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Winterkill - Turf Grasses Beware!

Posted 2018-01-26

Winter can be a difficult time for our lawns. If we get adequate snowfall, this moisture actually protects our turf. If we have a winter, however, with extreme cold spells and no snow coverage, concern arises over the ability of the turf to bounce back and green up again come springtime. So, whose turf is a greatest risk?

Warm-season grasses, like Bermuda, are most susceptible to winterkill but even moderate to cool season grasses, like fescue and bluegrass, can be at risk. The most concerning are high traffic areas in our lawns, such as walkways and dog run wear and tear.

How will you know if your lawn has winterkill? Once the lawns begin exiting their winter dormancy and greening up, winterkill areas will remain brown due to root damage from the extreme cold. These areas will benefit from some raking and overseeding, along with fertilization. If you plan on spot seeding in the spring, be sure to let your lawn care applicator know so that your spring pre-emergent application can be adjusted accordingly.