Alerts › Turfgrass Alerts ›

Warm Weather Follow-Up

April 27, 2016
by Rick Brandenburg

closeup-zoysia-fine-texture

As a follow up to previous posts about the warm December and warm March, I wanted to provide an update on where we stand in regard to degree days. While I have not checked in the last few days (all of which were above normal temps), through April 24 we had accumulated right at 600 growing degree days (base 50 F) since January 1. Normally on that date we would have accumulated about 300! So we are way "ahead."

What does that mean? Does it mean we are "twice" as far ahead as normal? When I look at my zoysia lawn it doesn't seem any further ahead on green up than in a normal year. So how can it be that much warmer and I don't see it in everything around me? Well, we do see it in something and other things that are also regulated by day length and other factors. I have made some observations about some living things that indicate the warm spring moved them ahead. Mole cricket spring activity started several weeks early, for example. 

But here is what it really means. It has been warmer than normal and some biological events could occur earlier and most likely will not be later than normal. So be prepared with that knowledge and be aware that you may need to be watchful for some issues to occur early. That's my story.