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Possible Winter Injury or Damage On All Warm Season Turf Varieties

NC State University Crop Science Department Extension Service has issued an alert for all warm season, Bermuda, Zoysia, Centipede and St. Augustine grasses for possible winter damage and or injury. Below is the statement issued by Dr. Fred Yelverton, Dr. Travis Gannon and Leon Warren; Agr. Research Crop Science. (2/2014) The cold weather this winter… Read more »

NC State University Crop Science Department Extension Service has issued an alert for all warm season, Bermuda, Zoysia, Centipede and St. Augustine grasses for possible winter damage and or injury.

Below is the statement issued by Dr. Fred Yelverton, Dr. Travis Gannon and Leon Warren; Agr. Research Crop Science. (2/2014)

The cold weather this winter is reminiscent of the winters we had during the early 1990’s. From 1990 to 1995, there were varying amounts of winter injury on warm-season grasses throughout the mid-Atlantic. It is too early to determine if, and how much, winter injury has occurred this year. It is well-known that snow cover protects turfgrasses from subfreezing temperatures. Therefore, when temperatures dipped well into the single digits last week, those who had snow cover (particularly the eastern part of the state) got some protection. However, this recent cold snap was not the first time temperatures have been well below 20 degrees.

It is probably a good bet that widespread winter-kill has not occurred as of now. However, it is probably also a safe bet that warm-season grasses (particularly centipedegrass and shorter cut bermudagrasses) have been weakened by the cold weather. The bottom line is, the weather from now until the end of March will dictate the extent of winter injury. If there is some green-up in March followed by temperatures in the low 20s, there is a good chance we will have winter-kill. I think it is safe to conclude that the winter so far, has set us up for a potential problem if we have even mildly bad luck with the weather from now until the end of March.

Winter injury is seldom an “all or nothing” phenomenon. It can range from warm-season grasses being a little slower than normal to green-up to complete kill. It is also typically worse in shady or wet areas. North facing slopes are also more susceptible to winter injury.

Fairway Green will monitor environmental conditions for this type of injury and notify you if we see this condition on your lawn in the following months.

Winter Annual Weeds

UntitledWinter annual weeds can be prolific this time of year. These weeds germinate in the fall, grow over the winter months, and reproduce in the spring. The most appropriate time to treat these weeds is when they are young and actively growing. They become difficult to control once they start to flower.

Pre-emergent Crabgrass Control

Crabgrass will usually start to germinate in late March or early April throughout the Transitional Zone. Germination will occur when soil temperatures are between 53 to 58 degrees and 3 to 4 inches deep. Crabgrass germination will be seen first in bare spots with little desirable turf and in full sun. January is the time of year when lawn care professionals will apply the first application of Pre-emergent Crabgrass control. It is imperative that the first application is applied by early March. The required second application of pre-emergent will usually follow in about 6 to 8 weeks.

Strange Grass Alert

UntitledPoa-annua is an annual bluegrass that produces a tan or off-white colored fuzzy seed head. Poa-annua will start to seed out when the air temperatures reach the mid to upper 70 degrees. Many people think this is crabgrass or their fescue dying and turning brown. If Poa-annua is problematic in your lawn we can apply a product in late fall that will hold back about 75% of the Poa-annua.

Large Patch Fungus on Warm Season Turf

UntitledLate September starts the Large Patch fungus season on Zoysia, Bermuda, Centipede and St. Augustine. Fairway Green is seeing more cases of this disease every year in our area. Large Patch Fungus is a damaging disease on Zoysia, Bermuda, Centipede and St. Augustine turf in the fall and early spring. This disease is similar to Brown Patch Fungus on Fescue. Large Patch Fungus needs to be controlled with two applications of fungicide in the fall when ground temperatures are between 50 and 70 degrees. Damage occurs before you are aware you have it and is not visible until green-up in the spring. Preventative Fungicide in the fall and early spring are the only way to control this disease.

Disease activity is climatically activated. As we see changes in weather patterns this month, diseases need to be monitored. Some diseases to watch for on cool season turf are Net Blotch, Rust, Pythium and Dollar Spot. Diseases on warm season turf to watch for in April and May include Large Patch, Rust, Spring Dead Spot and Pythium Root Rot.