Dead or Dormant?


Ahh, the joys of brown grass…Do you know what to look for to discover the culprits?

Grass turns brown when roots can no longer grab nutrients or water from soil, or when soil doesn’t contain enough food or water. Insect feeding, drought stress, soil compaction, or other factors can combine with heat to damage grass. In this weakened state, a lawn can also be more susceptible to attack by weeds and insects.

Is it drought stress?

  • Locate a brown patch, and pull on the grass. If it is firmly rooted and won’t pull easily from soil, it’s likely brown due to drought.

  • Look at the entire lawn. When drought is the cause, brown patches will be random and in rough patterns while grass near a sprinkler head may be green. Shaded grassy areas remain greener when parts in full sun turn brown due not enough water. Low spots in the lawn will remain green while higher areas turn brown.

Is it dormant?

Hot, dry, cool and warm-season grasses can go dormant as a protective measure. This can vary by region and can take up to three to four weeks to turn green again. Over watering doesn’t make dormant grass green faster, instead it must run it’s course. If it still doesn’t come back to it’s original state, some reseeding can be necessary.

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