The Charlotte area has just experienced some extreme weather conditions. Extended below freezing temps, wind chills in the single digits followed up with 4-5″ of snow on the 17th will have an impact on Fescue and Bermuda turf. The thawing/freezing cycles during snow melt can harm the root system/crown of the individual grass plants. Most damage will occur in low areas of the lawn and on the shade side.

The wind and frost extract moisture from the plants which is not a problem on Bermuda (dormant) but will cause the actively growing Fescue plants to shut down, turn brown and begin wilting.

I would expect to see moderate spring dead spot and winterkill on some varieties of Bermuda and Zoysia. We will not know the extent until May green-up. The green-up could be delayed as a result of the weather over the last 3-4 weeks. Keep an eye on May night time lows. We need to see lows in the 50’s for a week or two to start the transition.

Over the next 8-10 weeks it will be important to get additional Phosphorous and Potassium to the root systems. The first mowing of the spring for Fescue (usually Feb-Mar) will need to be shorter than normal to remove the winter injury and jump start the root system. Aeration for Bermuda lawns is highly recommended in June-Jul this season.

The last few winters have been relatively mild. As a result, we have seen exploding populations of Aphids (crape myrtles), White Fly (gardenia/privet) and Scale Insects (on just about everything). This was especially true for 2017. The hard, prolonged freeze will reduce the population of over-wintering insects reducing pressure in the spring.

The forecast is for warmer than normal temps and average rain over the next 10 days which will hopefully mitigate the effects of the recent severe weather extremes.