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Warm Season Lawns vs. Polar Vortex

Thanks to a "bomb cyclone" and a polar vortex ringing in 2018, temperatures thus far have dropped lower for longer than we're accustomed to enduring in the Southeast.

With this in mind, we've put together observations of warm season grasses under cold stress.

  • Tifway 419: On closely-mowed, highly fertilized Tifway, there will be damage that shows up in the spring. This is especially true for highly maintained Tifway turf, such as on golf courses.
  • TifGrand Bermuda is more cold tolerant and should be less susceptible.
  • Regarding Zoysia lawns, the Zoysia types we grow are cold tolerant and should deal with the cold just fine.  
  • TifBlair Centipede should be fine, but Common Centipede may experience some damage.
  • Lawns weakened by disease will be the first to die.
    • Very cold winter temperatures are the main reason we recommend NO FALL fertilization of warm season grasses because fall fertilization promotes diseases.
    • This is why we recommend fungicides on warm season lawns that have shown disease problems in the past.


TifTuf Survives the Polar Vortex

There's going to be a Tweetstorm in the sod and turfgrass world this spring because TifTuf is again living up to its reputation, basically.

Over the past two years we've talked a lot about TifTuf and how it's so drought tolerant and quick to establish and even that it's exceptionally cold tolerant. 

You now believe us about the drought and quick virtues. This winter we have the perfect polar vortex for TifTuf to demonstrate its superior cold tolerance.


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These rolls of dormant TifTuf Bermuda say, "Don't worry! Be happy!"

Winter New Sod Tip

All new sod (even dormant sod) will desiccate quickly when the ground is dry and dry winds sweep across new sod that's not yet rooted or established.

If you've already installed a dormant lawn this winter, newly sodded lawns can experience "Freeze Drying" or desiccation of roots that results from cold, dry wind. 

Like we say with all new sod all year long, keep it moist until it's rooted in. 


Prevent freeze drying by keeping your new sod consistently moist throughout the winter.

Tall Fescue in January

Now is still a great time to lay Elite Tall Fescue sod. We can't say this enough, keep it moist until it's rooted in!


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Topics: Monthly Lawn Care Tips, what happened to my lawn, seasonal lawn care

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