October 24, 2013

One of the big changes going on in the Upper Midwest turf industry is the increase in Bermudagrass (Cynodon dactylon).  This warm-season grass was not a problem in past years because it would winter kill each year.  In fact, I tried several times unsuccessfully to grow it here, with the exception of the steam lines on campus. Even in the most protected areas around campus, it would not survive the winter..  Now, we are seeing it in lawns and sports fields and it has been surviving because of the milder winters of the last couple of years..

I have not had any reports from golf courses.  If any of you working in golf are seeing it, send me some pictures.

The following pictures are from Eric VanGinkel of the Iowa Cubs.  Eric is also working on the Dowling High School baseball field.  The baseball field has the most Bermudagrass in it of any field that I know of in central Iowa.  The Bermuda is just going dormant and will be completely dormant in a couple of weeks.  I'll try to get some followup pictures at that time.

These pictures are from Oct. 23, 2013.  In the first one, you can just pick out the Bermudagrass as is begins to go off color.

Notice the long stolons spreading out over the track.


It will be interesting to see what happens if we get a normal, cold winter this year.


Nick Christians Professor

Nick Christians, Ph.D. – University professor of turfgrass management, Iowa State University, Department of Horticulture, Ames, IA, and adjunct faculty, Department of Agronomy, Iowa State University, Ames, IA. Dr. Christians received his B.S. from the Colorado State University ...