Experts are warning against walking on your grass in winter - here's why

Prevent a patchy lawn come spring with their top tips

frosty grass in a backyard of a home with blue skies and tree
(Image credit: Getty images)

Experts are warning against walking on your grass in winter. Too much traffic — or lots on the same well-worn path — can damage frozen blades, affecting how the lawn looks come spring.

When it comes to autumn lawn care, most of us know that scarifying the grass goes a long way. But as temperatures fall and we approach winter, two gardening experts say that we should walk on our lawns less.

Damaging grass by walking on a frosty lawn

(Image credit: Future/Ruth Hayes)

Codey Stout, Head of Operations for TreeTriage says that in cold weather, you should minimize traffic on your grass. 'Especially when it's frosty and snowy, it’s best not to walk on your lawn,' he tells us. 

Codey says that frosty conditions will cause the grass blades to freeze. Therefore, when pressure is applied, they are likely to break. 

'Also, water molecules that are frozen and expanded can cause cellular damage to the grass,' says Codey. So, what can you do to look after your lawn when the mercury drops?

frosty grass in winter on a sunny day with hedge in the distance

(Image credit: Getty images)

There are plenty of things you can do, and it's well worth taking some time to look up how to protect plants in winter so your favorite outdoor plants don't suffer. First of all, watering your lawn deeply in the evening will help to keep it looking its best. 

Codey explains that the evaporation process will mean the temperature around the blades of grass is warmer. When the temperature drops later on in the evening, the watered grass won’t freeze enough for the water molecules to expand and cause damage. 

Mo Mallah, founder of Urban Organic Yield agrees that watering your lawn will make a big difference. 'If you haven't been watering your lawn now, it's time to start,' says Mo.

perfect front lawn leading up to a large house with a pathway

(Image credit: Getty)

The gardening expert also recommends using a special fertilizer for cold-weather conditions. These can be picked up cheaply on Amazon.

If you do end up with patches, don't worry, as there are lots of options when it comes to how to repair lawn patches quickly and easily.

Scotts Turf Builder WinterGuard Fall Lawn Food, $21.49 from Amazon

Scotts Turf Builder WinterGuard Fall Lawn Food, $21.49 from Amazon
This fall lawn food will help to build strong, deep roots and give you a better lawn next spring. It's a winter guard version that will care for your lawn and prevent damage with the ground freezes.

Your grass is weaker in cold, snowy conditions, so make sure you don't leave anything heavy on your lawn through winter, or try to move anything heavy across it. While walking on your turf simply may be unavoidable, be wary of excessive footfall if you want your lawn ideas looking their best when spring rolls around.

Millie Hurst
News Writer

Millie Hurst has worked in digital journalism for five years, having previously worked as a Senior SEO Editor at News UK both in London and New York. She joined the Future team in early 2021, working across several brands, including Gardeningetc. Now, she is Senior Content Editor at Ideal Home, taking care of evergreen articles aimed at inspiring people to make the most of their homes and outdoor spaces.