Spring may be here, but for anyone growing bermudagrass, winter is still lingering around and its effects have yet to be determined. Winterkill seems to be what’s on every Bermuda grower’s mind right now. How bad? How much? When will it start to green up? Unfortunately there is no way to determine how much, if any, winterkill has occurred. We just won’t know until we know. However, there is some light at the end of this polar vortex.

Below is a picture of Bermuda in central Kentucky starting to show some life. This particular spot is next to a sidewalk, which suggests soil temps would be higher than we would find in a sports field or a golf course fairway right now.

Most soil temps in the area are still hovering in the 55-60 degree range. At what temperature does Bermuda start to green up? I have seen under cover Bermuda on a soccer field with good spring green up wtih soil temps at about 63 degrees. If your soil temps are not at least 62 degrees, don’t worry; once you get in that range that green hue you have been waiting for is not far off. Then once the temperatures hit 75 degrees, Bermuda will start growing more consistently.

Even with soil temperature ramping up and Bermuda starting to show some life, the unseen effects from winter kill are still out there. This subject has been debated over and over. I have had conversations with many turf managers young and old throughout my territory and all agree that 10-15% at most across total population will be affected by winterkill. Even with all the debate we are still in the waiting stage, but give your Bermuda a few more weeks and it will shake this winter off and be off and running.