Your lawn was looking great just a few weeks ago, but now patches of your grass are turning brown. What's going on? Is it a fungus? Do you have insects? Did your lawn company burn your lawn? At this time of year there's a good chance you're looking at drought stress. Today Ete discusses how to determine if you have drought stress and what to do about it.
If your lawn looks similar to these images below then you likely have drought stress. Here are some ways to identify and prevent drought stress:
During the first stage of drought stress, your turf grass will take on a bluish-gray appearance. Take a walk on your lawn and look for footprints left behind, a key indicator of a dry lawn.
Hot To Fix: Make sure your regular deep root watering to help the turf grass regain its moisture and recover within a day or two.
The second stage of drought stress is considered the tipping point because it’s the last stage where regular watering can revive your lawn. It’s also the phase right before all lawn growth stops. During this stage , turf grass growth is slowed and your lawn may appear patchy. This is due to unequal moisture reserves in your soil—some parts have more reservoirs, some less. Blades of grass start to fold in an attempt to conserve moisture and areas with compacted or poor soil dry out first.
How To Fix: Regular deep root watering can revitalize the lawn over a period of three to five days.
The third stage is when your lawn shuts down all—or almost all—growth and begins to ration resources. Your lawn takes on a greenish-brown color. Any mowing during this period can damage the leaves, stems and crowns.
Your lawn will need aggressive irrigation or heavy rainfall over a period of several days.
How To Fix: When your lawn finally replenishes enough moisture to begin repairing itself, you can expect recovery to take 10 to 14 days if watering returns to normal.
This stage is pure survival mode for your turf grass. There is no effort made to retain greenness above ground—your lawn will be completely brown. Turf will start to thin, but the crown and root tissues will remain alive.
How To Fix: Recovery includes thorough, deep and repeated watering or heavy rainfall for a period of 14 to 21 days. Unfortunately, any sections of your lawn suffering from poor soil may never recover.