Get ready for some new grass types...

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Richard Martin, Dec 30, 2006.

  1. Richard Martin

    Richard Martin LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,699

    As you all know Global Warming has been in the news a lot lately. Whether the recent warming trend is a result of global warming or not is the subject for another debate.

    If you have noticed in the last couple of years that Burmuda or other southern grasses seem to be invading your once pristine northern fescues and bluegrasses there is a very good reason for it. It's because things are warming up a bit.

    The National Arbor Day foundation recently released their updated Plant Hardiness maps and there have been some major changes since 1990. You may want to take a look at it and perhaps adjust your lawn strategies accordingly.

    Comments anyone?
  2. indy2tall

    indy2tall LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 417

    What a total load of CRAP. Please put this garbage where it belongs and that would be on the political board. That map says Indiana changed 2 zones. We changed 2 zones because the overall temp has averaged up one tenth of a degree, yeah right. Now the British have a study out that shows cow farts contribute more to greenhouse gasses that all the cars in the world. I suppose we will have to stop eating beef to please the environuts.
  3. WJW Lawn

    WJW Lawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,330

    Polar Bears may become endangered too, and that could be very bad for coca cola.
  4. Richard Martin

    Richard Martin LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,699

    I ask that you not politicize this thread. Please take that argument somewhere else. This thread is intended for discussion by those who may have seen changes already and what, if any, changes they intend to make to their business in response. In other words, be an adult.

    If you don't like the findings of the National Arborday Foundation take it up with them.
  5. MOW ED

    MOW ED LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,028

    I have to say in my area I have noticed much warmer winters. We are still in the mid to upper 30's and while we have had some snow it is absent now and the ground has no frost whatsoever. My wife is from upper Michigan and they usually have many feet by now but their totals are extremely low in places that should be covered.
    No politicising here, you could love or hate arbor day I have no feelings one way or another but I do know they are looking at data and trying to make a point. I don't know if it is global warming or not but my experience is that something is changing as I have lived in the upped midwest all of my life and can testify that over 44 years the winters are getting warmer. Thanks for the thread Richard, and I do think this is in the right place for discussion.
  6. indy2tall

    indy2tall LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 417

    Your the one who asked for comments Mr Martin but it sounds like you only want to entertain ones that agree with your viewpoint. That is a little close minded and not very adult, don't you think? With all due respect, your thread is political at it's very core.

    Each of your original paragraphs had something pertaining directly or indirectly to global warming and you suggested we think about it and then comment how we will be adjusting our lawn strategies without mentioning what you will be doing differently. Well here is my comment and I look forward to hearing how you will be changing your lawn strategy.

    I have not witnessed any evidence in the central Indiana area that warm season grasses are taking over so I will be adjusting my lawn strategy exactly 0%. I have also lived in the midwest all of my almost 50 years on this planet and the winters seem just about the same on average. Some are warmer and some are colder and since my full time job for the last 20 years has forced me to work outside everyday of each and every winter I feel at least slightly qualified to make that observation.
  7. Richard Martin

    Richard Martin LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,699

    No problem Ed.

    I'm going to respond to this on a science level...

    Yes, it is global warming but the cause is the debatable part that I don't want discussed here. Many (read as 99%) people do not understand that warming and cooling is cyclical. Believe it or not the current plant hardiness map is almost identical to the 1960 version. We've been here before!

    Additionally the plant hardiness map is not about average temperatures across a year or even a season. It's what can be expected for a maximum low temperature for any given year. For example my area is zone 8. The lowest average temperature I can expect would be 10 to 20 degrees. That means that I can plant plants that can withstand temperatures down to 10 degrees and expect them to survive a winter.

    This relates to grass because in the transistion zone (7) you can get a lot of invasive species of grass like Burmuda. As zone 7 moves north obviously Burmuda problems will move north with it. You may also see grasses like St. Augustine and Centipede moving north too.

    Some of these grasses, Centipede in particular, require special techinques which are completely opposite of the requirements of fescues and bluegrasses. How many people know that Centipede needs a pH of 4.5 to 5.5?

    Like I said, this is educational, not political.
  8. Richard Martin

    Richard Martin LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,699

    See, now that's all you had to say.
  9. tacoma200

    tacoma200 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,426

    I'm looking at the old map. Indiana is still in in zones 5-6 just like the last time. There has been no double jump in zones. Most of Indiana was zone 5 but now most of it is zone 6. So much of the state jumped 1 zone but the state is still a 5-6 zone state as before. I have verified this. I have difinately noticed that we never (or rarely) go below zero in Kentucky anymore. So I agree with the new map. We used to go below more often and now its rare and that's exactly what the new map shows. I doubt we will see much more Southern grass even though it is native to the area. They like to see the grass stay green all winter here so the Northern grasses will be the primary grasses for a long time to come. The Winters are definitely warmer in Kentucky but I don't keep up with the mid west. Cotton is making a comeback in western Kentucky so that says a lot. And I haven't seen a pond freeze over this year, not even a small one.
  10. Richard Martin

    Richard Martin LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,699

    I responded to this at a later time because I needed to do a search for some posts I made last year that pertain to this....

    Of course it's global warming. There is no denying that. I just don't want to get into the causes in this thread. Whether your own little spec of the world (not being demeaning, just accurate) is seeing it doesn't matter. Numbers are numbers.

    Back in May I moved to coastal NC. To be specific, the coastal plain. Prior to May I lived in MD on the Chesapeake Bay. I cut grass there for 12 years commercially. I did see an increase in Burmuda grass and occasionally some other "Southern" grasses over the course of those 12 years. As proved by this thread from last year I was actively seeking advice on the care and management of those types of grasses when I lived in MD.

    Here where I live now the area has moved from a southern zone 7 to a solid zone 8 but since the predominate grasses here were already "southern" grasses it really made no difference.

    It has been a little bit of a learning curve for me since the main grass here is Centipede and it requires a completely different regiment from any other grass.

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