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Will frost damage my lawn?

Shortly before Christmas, fellow Master Gardener Bill Blair sent me an email containing several questions related to winter lawn care; specifically, the effects of frost on the health of turfgrass.

When I first began an online research of harmful effects of frost on turfgrass, I discovered an abundance of articles about frost damage to golf courses. I had never considered the amount of work and expense that goes into protecting greens and fairways during cold winters, but Jim enlightened me a little on the subject. For the homeowner, covering turfgrass with sand or fabric seems impractical, but there are actions you can take to protect lawns from harm or total destruction by winter temperature.

Early morning frost glittering on grass and rooftops is a lovely sight. Frost can occur when the surface air temperature (about 48 inches above ground) drops below 36°F. and water vapor condenses and freezes to form a layer of ice crystals. Moisture, clear skies, and calm or light winds a...

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