Are My Greens Still Alive Update

April 14, 2014

The first section of this blog will highlight a quick update from Tim at Short Hills Country Club in East Moline, IL. I posted a few pictures of Tim’s greens and damage in a previous blog. The earlier pictures were from March 24th and the second set was taken a week later on April 1st. Tim covered his greens and was getting an 8-degree temperature increase on sunny days. The soil temperatures in the Moline/Davenport area have already risen to 58 degrees in the top 4 inches. This rest of Iowa is currently in the mid to high 40’s. Tim saw increased green tissue appearing over the last week. In the upcoming weeks, he is going to hit them with a shot of soluble nitrogen and a Florentine package. They are hopeful of a full recovery by mid-late May.  Below you will see a before and after picture of the same green.

Below you will find a chart looking at the low temperature hardiness of several turfgrass species produced by Beard (1973).

Low-temperature hardiness

Turfgrass species


Rough bluegrass


Creeping bentgrass


Kentucky bluegrass


Colonial bentgrass


Annual bluegrass


Tall fescue


Red fescue


Perennial ryegrass

As we progress down the list, we are seeing additional damage. In the last few days there has been extensive damage reported to perennial ryegrass stands in central Iowa. Prairie Ridge Sports Complex in Ankeny, IA and across Saylorville Lake in Granger, IA at Jester Park Golf Course is seeing widespread damage of perennial ryegrass fairways and soccer fields. Last week, I visited Elliott Josephson at Prairie Ridge and both of his perennial rye soccer fields have extensive damage. Digging down into the P-rye, there was some slimy green tissue at the soil level, but he has not seen much recovery over the last week. Elliot decided to take a proactive approach about two weeks ago and has already initiated reseeding the field. Supplementary seeding will take place this week. These two particular soccer fields receive high amounts of play and traffic throughout the year from mid-April to mid-late November. I believe the excessive traffic and wear has contributed to the winter damage.  

 Perennial Ryegrass Soccer Field at Prairie Ridge

High traffic and wear area on field above

In addition, last week Nick and I traveled to Jester Park (pictured below) to meet with Superintendent Bob Begey who is seeing extensive perennial rye fairway damage. More information and updates will be available this week. If you are seeing damage, please let us know.