While the rest of the country is enduring several feet of snow this week, the desert Southwest is being hit with a pretty good freeze.  It isn’t too common to see temperatures that only reach into the high 10’s and low 20’s, but we have been getting a few days of that midwestern weather and it appears we will have a couple more days before relief comes this weekend.

I have received quite a few emails regarding turf conditions and potential issues with ice and the hard freeze since the weather reports came out the other day so I just wanted to write a short blog today telling you not to worry.Your lawn can handle several weeks of a deep freeze without seeing any adverse effects so while temps this week may ding the color of your lawn, it will be short lived.  Just keep in mind that we only get these temps a few days a year and the Midwest and East Coast get this for 6 months and their ryegrass bounces back every summer.

The hardiness of your ryegrass in the winter is not a concern, but there are some things you can do to bring back the color if you lose some as well as some ways to keep ice from forming for too long on the surface.  Ice on the grass is not going to cause any issues to the plant, but it you want to minimize it during this cold spell just keep the water off for a few days.  If your lawn is in desperate need of water don’t worry about watering it, but switch your start time to around 9 am or when temps are out of the freezing range.  Remember that once we bounce back to normal temps an early morning watering is always best to reduce evaporation.  If you have lost some color, just like I have talked about in previous months, apply a foliar fertilizer this weekend high in iron and that color will come bouncing back.  You are still not going to get any reaction from a granular fertilizer at this time of the year, but once we are in the clear of freezing temperatures in the next months you will be safe to apply them.

If you have just put your lawn in the last week or plan on doing so this week there is also nothing to worry about. The worst case scenario is that your lawn will take a couple extra days to root down into the ground, but it is important that you still maintain the grow in irrigation schedule.  The turf is not going to dry out as fast as it does when we are warmer so you may be able to cut down the times or amount of irrigation cycles during this period.

It is best to stay off your frozen turf, and especially important not to walk on the frost and cause damage to the crown of the plant.  You will see purple footprints for weeks in your lawn if you walk through the frost so make sure it is safe to be on before mowing or walking through it.

Have a good week, and go check out our grass at the Phoenix Open.  Be thankful we only deal with these temperatures a few days a year.  Here is a picture of the 16th hole logo we put in for the tournament.