Looking at the weather right now, it looks like we will get our first big freeze either Thursday night or Friday night. If you haven’t already started the never ending leaf raking, you’re about to start. Bermuda will be done growing for the season and it might look like a big maze in your yard for a little while. You might have to mow your fescue once or twice more, especially to mulch some of the leaves covering up the grass. Once you rake and bag all of your leaves up, you can either put them on the curb or take them to places like Gem Dirt here in Tulsa where they compost those leaves into their soil mixes.
We aren’t hurting for rain and are above average for rainfall the last couple months. Moving into winter, we will be keeping our eye on the weather. Winterkill is one of the most common problems that can pop up from a number of factors such as too little rain, too much rain, low mowing height or insufficient or too much nutrients. Winterkill can also be caused by acute or extended low temperatures.
Even during mild winters, which they are forecasting this one to be for what it’s worth, several node and internode segments of the aerial shoot system of bermudagrass are killed by freezing temperatures. Sunlight then bleaches the dead tissue to give us the straw colored appearance. While the temperature remains too low for sustained growth, people refer to the Bermuda grass as being dormant. In more severe winters, even the shallow rhizomes(below ground horizontal stems) may have also been killed.
We recommend keeping the turf mowed high with the final mowing of the season and to keep the soil from drying out. Usually watering once a week if there is no rain should be sufficient. This should give your yard some protection and help prevent winter damage to your lawn.