Brown grass can be a difficult sight to spot on your property. You may be confused as for what is causing it: are you looking at dormant grass or dead grass?
It’s important to know this as grass that is lifeless will no longer come back, whereas dormancy is a safety mechanism for your grass when responding to changing temperatures throughout the year.
How can you tell dead grass and dormant grass apart?
There is a little test you can perform.
Spot a section of brown grass, seize some in your hand and pull it up. If the grass comes out without problems nor resistance to the pull, you are looking at dead grass.
When that happens, your dead grass isn’t coming back, so you’ll want to look at your options: re-seeding or sodding — or, if you prefer, replacing it with a different type of landscaping material such as mulch, decorative rocks or groundcover.
To seed your lawn, you will need to mow it short first, collect all the clippings. The grass needs to be shorter than you normally would mow it, so that the seeding is successful. You ought to also provide the soil with the right environment for the seeds to grow and thrive in full health.
Laying sod can be a strenuous task. You must make sure to get rid of the current layer dead grass first, then prepare the soil, and finally lay the new sod. Remember to water and apply nutrients to the lawn after the new sod installation to pave the way for a healthy new lawn.
Lawn patterns will help you assess whether it’s lawn dormancy or dead grass.
Do you only have brown patches or has your entire turf gone brown? In the latter case, your grass is likely dormant. Provided that you are in the dormant time of the year, and that your type of grass has a dormancy schedule. Cool-season grasses will become dormant during summer, whilst warm-season grasses will become dormant throughout the winter. If that is the case, your grass is still alive and will find its vitality and greenness once more with the right climate/temperature. Are you wondering if your grass has a dormancy period? Check out our grass guide and our infographic to visually recognize your grass.
What is Grass Dormancy?
Cooler temperatures can bring grass into dormancy. Northern grasses can tolerate harsher climate higher and commonly go dormant in the fall as soon as soil temperatures drop to 50 ⁰F. Southern grasses instead, like we can see in our Port Orange lawns, can tolerate extraordinarily heat temperatures and have a very low tolerance for cold winters. Southern grasses will normally go dormant towards mid to late October and will “wake up” some time in March.
Drought-induced turf dormancy
Lack of water can also be reason for any type of grass to go into a dormant state. The right amount of water will definitely help the brown (dormant) grass to become green again. Remember that dormancy is a defense mechanism. If your grass became dormant as a result of lack of water, the dormancy can eventually turn into death for the grass., if this aspect is neglected. The same won’t happen for temperature-induced dormancy.
At Our Lawns – Lawn Service & Pressure Washing, we can help you identify common problems in your lawn and treat them before any permanent damage happens to your grass. We’ll help you achieve a green, healthy and proper lawn at any time of the year. Give us a call at 386-308-9258 today! Directions