Friday, March 7, 2014

Will Greens in your area have winterkill from ice??

Dr Kevin Frank, MSU, turfgrass specialist states: "In Michigan especially for Poa annua greens, crown hydration and subsequent refreezing are often the primary culprits of winterkill. However, this year ice sheets are a cause for concern.  In the 1960’s James B Beard conducted research at MSU on survival of creeping bentgrass and Poa annua under ice sheets. Creeping bentgrass survived 120 days of ice cover without significant injury while annual bluegrass was killed somewhere between 75 and 90 days of ice cover. More recently Darrell Tompkins conducted research at the Prairie Turfgrass Research Center in Canada that suggested Poa annua greens could be damaged in as few as 45 days under ice.  The primary cause of death to turfgrass under ice sheets is most likely from toxic gas accumulation under the ice sheet from soil and turfgrass respiration." 

Appears that most of the Poa annua greens in the north will see some degree of damage this year and in the far north Bentgrass may even have problems if there isn't a warm up soon. Blame the Polar Vortex, not your groundskeeper when you have bare spots on your greens this Spring.

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