Warm autumn days followed by very cool evenings can produce some heavy levels of frost around Cleveland and Columbus. With this frost, and a few early snow showers, brings the question; "should I still fertilize my lawn." In today's article, we'll look at how your lawn responds to frost and when you should stop fertilizing your lawn.
Frost & its Effect on Your Lawn
Frost is easier to think of as a "frozen cousin" to dew. Similar to dew, when the moisture levels in the air are high, a layer of moisture appears on your lawn and in the trees and shrubs around your house. When the temperatures hover close to freezing, this layer becomes frozen. However, frost does not occur when temperatures are very cold, due to the lack of moisture, or humidity, in the air. Due to this, by the time winter rolls around the frost season is over.
Frost often slows down the rate of growth in your lawn, sometimes putting its "growing" season on hold. However, this does not mean that your turfs root system is not active, and does not need food. Late fall fertilizer is essential to keeping these roots fed, allowing them to build up carbohydrates before the ground freezes. This process allows for your lawn to make it through the winter, and green up quickly the following spring.
When is Too Much Snow or Frost?
Often we hear customers say to stop fertilizing when frost starts occurring on a regular basis at the end of October. However, it's critical that your lawn still receives nutrients during this time. Even though the area may receive an inch of snow every so often during this time, ground temperatures cause this snow to melt quickly.
The main concern with frost or snow during this time is the possible damage that can be caused by walking or running on the frozen turf. If the lawn is covered in frost and does not have time to melt a little, the turf plant can be brittle and break from activity on the lawn. It's best to wait a few hours to let the frost melt before activity is performed on the lawn.
When Will I Know to Stop Fertilizing?
Most people don't know that you can fertilize lawns up to early December in Cleveland and Columbus. Your lawns root system is active until the soil freezes, which in most cases is in mid to late December. Again, fertilizing in early to mid November allows your plants roots to continue to receive nutrients and prepare for the winter.
Need More Fall Lawn Care Advice? We Have the Guide for You!
Proper fall lawn care is perhaps the most important activity you can perform for your lawn during the season. Fall is the time your lawn rejuvenates itself, as it prepares for its winter slumber. That's why it's so important to get things right in the fall. Weed Pro has your back and can help you get your lawn ready for the fall with a simple to follow, ultimate fall lawn care & landscaping guide. This free download is your source for everything you need to know regarding proper fall lawn care. Simply click on the button below to receive your FREE copy!
Shaun Kanary has been a part of the Green Industry for the past 15 years. As the Director of Marketing for Weed Pro Lawn Care, a Cleveland and Columbus Lawn Care Service Provider, Shaun is a regular contributor to the Weed Pro Blog, and other industry magazine and blogs.
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