Seed You Later
What a summer! We have seen record-setting cold summer temperatures across the Midwest. It was the coldest summer in Lexington, KY since 1911. With the cool night temperatures and low humidity, cool season grasses have seen little or no summer decline or stress for the most part, and cool season turf managers have been sleeping easy. Any short stretch of heat and humidity was immediately followed by cool temperature and low humidity, which was perfect for recuperation and regeneration of cool season turf. As a result of all this great growing weather we probably won’t see much fall seeding in cool season turf, but as history has proved… we’ll “seed you later”.
On the other hand, warm season turf managers have stress level meters pegged. Coming out of a harsh winter that shattered records for warm season grass winterkill and decline, turf managers had to renovate/reestablish warm season grasses in one of the worst warm season growing summers that anyone can remember. With the low daytime temperatures and cool nights, warm season grass was in a stall. Glaciers moved faster than bermuda this summer.
Winterkill on bermuda fairways in SW Indiana
After the past 6 months, warm season turf managers have reevaluated their cultural practice and programs in an attempt to prevent or limit winter turf damage in the future. There is no program that is 100% bullet proof for prevention of winterkill and decline on warm season grass in the transition zone, but we have tweaked our warm season program to give a definite edge coming out of dormancy in the following spring. We have seen this program work exceptionally well on bermuda turf in the transition zone. What you do now sets you up for enhancement in the spring. Talk to your ATS rep for more information, and soon!
With all the new sprigged and seeded bermuda this summer in less than desirable condition, managers will have to consider protecting bermuda from winter, wear, and traffic with ryegrass overseed to increase chances of it coming back in spring. The mention of ryegrass in bermuda makes for poor conversation, but in some situations it is a necessary evil, and this year may be one of those situations. To offer options of overseeding bermuda, Barenbrug USA developed SOS turf type annual ryegrasses. It makes sense; annual grass for an annual situation. The word “annual ryegrass” gives visions of Gulf and other forage annuals, not a pretty sight in professional turf. But Barenbrug USA has bred and developed SOS turf type annuals for over 15 years. They have developed annual varieties that look, grow, and wear like perennial, but the beauty of these turf type annuals is that they transition out on their own with no herbicide required. Barenbrug SOS turf type annuals transition when temperatures hover in the low 90’s with the longer days of late spring and early summer. As an added bonus SOS turf type annual ryegrass blends are 20% less than the cost of perennial ryegrass blends. Talk to your ATS rep about the best option for overseeding your warm season grass, and check out the Advanced Turf Seed Guide for a list of the seed blends we have in stock.
Remember my earlier comment about other options for warm season turf managers? Keep an eye out for part 2 of this blog for information about some new ideas that are being played with on bermuda in the coming year. They have possibilities.
Advanced Turf Solutions has always been a year round seed house for any type of turf manager. No matter what the season, situation, or application ATS will have the inventory for your current project with experience and advice to help you be successful in your endeavors.
Roger D. Crenshaw
ATS Sales Manager