We Are Freezing – Take Precautions! January 2, 2013 By Bud White

The Midwest has had some heavy and extended freezes thus far and the winter is far from over. I want to remind bermudagrass and zoysiagrass courses to take precautions to reduce the chance of winter injury as much as possible. Remember, research has indicated that if turfgrass enters dormancy under drought stress the potential for winter damage is greatly increased.

A few checklist items to remember include:

  • Make sure the soil stays hydrated – especially bermudagrass greens
  • Be overly cautious with covers for the balance of winter
  • Limit cart traffic on courses that experienced drought this fall
  • Bring in plugs and check for green-up
  • Evaluate preemergent applications this spring if kill or damage is suspected
  • If damage is suspected, plan for additional fertility and slicing this spring to promote recovery

Covering all the bases in fall and winter can make a significant difference in spring recovery. Educating your golfers on these points should have already been done and should continue with friendly reminders throughout the winter.

If you would like more information about a Turf Advisory Service visit and how we can help your facility with drought, water quality or other management issues, please contact Bud White, at (972) 662-1138 or ( Remember, payment made prior to May 15 results in a $500 discount. Visit for information on the USGA’s Turf Advisory Service and to download an application for service.