Surviving the Frost – Greening up Too Quickly
I was talking to a friend the other day who was very interested in her lawn, our sod production, and how the whole “turfgrass” thing works. She is a CPA and she would never expect me to know anything about numbers, as I would never expect her to know anything about grass. She asked what type of grass she had in her front and back yard, how to keep it up and why mowing it is a pain in the rear. Lol. I answered her questions until she asked about why her lawn was the last on her street to green up. My friend has Emerald Zoysia. I am not too familiar with it, not like I am familiar with Zeon and some of the other varieties of zoysia. As we all know, zoysias tend to be late bloomers, but most will stay green longer in the fall before finally going dormant.
I explained to her the reason this happens and then I proceeded to tell her late greenup was actually a good thing. She looked at me in complete confusion – almost as if to say, “You’ve got to be joking!”
I am not joking when I say it really is good. When turfgrasses green up early in the spring, there is always a chance for a cold snap or frost to set it back. The new growth on the grass is very tender and delicate until full maturity, or total greenup, is achieved. Once that cold hits the new growth, it could have disastrous effects. Stunted growth, brown leaves and even plant mortality can occur.
I told my friend that I hoped her eager neighbors were not rushing their lawns to green up. By rushing I mean over-fertilizing or fertilizing with a high nitrogen rate to produce more plant growth. Yes, green is good. However, rushing your lawn to green up is not the smartest idea.
Don’t be jealous of Mr. Smith down the street whose lawn is always green in the middle of April. There is still a good chance to have a frost in April. Be patient. May will soon follow clearing the way for hot weather until September – or longer.