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Frost tracks

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by RigglePLC, Jan 12, 2012.

  1. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 11,770

    I have walked across my front lawn several times in recent weeks. No damage. Temps have been about 25 at night and 39 during the day. Several hard frosts. No snow. Unusually warm for the season.

    Also I seeded some grass inside in a cup. At about 70 degrees. Waited until it was about 3 inches tall. Then I moved it outside during a frost night. 25 degrees and frost all over the car and tender yourng grass. Seversly damaged.

    So...I am thinking that if grass has a chance to adapt slowly to the cold--no problem. But a sudden frost when the grass is still relatively lush--severd damage.

    Agree? disagree?
    Your evidence or opinion.
     
  2. fl-landscapes

    fl-landscapes LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,542

    I think your on to something with grass hardening off. Only contribution I can add is golf courses will delay play until frost is off the greens. I have seen when they let people out prior and the greens always end up with brown foot prints and brown golf ball marks. On the contrary the courses that stayed open (in MA) through the winter when there wasn't snow had no delay when the ground was frozen. We would play shots off frozen ponds. And apparently no harm to the grass on the greens
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  3. bobcat_ron

    bobcat_ron LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,082

    Grass is grass dudes, it gets cold on dairy farms too you know, and you don't see farmers freaking out over frost on grass.
    It will be fine, just keep drinking some hot chocolate and wait until spring.
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  4. fl-landscapes

    fl-landscapes LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,542

    I'm sure dairy farmers don't care about weeds either. What's your point?
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  5. bobcat_ron

    bobcat_ron LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,082

    The OP makes it sound like he discovered frost and he needs to warn the rest of the world.
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  6. Patriot Services

    Patriot Services LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 12,441

    Bobcat meet Riggle. He's kind of our LS mythbuster and mad scientist. He likes to do little experiments and post the results here. Its very useful info. Especially for guys that need fall/winter overseeding information. We can't spend all winter discussing what's the most powerful blower on the market.
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  7. bobcat_ron

    bobcat_ron LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,082

    It's called winter. Get used to it or die.
    Posted via Mobile Device
     
  8. tyler_mott85

    tyler_mott85 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 582

    I've noticed the difference as well. Frosts early in the fall seem to cause more damage when walked across or later in the spring cause more damage as well. I'm thinking it has to do with how dormant the grass is. It would make sense to me that dormant grass has less moisture in the blades than actively growing grass. So when the temperature falls there is less moisture to freeze...and expand...so that when a blade of grass is bent over it would just snap because the frozen insides of the plant has no flex/bend to it.

    But, when you get ice accumulating on grass. Either from freezing rain or drizzle. Even if the grass is dormant there will be blades of grass broken when it's walked on because there is so much ice in comparison to the mass of the blade of grass it will just pull the blade apart.

    Thoughts?
     
  9. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 11,770

    Here is the photo of myself walking on the frost-covered grass. I was a bit slow getting around to it and the sun had melted the frost in the foreground. No injury to the grass resulted from walking on the frost-covered grass. I am thinking Tyler is right. Late in the season the grass has slowly adapted to the cold. As he suggests probably there is less free water in the grass blade. In the early fall or late spring when the frost is sudden and the grass blades are more lush with a higher water content...frost tracks are much more likely.

    S3500004.jpg
     

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