Friday, February 20, 2009

Turf - Avoid Foot Traffic on Frost or Ice Covered Turf

The following is information on the effects of foot traffic on frost or ice covered turf.

Trafficking frost or ice-covered turf usually results in extensive physical “breaking” of the leaves. The xylem and phloem tissues that are involved in moving water, nutrients, and carbohydrates around in the plant are usually severed when traffic is applied to ice-covered foliage. The damaged turf leaves don’t fall away completely from the stem, but instead slowly turn brown and die. You will likely see visible damage from the traffic (in the form of footprints, paw prints from pets or wild animals, etc.) within a few days and the evidence of the trafficked turf will remain for several weeks until new leaves form later in the spring. For cool-season grasses that can mean living with the damage well into April or May. The good news is that the damage is primarily cosmetic and does not impact the overall survival of a lawn.

Information extracted from "My Turf’s On Ice" by Mike Goatley, Extension Turf Specialist & Associate Professor, Crop & Soil Environmental Sciences, Virginia Tech.

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