soil stay warm and stimulate root growth. Watering less frequently, but more thoroughly will train the roots to grow deep.  Don’t water too late in the day, though. You want to water early so your grass has had enough time to absorb the water. Remember, you never want to send your grass to bed with wet feet. Please note that you should not water plants that have cold damage. This will contribute to root rot and ruin them. You can tell if your lawn has cold damage by checking for a wilted, water-soaked appearance, a foul odor, or if the grass is matted over the soil.

Cover Up

You’ll want to tent fragile plants that are stuck in the ground with an old sheet. This will keep frost from forming on them and damaging them. If possible, try to keep the fabric from coming in direct contact with the plant itself, because the cold can transfer onto the plant that way. The cover should be touching the ground as to keep the heat from the soil inside the structure. Also, be sure to remove the coverings before it warms back up too much, especially if they are in the sun. If the temperature rises to 38°F or above, you run the risk of damaging your plants from trapped heat. Also, move your containerized plants into a covered area like the garage for the night.

Prune & Rake

Prior to the first frost, prune back your trees. This is because shady areas of your lawn won’t be able to thaw as quickly from the limited amount of sunshine. When the soil can’t warm up well, it is at a higher risk for cold weather damage. Also, you should be doing this anyway, but rake up all the fallen leaves on your lawn. A layer of dead leaves will cover your grass and keep it from properly photosynthesizing.

Emily Kaltman writes for The Grass Outlet in Austin, Texas. She enjoys keeping a healthy lawn and writing about nature.

Installing Gates Onto Your Property

Having gates installed onto your property can give your property a whole new look, I know it seems like a small addition but gates really do make all the difference. It’s not just about asthetics either, gates add an extra level of security to your surrounding land, if your property is encapsulated by walls and the only entrance point is your drive, using gates is a great way to keep unwanted people out!

The style of gate and functionality can add to how well they appear from the outside. For instance, you can have double gates that open in the centre, you could also have a singular gate that swings out or inwards, or the least popular is a rising gate, that could lift up to allow your car onto your property. Now choosing a gate is entirely down to you, but you have to decide on a few key factors. A singular gate will take up alot of space when it opens, you’ll decide wether you want it to open inwards or outwards and if you have enough space to allow it to do so. Imagine you have 3 cars on the drive, is there enough space to allow the gate to open? Or if it swings outwards, will it be taking up space on the road? These are the deciding factors for this type of gate.

The next thing is the size of the gate, if you have a large gate will it be hard to move it? Perhaps you could have an electronic system to automatically open the gate. The next thing would be the material, I personally am a big fan of wooden entrance gates as opposed to metal, I find that the thicker wooden beams make for a much more aesthetically pleasing gate, but that’s just my personal preference.

The decision is really yours, what suits your property is up to you, have fun out there.