Winter Kill

During the cooler months of WInter, prior to “Spring Green-Up”, there are areas that may be killed by the weather. Where roof drainage occurs from roof gutters and roof valleys, water is concentrated, which can cause the grass to die due to root rot. Underground springs also drown the grass on the sides of slopes. When the soil water tables rise, the water will be relieved in a circular area. Usually this is noticed as extremely wet areas, semicircular in shape, adjacent to street curbs. Sometimes this water, rich in iron, will stain the concrete curb a dark reddish-brown. Low areas where the water stands during the late winter rains will also kill the grass by becoming stagnant, which will rot the roots. Shaded areas, such as the North side of your fence, home, or shrub rows, will occasionally die due to the increased effect of winter caused by the sun falling in the Southern Hemisphere during the Winter.

Most all of these areas will re-grow as the sun rises and the days lengthen during the Summer. Even though there is little you can do to change this situation, funcicides may help in reducing further Winter Kill caused by root rot and associated secondary disease problems.

Centipede and St. Augustine lawns have more problems with Winter Kill than do other types of lawn grasses such as Bermuda and Zoysia.