Spring Turfgrass Report

We’ve received several calls and emails recently expressing concern about poor turfgrass green-up conditions. We reached out to UGA Extension Specialist, Dr. Clint Waltz, for his opinion:

“Aeration and patience would be suggested. Over the past 7 to 10 days environmental conditions have finally become favorable for growth of warm-season species. Considering April 2018 was the coldest April since 1997 , delayed green-up is not a surprise. Looking at the forecast for the next 7 to 10 days, growth of warm-season grasses should be expected and now is a good time to consider aeration to stimulate stolons and rhizomes to initiate new growth.

I am aware of NCSU Dr. Grady Miller’s observations and comments regarding cold temperature damage in North Carolina. For lawns in Georgia, I have not observed or been notified (e.g. email, text, etc.) of similar widespread cold related injury. Even in coastal areas that had abnormal snowfall this past winter, St. Augustinegrass and centipedegrass are recovering, albeit slow. Relative to the previous 16 years I have been at UGA, I would consider the 2018 spring green-up in the Atlanta /North Georgia area as “normal”.

Disease (e.g. Large Patch) is common during spring green-up, especially for zoysiagrass, centipedegrass, and St. Augustinegrass. The cooler temperatures and wet conditions of March and April may have exacerbated incidences of disease this spring but disease is not “cold damage”.”

Dr. Waltz will continue to observe turfgrass the next few weeks and provide updates.

Contact Dr. Waltz @ cwaltz@uga.edu