Covers Can Cure The Winterkill Blues
By Bob Vavrek, senior agronomist, North-Central RegionApril 15, 2013
The Wisconsin office has recently received numerous reports of significant winter injury to turf at courses across the north central tier of states now that our glacier of snow and ice cover has finally started to recede. Cold nights are suppressing soil temperatures to the point where there is little chance of seed germination or active turf growth. Under these conditions, covering turf is your best bet for accelerating the recovery process. Dark, breathable geotextile fabrics are an excellent option to stimulate growth and seed germination during cold spring weather, but 3-4 mil plastic sheeting from Home Depot, Lowe’s, etc. can provide similar results. Always monitor the ground and soil temperatures under covers, especially on sunny days when air temperatures are predicted to be greater than 50 degrees. Temporarily remove covers on warm sunny days – better to be safe than sorry, more so when using plastic versus a breathable fabric.
Source: Bob Vavrek (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Information on the USGA’s Turf Advisory Service
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