Freeze Alert – How to be Prepared

This week the forecast is calling for freezing temperatures which can result in severe and sometimes permanent damage to lawns, trees and shrubs. Here are a few tips on how to prepare for the freeze:

  • Irrigate before the frost or freeze to ensure there is proper moisture in the soil root zone, however make sure irrigation is stopped early enough to allow time for leaves to dry in order to avoid ice forming on them.
    • Please Note:  Do not irrigate during a freeze.  This practice is beneficial in nurseries and citrus groves only because they are equipped to water non-stop until the ice is melted.  If not done properly, this practice can prolong the amount of time that plants are subjected to the harsh, cold temperatures.
  • Cover cold-sensitive plants with blankets or boxes but NOT plastic.  Be sure to remove the covering as soon as the temperatures begin to warm up.
  • Do not mow turf that is frozen, and keep the lawn mowed high.  This can reduce cold injury in a number of ways.  First, it will promote a deeper root system, which will provide greater stress tolerance.  In addition, higher mowing heights can create a warmer micro-environment due to the extra canopy cover provided by the longer leaf tissue.
  • Avoid foot traffic or vehicular traffic on frozen turf as this can increase damage.

For more tips and information, contact us at 1-888-2MASSEY (262-7739).