Important Freeze/Frost Tips to Minimize Damage

frostedGrassFreezing temperatures are expected throughout the next week, with possibly the coldest weather of the season expected Sunday night into Monday morning. Please be aware that we are expecting freeze advisories in our area in the upcoming days. It is very important that you stay current with freeze advisories during the colder months (especially January & February). Freezing temperatures can cause severe damage to lawns and landscape plants. Here are a few tips that will help minimize the damage of such low temperatures:

  • On nights where the temperatures will drop into the low 40°’s or below, please turn your irrigation system OFF (just for the night of the freeze). St. Augustine and Zoysia grasses as well as most of your plants will suffer more damage during a freeze or frost if water is on them. REMEMBER ~ DO NOT IRRIGATE YOUR LAWN DURING A FROST OR FREEZE!
  • Cover your cold-sensitive plants by placing a blanket over them or bring them inside if you are able to do so. Try to create a tent over the plants in order to separate the material from the leaf tissue. DO NOT cover your cold-sensitive plants with plastic. Plastic causes condensation to form on the leaf material which turns into ice crystals as the temperature drops, potentially causing more extensive damage.  DO NOT leave your plants covered for extended periods of time (i.e. 2-3 days).
  • DO NOT mow turf that is frozen and AVOID foot and vehicle traffic on frozen turf.  Doing so crushes the leaf blades causing permanent damage to your lawn.
  • If you do not subscribe to our maintenance service, it is important to keep your lawn mowed high.  This is beneficial because it promotes a deeper root system and warmer micro-environment in the turf providing greater stress tolerance. Recommended mowing heights vary by turf type. We recommend that St. Augustine be mowed at 4″ – 5″ and Zoysia be mowed at 2″-3″.

5620db5e-c204-45c2-9bec-a77824845d79DO NOT rush to prune any freeze or frost damage from your plants. The dead plant material actually insulates the plant providing additional protection in the event of another freeze. The dead material, once removed will signal the plant to produce new growth which will die during another freeze.

(Thanks to McGuire’s Beautiful Outdoors for these useful tips – reprinted with permission)

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