Distressed Warm-Season Grasses

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This spring has not been overly kind to our warm-season grasses—centipedegrass, St. Augustinegrass, bermudagrass, zoysiagrass. The last couple of weeks, we have been seeing a good bit of desiccation injury in turfgrasses. The symptoms are sometimes thought to be from disease or insect damage, but that has generally not been the case.

The problem was brought about when grasses were beginning to green up in April which coincided with some areas of NC experiencing harsh, dry winds. With low soil moisture, it really hurt the turfgrasses. Once damaged, cooler nights have not allowed for a speedy recovery. The damage was more severe in landscapes that had already been fertilized. So, turfgrass areas that may have looked good and lush just a few weeks ago may now look poorly. To recover from the damage, the turfgrass will benefit from increasing soil water, and if it has not been fertilized,  initiate a fertility program. Hopefully, Mother Nature will provide us with some warmer nights and sunshine.

desication on turfgrass

Spring desication