Monday, January 21, 2013

Protecting the Greens with Covers

One of the biggest concerns with growing ultradwarf bermudagrass greens in the transition zone is winter damage.  This damage occurs when the air temperature drops into the lower 20s or below.  One way to protect against winter damage is through the use of greens covers.  Our "rule of thumb" to protect our greens is to cover them when the temperatures are forecasted to be below 25 and not above 35 degrees F for 48 hours.

We use Covermaster covers from Evergreen which are light weight woven plastic which will increase the temperature under the covers by 10-12 degrees keeping the greens protected from damage.  With the forecasted temperatures for tomorrow being a low of 20 and a high of 38 we will take no chances in protecting our greens.

 The covers are pulled from one end of the green to the other.  After several years of deploying the covers during the winter months we have the process down pretty good.

 The covers are straightened and pulled tight.

 We have used several methods of securing the covers to the ground over the past years from sod staples to bags of fertilizer the time we waited too late and the ground was already frozen but have found the best method for security and speed of deployment is using 1"x6" boards cut about 12 inches long with a 1/2" hole drilled in the middle.  We use a 10 inch 1/2" spike to secure the cover down.

Ten minutes and we are done covering this green and off to the next.  Deploying all 19 covers will take our crew about three and a half hours. 

The greens will stay covered until Wednesday when the temperatures are supposed to be much warmer.