Turf talk: Winter Survival
During the winter months ultradwarf bermuda grass greens still require a fair amount of time and money to maintain. Although the cultural practices of verticutting and topdressing are generally not performed, other factors rise to the surface as top priorities. One of the main focuses on greens during the winter is moisture management. Proper percentages of soil moisture are crucial in order to protect the greens for winter damage such as defecation and cold weather injury. Moisture levels are closely monitored through the use of a moisture meter, and are generally adjusted by hand with a hose. Also greens do receive small amounts of fertilizer and growth regulators as long as they remain in a semi dormant phase. These amounts are far lower than what is generally seen during the growing season. This helps to ensure storage of carbohydrates, which is what the plant uses to green up, or recover from winter injury in the spring. Lastly fungicides are applied if environmental conditions are suitable for disease, or disease is observed, but generally this is rare in the colder months in the transition zone.
Turf Talk is brought to you by Oaks Course Superintendent, John Fields. Stay tuned for more about the turf of our course and additional information as we roll out this new blog series!