Tip Sheets

Lawns lag after cool spring, frustrating golfers and athletes

Media Contact

Joe Schwartz

April’s cool weather has slowed down springtime’s emerging green turf grass on golf courses, athletic fields and back yards.

Frank S. Rossi

Associate Professor and Extension Turfgrass Specialist

Noted turf grass expert Frank Rossi, associate professor of horticulture at Cornell University, advises patience.

Rossi says: 

“The long winter’s journey into spring is leaving most in the green industry – golf, lawn and sports – frustrated! Golfers and athletes are used to being out, playing on their natural grass surfaces and homeowners are used to smelling the scent of fresh-cut grass. Green industry professionals are used to actively working on the natural grass surfaces but are also stymied by cold and wet conditions. Our growing degree day models indicate it is more like mid-March than mid-April.

“Be patient both at play and at work, as activity on the dormant grass will do more harm than good. Calibrate your perceptions to the ‘new normal’ of a fluctuating climate.

“The cooler pattern is expected to continue through the month of April so recovery from winter scars will require some sun and warmth to fill in. Thankfully most weeds are still asleep as well!”

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