Got Bermuda? February 27, 2015

Got Bermuda?

By Bud White, Director
May 27, 2008

Is your bermudagrass slow to recovery from dormancy? Are your golfers impatient? Are you waiting on growing weather? Do you have plenty of Poa annua ? Are you ready to pull your hair out?

You are not alone! Help is on the way - summer weather!!

The continued cool snaps we have experienced have shut down bermudagrass from stolon/ rhizome growth, and have even been enough to cause yellowing.

This is an important time to educate golfers regarding the tees and fairways and why they lack the density typically seen at this time of year. This lack of density is magnified due to the traffic imposed during an extended weakened time period. Transition from overseeding also is very slow, so beware of an abrupt exit to the cool season grasses when they persist into early summer. If your course has mutated Tifway, common bermudagrass contamination, or is still entirely common bermudagrass, the inconsistency in lack of green- up is even worse.

The 150ºF rule is still as applicable today as 25 years ago - the new hybrid bermudagrasses or zoyiagrasses have not overcome the needed temperatures for growth. Remember, until the daytime high temeratures and nighttime low temperatures add up to 150º, there will not be regrowth - only green-up. No amount of fertilizer, water, or Primo will change this fact.

Need further documentation? Take a tissue test of your bermudagrass in early April and early July. You will find them significantly different. The tissue test in the early spring will show the bermudagrass is not taking up any nitrogen in the spring. This will be a huge difference from the July tissue test, which will show the nitrogen content uptake in the peak of the growing season. Golfers typically are more tolerant of the spring green-up blues if they know the facts.

Still want to improve spring fairways? Remove cart traffic in January through March. This will significantly improve surfaces - at no expense to the course.

We urge you to visit the USGA Web site at and click on Supporting the Game to learn more about Green Section programs and to stay up-to-date on activities in the Mid-Continent area via our Mid-Continent Regional Update, bringing you new information every two weeks.

If you would like more information about a Turf Advisory Service visit, please contact either of the Mid-Continent regional offices: Bud White, (972) 662-1138 or ( ) and Ty McClellan, or (630) 340-5853.