Why is My Warm Season Turf Not ‘Greening Up’ Yet?
When will my lawn be green again?
Here it is middle of May and we’re getting a lot of questions about grass not coming out of dormancy. We keep getting request to replace turf that is green yet. If you have this question; relax, it’s still early in the season, give your turf a chance to do its thing. Temperatures have not been ‘ideal’ yet.
For most of April and the beginning of May, warm season turf has been stalled. University of Georgia Turfgrass Specialist, Clint Waltz, Ph.D., states “despite the low temperatures associated with the “Christmas Freeze” (December 23 to 26, 2022), December, January and February were relatively warm, giving a false sense of an early spring green-up. When March cool temperatures arrived, grass growth stalled.”
He also goes on the explain what has happened in early 2023:
- Using data and observations from the UGA Griffin Campus weather station as an indicator, during March and April there was only one night (April 6) where the low temperature did not fall below 65° F.
- There were three (3) frost events in March (15, 16, and 21).
- From April 30 through May 5, the low temperatures were in the 40’s – six (6) consecutive nights. These conditions resulted in 4-inch soil temperatures struggling to reach the mid-60s when warm-season turfgrasses initiate rooting and active growth.
- My comments to the calls and emails have been that our grasses have been “sitting on go” just waiting for favorable environmental conditions.
I think the key takeaway here is that while we’ve had some green-up, conditions are still not ideal so don’t judge your turf until conditions improve. Our 10-day forecast is looking more favorable with warmer daytime temps and when nighttime temps reach and stay above 70° things will really improve.