Turf professionals are now constantly on hands and knees, checking the state of green-up of the turf plants. We will have a better idea on the extent of winterkill as golf courses, athletic fields, and home lawns start to green-up with warming temperatures over the next few days. Green color at the base of old leaves may or may not be this year’s growth, but could be residual from last year and thus not a good indication of plant survival. However, green leaf material of ¼” or more on fairway height turf or ½” or more on lawn height is a pretty good indication that the leaf is alive and growing.
A natural response may be to mow as soon as possible to remove that brown leaf material to speed the overall appearance of green-up. This dead leaf material is natural protection and insulation from potential Arctic Clipper cold fronts that still may blow through. This could be especially damaging on turf areas already somewhat weakened by winter. Therefore, our advice is still to hold off on mowing for another week or so (until the last weekend in March) in the eastern part of NE to lessen the chances of damage from cold snaps. Also, avoid applying preemergence herbicides until areas are fully greened up just in case reseeding may be needed.
Courtesy of turf.unl.edu