Frost refers to the white layer of frozen water on grass and plants due to ground-level minimum temperatures plummeting to below zero degrees Celsius during the winter. In South Africa, we also experience 'Black Frost'; this refers to hitting sub-zero temperatures without the evident white but causing more damage to plants and trees.
Certain South African areas like the Free State and Northern Cape are prone to experiencing more extended periods of frost. In contrast, Limpopo, the Lowveld and coastal regions enjoy shorter frost periods. Irrespective of location, frost is an unwelcome occurrence. And although we cannot prevent it, we can put measures in place to lessen the impact on our lawns.
Frost results from early morning dew freezing on your lawn, thus freezing the water inside the grass blades, which plants use for nourishment. It causes water expansion which ruptures plant cell walls. Unless the frost period is severe and ground freeze occurs, grassroots have a healing chance since they continue to grow. Discolouration of leaf blades, however, signals cell wall damage and slows the photosynthesis process.
Before the frost bites.
Enable your lawn to survive extreme weather conditions and the frost by keeping up its overall health on an organic diet in the months leading up to winter. Start by applying GuanoBoost 100% organic fertiliser with all the essential nutrients to strengthen your lawn and develop the microbiology in your soil.
- Allow longer grass leaves to shelter the crowns from frost by moving the mower blades up 1.5 cm.
- Do not mow before an expected frost, as this creates a plant wound, making it more susceptible to frost damage.
- Give the grass a deep watering the night before an expected frost, as this will allow slow evaporation of moisture, which causes friction and heat around the grass blades. Your soil will have a higher temperature from the heat evaporation when the night air plummets, thus preventing your plant from reaching freezing temperatures.
When frost bites.
- Stay off the lawn to prevent grass blades from breaking.
- Don't ever drive on a frosted lawn.
- Water lightly before dawn to remove frost and prevent brown grass patches.
- Avoid mowing immediately and wait until the grass starts growing again.
- Rake excessive dead grass to avoid excessive thatch.
There is no downside to using an organic fertiliser like 100% organic GuanoBoost which helps plants survive cold and heat. Our nutrients are perfect for your lawn, giving an immediate boost of nutrients for higher-quality growth and a healthier plant. Visit our website for all our garden solutions, and get in touch for more information.