February 11, 2011

I hope everyone is staying safe and warm in all these freezing temperatures we’ve had lately.  I guess you get used to below freezing temperatures if you live in a cold climate but down here in Southeast Texas we just aren’t used to temps below freezing.  Although I will say that when the temperature last Friday (Feb 4 2011) only got down to 29 degrees fahrenheit, I thought to myself how much nicer that was than the 21 degrees we had the night before!

Speaking of winter and cold temps, I wanted to talk about how grass can go dormant in the winter time.  Warm season grasses that are grown here in Southeast Texas go dormant when the temps get below 60 degrees F on a regular basis.  The grass doesn’t turn brown right away and can stay green late into the fall.  The grass will start to turn brown and lose its color when we start getting frost on the ground.

The reason I bring this up is because sometimes in the winter we have customers order grass and then are not happy when they receive brown grass and the grass in their yard isn’t brown or at least still has a good bit of green tint to it.  If you live in a subdivision or in town with buildings all around you or even if you have some trees in your yard there’s a good chance your lawn won’t turn very brown.  If your lawn is protected from frost by trees, or buildings or just the general heat of other homes in close proximity, then your grass won’t turn as brown as ours does out on the farm.

Below are some pictures to illustrate.  Our fields are basically wide open to the weather so the grass in the field doesn’t have any protection from the frost and it can turn a crispy looking brown!  This picture was taken Thursday, February 10, 2011.  We have had frost on the ground probably every morning for the last two weeks.

Eastgate field Feb 2011

In these next pictures you can see that the yard is basically brown but under the trees where the grass was protected somewhat from the frost, the grass still has some green color to it.  And this is only from protection from the trees.  Imagine if your yard had some trees and had houses all around to protect it even more.

Empire under trees at office
Empire under tree next to office

So please just remember that the grass coming from the farm in winter will probably not be as green as what is in your neighbor’s yard but it is still a great time to install sod.  With the grass being dormant it requires less water.  It will put down roots even though it’s dormant.  And when spring comes along the grass will be ready to take off.  When we plant a new field or replant an existing one we almost always do it during the late fall and winter months.  There is just so much less maintenance required for newly planted grass when the grass is dormant.

Thanks for stopping by and be safe out there!