Ice On Greens

How to prevent ice damage on your greens

By Scottie Hines, CGCS

It’s March here in the Midwest, and we’ve been dumped with a record amount of snow in the month of February. The grey of winter has got me down, and I’m ready to see the sun, leafy trees, and Kelly green grass beneath the mountain of snow. More specifically, the rolling, manicured golf course that so perfectly sets the mood to the first round of the new year!

But first, the grass must be healthy and green and there’s not much that can be done in the dead of winter, right?

Unfortunately, along with the polar vortex of -45°F temps this winter, came A LOT of ice, and you can’t just let that ice sit on your greens or it will likely damage them to some degree.

One way to prevent the innocent dying of greens is to allow the gasses that build up between the ice and the grass to escape, while at the same time still allowing the snow to act as a sort-of thermal blanket, keeping the grass warm and providing an ever-so thin layer of available water. It’s a balance that requires a dance of sorts between you, the grass, the snow, and the ice. One way to accomplish this is to spread Green Pro MinneGrow 5-5-0 on the ice. Wait, spread fertilizer on your greens in the winter? Yes. Green Pro MinneGrow Organic Fertilizer is high in organic nitrogen. As it collects solar energy and warms, it melts holes in the ice allowing gasses to escape, helping to give your turf a healthier start to the season. Bonus! It’s locally produced in Minnesota, so you can be sure they understand the eh-hem… challenges of our winter season.

So grab your hot cocoa (I won’t say anything if you add your favorite adult accompaniment) and get spreading. While you’re doing that, I’ll be booking my weekend to any place that has cactus as its state tree!