Spring in Oklahoma is always a little unpredictable, which I guess is what makes it fun. Some years we start off warm and stay warm. 2021 has so far not been one of those years. While we may have tried to block out the brutal cold that occurred in February, the effects of those temperatures are still very evident.
You may now be saying, “what is wrong with my grass?”
Warm-season lawns, such as bermudagrass or zoysiagrass are pretty slow coming out of dormancy this year. Usually, by the first week of May, we should be mowing weekly or even twice a week in some cases, but not this year. While the grass is a little slow waking up, in most cases we should be fine. Remember warm-season lawns prefer temperatures in the 80’s or above consistently and we just haven’t made it there yet.
Cool-season grasses like Fescue though are looking great. The consistent rainfall and cooler temperatures have created ideal growing conditions. Don’t be fooled though, the heat is coming, and with it, the possibility of disease and eventually heat stress. For Fescue lawns, now is a great time to start raising the height of your mower and allowing the grass to grow taller. Generally speaking, the taller the Fescue, the more shade it provides to the soil which will help to keep the plant looking its best as we transition to summer.
Speaking of disease, be on the lookout for large patch disease in Bermudagrass and especially Zoysiagrass lawns. Fescue will be dealing with Brown Patch soon as well. For all these diseases, we have a great fungicide program that will help to keep things in check. With bermudagrass lawns, you may also be seeing signs of Spring Dead Spot (SDS). While the fungi that causes SDS is most active in the fall, the effects are most evident in the spring with what is commonly referred to as crop circles or large dead circular spots throughout the lawn. We will be sharing more information soon on how to lessen the damage from and SDS infestation.