Winter turf prep: Overseed, colorant or hybrid

It’s about time to consider the fall turfgrass plan for winter management. Are you planning to overseed, apply colorant or considering a combination of the two?

Very few golf course superintendents choose to overseed anymore and if they do, they apply colorant as well– especially on the east coast of the United States.

Endurant turf colorant replaces overseed in PGA Tour Tour
Overseed 2016, left. Endurant turf colorant 2017, right. Photo credit: Golf Course Superintendent Alex Price

Sometimes west coast superintendents, and others, have different approaches to winter turfgrass management.

Turf colorant professionals are noting a difference in different areas of the country where, despite water shortages, there are still many people choosing to overseed. The practice of overseeding with rye grass brings a high demand of water. It also leads to seasonal transitional challenges when looking to bring back the bermudagrass. But when done well, it looks great in the winter.

Some superintendents aren’t ready to give up their overseed practices, but are willing to ease the challenges and supply some extra insurance to a stellar looking course by using colorants in addition to overseed. This is often what is seen on TV golf courses and playing fields.

The hybrid overseed-colorant approach can minimize water demands, increase consistent playability and color, while decreasing costs and seasonal transition problems. Moreover, it creates the absolute best look almost immediately and throughout winter or tournament play.

Many golf course suprintendents have chosen to do away with overseeding warm season grasses, such as bermuda grass, all together. They’ve long done away with adding winter rye grass and instead choose to apply colorants in the fall.

The key to success is to apply colorant before the weather will remain below freezing for several days in a row, if that’s the weather pattern in your area.

Some superintendents choose to wait until the grass is fully dormant and apply colorant that will last without many applications if any, until grass begins to grow again in the spring. Other golf course superintendents and athletic field managers want to keep the grass a consistent green. Often this is a matter of preferences among players and members. If this is the case attaining the desired color in early fall when temperatures have only dipped slightly may only require a light application of colorant. Then, as temperatures dip lower and chlorophyl levels drop further, another application of turf colorant may be chosen to help deepen the shade of green lost by lack of chlorophyl.

What will you choose?

Learn more about colorants at

Choose the professionals’ choice, Endurant turf colorants.

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