how to protect grass from frost

How to Protect Grass from Frost in 5 Effective Ways

Cold seasons are the times we dread the most. Not only do they make it difficult for us to enjoy the glory of the outdoors. They can also hamper the growth of your lawn, especially when there are new grass seeds starting to sprout.

Because it’s important to maintain the quality of your lawn for a beautiful, lush look regardless of the season, it’s important to learn exactly how to protect grass from frost before the cold season kicks in.

To be clear:

Frost forms at night when the air is warmer than grass. At this moment, water in grass blades freeze, causing the cell walls to expand and eventually split. With ice in and out of the grass, the lawn becomes a microscopic dagger that damages even further from a lot of foot traffic.

You can’t prevent frost from happening because the winter season will always come. But here’s what you can do to protect your lawn’s grass from frost and its damages.

How to Protect Grass from Frost-5 Ways

1. Water Your Lawn

You should never stop watering your lawn because you’re in the cold season. That can only hamper grass from growing and thriving. The right thing to do is to water your lawn before freezing starts.

Begin by watering your lawn at least 6 weeks before it starts to frost. This is also the right time to plant your grass seeds if you’ve considered overseeding.

Doing so ensures there’s enough water in the soil, making it possible for roots to grow well and strong enough to stand up to the cold season.

Another benefit of watering the lawn before frosting is that it enables the soil to retain heat, which keeps the ground from freezing to a complete solid form.

You can water your lawn at any time of the day. But since we’re interested in the best results, we strongly recommend that you only do so in the evening, right before nightfall.

Keep Lawn Green without a Sprinkler

2. Protect Your Grass from Wind

There’s nothing worse than the strong wind blowing across a freezing lawn in the cold season. The wind will strip your grass blades so much so that they won’t get the important moisture.

Even the soil freezes further due to the lack of sufficient moisture, causing further damages to the lawn.

The solution is simple:

Find a way to defend your lawn from the wind. A good way would be to add a little windbreak, which keeps the wind from reaching your grass.

This will go a long way to ensure proper air circulation so you won’t have to worry about the grass freezing. 

windbreak hedge

3. Ensure there are no Shady Patches on the Lawn

Shade in your lawn is a good thing, but that’s not so for all the seasons. With hot air rising and cold air sinking to the ground, you just can’t afford to have shades on the lawn in the winter season.


It’s because the cold air that sinks can dip in your lawn and fail to escape, causing the frost to last longer in the ground’s air pockets.

The best solution is to remove anything that might result in frosty pockets. These include plant pits, tree branches, bushes, and dips in the lawn.

Best Way to melt Snow on Grass

4. Avoid Walking on your Lawn

Sometimes our lawns get more foot traffic than we’re willing to admit. And while that’s something difficult to avoid from a logical point of view, you do have to make a sacrifice to keep frost away from the grass.

Our recommendation is that you keep away from walking on your lawn during the winter season to prevent frost from damaging the grass.

Here’s why:

There’s already pressure on the frosted grass. Applying more foot traffic causes the water molecules to get into the cell walls, thus causing further damages to the grass blades.

The only way to keep this from happening is to stop walking on the grass for now. At least only do so once the frost thaws.

5. Cover the Grass Seedlings

The winter season freezes the ground quite extensively, making it very hard for grass seedlings to continue to thrive. Front eventually kills the sprouts and you have to fix the mess in the next season.

That notwithstanding, you can cover the seedlings so that they retain heat.

A thin layer of a black plastic tarp can be quite helpful here. If you like, you can use a large piece of cloth, but make sure you weigh it down with spare lumber so it isn’t blown away.

Covering the seedling this way will keep the warm air as close to the ground as possible, thus making it difficult for frost to harm your grass.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can new grass seeds survive in frost?

New grass seeds can survive in the frost because they have the ability to remain dormant in cold weather. In the event of frost, freezes, and snow, the seeds will stay inert and then sprout right from the moment temperatures start to rise.

Grass seedlings, on the other hand, can’t handle frost well. Because they’re vulnerable to freezing temperatures, it’s best to plant at least six weeks before the cold season. Doing so will give the seedlings enough time to develop the roots necessary to survive the cold weather.

2. Will grass seed die if it gets too cold?

Grass seeds won’t die if it’s too cold, they will hibernate until the temperatures are favorable enough for them to start growing.

In fact, grass seeds are able to stand up to the cold winter and sprout nicely in the spring without your involvement.

So if you seeded yesterday and you’ve noticed that the cold, freezing weather just kicked in, there really isn’t a cause for alarm.

3. Can grass seedlings die at freezing temperatures?

Grass seeds that have already started to sprout will more than likely die if it freezes. That’s why we recommend that you plant grass seeds at least six weeks before to give them time to take roots.

Now that you’ve learned how to protect grass from frost, you don’t have to let the cold season destroy the look and feel of your lawn.

Simply implement the tips we’ve shared in this guide so you can maintain the natural-looking and healthy lawn in the best way possible.


  • Ricky

    Hi, I’m Ricky. I’ve been involved in lawn care and landscaping from when I was 15. To be honest, I didn’t like the idea of pushing mowers, collecting grass clippings, and maintaining flowerbeds at the time. But having seem the passion my parents had for gardening and outdoors and the effort they put in maintaining the health and beauty of our landscape, I couldn’t help but not only admire their hard work but also I became a part of it. As someone who loves to spend time with nature’s best, I find myself learning a lot more about gardening and outdoors on a daily basis. Not to mention I love to share the knowledge I’ve gathered over the years with my readers at We Mow Dallas. To be clear, I don’t have a Master’s degree in gardening or anything like that. Everything I’ve learned about gardening, landscaping, and lawn care spring from passion and engagement with my parents. And with a ton of free information out there, plus the ability to run tests and determine what works best for lawn care and landscaping, every day is an opportunity to learn and implement something new. My goal with We Mow Dallas is to teach you exactly how to maintain your lawn and landscape. And since I walk the talk in reality, you shouldn’t hesitate to join me in this wonderful world of landscaping and lawn care. K Beatrice

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