Cold Damage to Turf

When hard freezes hit, your turfgrass may be injured. Lawns that turn brown or stop growing during Florida winters are most likely just dormant and not necessarily suffering from cold damage. But if temperatures suddenly fall below 20 degrees Fahrenheit, your lawn may be permanently damaged. The grass may initially appear wilted, and then turn to a whiteish or brown color. It may mat to the ground and smell putrid. Excess foot and vehicle traffic may worsen the effects of cold damage, so stay off frozen turf until the soil and plants have completely thawed. If your damaged grass doesn’t begin to grow normally in the springtime, you may need to replace it. So remember, brown grass isn’t necessarily dead grass!


UF/IFAS Publications

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