AgriLawn's Seasonal Weed Control and Fertilization Blog

How does a cold winter Impact your turf?

AgriLawn’s Seasonal Weed Control and Fertilization Blog

The freezing temperatures and precipitation that we have been experiencing lately can have a bigger impact on your turfgrasses than you might think. Let’s briefly explore what effects these conditions can have on your lawn in both the short and long term.

Bermudagrass may be dormant above the surface, but under the surface, parts of the plant are still alive and are susceptible to many environmental factors. The lack of moisture, cold temperatures, and windy days can lead to winter kill in bermudagrass. Winter kill is when all or part of the plant or turfgrass stand dies during the winter. The effects of winter kill may not be immediately noticed since the grass has not started to break its dormancy yet. As warm-season grasses begin to come out of dormancy in the late spring and early summer, you may notice some areas not greening up as quickly, or at all. These can be symptoms of winter kill. The good news is, bermudagrass is tough, and depending on severity, will usually grow out and fill in with proper management. Zoysiagrass is less susceptible to winter kill, but it is not out of the question.

Although cool-season grasses, such as tall fescue and ryegrass are more cold tolerant, they can still feel the effects of winter. Lack of moisture is a common problem in cool-season lawns during the winter. The rate may be very slow, but these grasses are still growing, and need to be watered when Mother Nature doesn’t provide us with the precipitation that they need. Traffic should be limited on these lawns, as this can cause freeze injury and possibly plant death.

So what can you do to help mitigate any injury that your lawn can suffer during the winter? Whether you have a cool or warm-season turf, start by making sure the lawn gets adequate moisture if we are not getting enough precipitation. Next, limit traffic when the lawn is icy to help prevent mechanical/freeze injury.

As always, if you have any questions about what you are seeing in your lawn, please give us a call! 405-680-0077