Cold Conditions Cause Turf Color Loss
By Todd Lowe, senior agronomist, Florida RegionJanuary 22, 2014
|Even in Florida, turf may go semi-dormant and
lose its green color, especially in higher cut turf such as the rough, in
January due to colder conditions.|
Many come to South Florida to escape cold conditions and
enjoy our warmer climate at this time of year. While we do not experience icy
or snowy conditions, we are not completely immune from the chill and golf
course turf can still show signs of stress from Jack Frost.
Frost can be expected a few times in our region each winter
and generally only causes temporary discoloration, especially on higher mowed
turf. Greater turf damage can occur when golfers play during frost, but most
understand the need for frost delays to protect the turf.
Frost has occurred several times already at many North
Florida golf facilities. This has caused the turf to turn brown and go completely
dormant. However, frost just recently hit several areas throughout South
Florida and, for the most part, it should only cause temporary color loss. Darker
green hues are replaced with light green to yellowish turf on tees and fairways
and tan coloration on roughs. Lower mowed areas like putting greens generally
retain their color for much of the winter play season but take on a purplish
hue during the coldest periods.
The discoloration is generally temporary and the turf will
rebound following a few days of warmer conditions. Dark sprayable pigments and
black sand are quite helpful at this time of year, as they absorb sunlight and
attract heat to the playing surfaces. Doing so increases turf growth and
improves turf quality throughout the winter play season. To see the impacts of
pigments and black sand at other golf facilities, please see Liquid
Extended Cooler Spring or Switching From
Traditional Overseeding To ‘Liquid Overseeding’.
Source: Todd Lowe, (email@example.com)
Information on the USGA’s Course Consulting Service
Contact the Green Section Staff