How Turf Blankets Protect Against Cold Weather
As the the weather gets colder and we pull that extra blanket from the linen closet, it is important to remember that our turfgrass needs a blanket as well. Regardless of the species, turfgrass is highly susceptible to winter damage—and while there are certain types of turfs that can withstand cold temperatures better than others, they’re not immune to the various symptoms of the dreaded winterkill.
A winter turf blanket is essentially, just what it sounds like—a covering that protects golf courses, stadium fields and other turfgrass from harsh winter conditions. We recommend using an impermeable overwintering turf blanket for temporary winter turf protection—here is why:
Minimize Heat Loss
As the winter sun sets, the temperature drops right along with it and the cold can have an impact on your grass turf both on and below the surface. Ice crystals begin to form as soon as the temperature falls below freezing, causing damage—and, in some cases, death—to healthy plant cells. A high-quality turf protector can provide insulation for the grass and minimize heat loss, as the temperature of the soil tends to remain more stable than that of the surrounding air temperature.
Prevent Crown Hydration Injury
Crown hydration damage occurs when plants experience extreme temperature changes—most commonly, when it rains or snows, and the temperature drops suddenly. The water freezes around the crown of the plant, inflicting stress on the plant cells. According to a study by the University of New Hampshire, POA grass species are the most susceptible to crown hydration. An impermeable turf blanket like DS6WW can help prevent injury due to winter crown hydration when properly installed with drainage and ventilation.
When turfgrass is dormant or semi-dormant, a phenomenon called desiccation or winter drought can cause the grass to appear brown and thin due to tissue damage. While this may not be aesthetically pleasing, it’s not necessarily dire—it could just be a temporary condition that resolves itself once growing conditions improve. Using a turfgrass cover for winter can help get your turf looking like its normal, thriving self sooner, as it preserves moisture and helps speed up spring recovery. The addition of anti-transpirants, horticulture oils and wetting agents can aid in desiccation prevention when you cover the grass during the winter months.
Easier Winter Maintenance
The normal collection of snow and ice throughout the winter is not necessarily going to be lethal to your turf, but it definitely increases your risk of winterkill. The slick surface of an impermeable winter protective cover allows snow and ice to slide off for easier removal.
While these covers can help protect the turf, it is important to note that if you have had issues with snow mold in the past, you will need the added protection of an effective snow mold control strategy to ensure your lawn is not being ravaged by fungus come spring. Avoiding late-season fertilization and preventatively applying a fungicide are a few ways you can minimize your risk of damaging snow mold.
Try Americover for Winter Turf Protection
Dura Skrim 6WW provides the heavy-duty winterkill protection you need in a turf cover that is both lightweight and built to last all winter long. Available in winter white and with 6 mil thickness, this string-reinforced plastic sheeting mitigates temperature fluctuations to maintain plant dormancy, making it an essential component of any turf protection system. Because Dura Skrim 6WW is highly puncture and tear resistant, lightweight and easy to install, it is an ideal solution to protect your turf from extreme temperature changes, rain and snow. Investing in a high-quality overwintering turf blanket now—before winter takes its toll—can save you thousands of dollars down the line.
Dura Skrim is manufactured in panel sizes up to 100,000 square feet. All panels are accordion folded and tightly rolled on a heavy-duty core for ease of handling and time-saving installation.
Shop Dura Skrim now, or request a quote for a custom size using the form below.