Covering the Bermuda greens can be a hassle for both golfers and workers. It can take up to 8 hours and much effort to put covers on to be sure they will stay in place during windy conditions. It also takes a full day to uncover them correctly and properly store them in their protective bag. It is frustrating to see them covered when conditions are nice to play, but, the protection they provide is well worth the effort and wait. Covers protect the crown from severe frost and help keep soil temperatures up on the sand base which is very beneficial.
As spring approaches, we will see some rapid and dramatic changes in weather. As we all know, the weather in Arkansas can be very different from one day to the next. During the spring, as the greens at Scotsdale begin to break dormancy, covering becomes very important and necessary. Even in the spring we can catch some hard freezes that will bring a heavy frost. A severe frost can slow down the green-up process of the Bermuda greens and lead to the plant being more vulnerable to drying out from sun and wind. It becomes very important to keep the greening-up leaf blades covered and free from hard frost to protect the crowns and live plant cells in the leaf blades. Covers will also keep from overly shocking the green turf further delaying the greening-up process.
As we move into the spring, our covering guidelines will have to be adjusted to protect the health of the greens. When temperatures are forecasted for below 30 degrees with a prolonged cold stretch, (into the next day or more) greens will need to be covered for protection. We will be monitoring the weather closely and providing updates as soon as possible.