Summer Turf Dormancy

Posted: by & filed under DIY/How-To

Did your entire lawn seemingly die?! Do you see large patches of what appears to be dead grass in your community or place of business? Don’t fret! A little bit of science will ease your worries.

In our region most turf, especially in part shade to full sun areas, is of the tall fescue variety. Tall fescue grass goes dormant – or turns brown and dry – over the summer due to the high soil and air temperatures. No need to panic though because the grass has not actually died. The roots are storing water and energy and the grass will make a comeback in the early fall once temperatures cool down.

A couple of things we do at GreenSweep to help keep turf healthy during summer months:

  • Maintain a set mowing schedule – consistency is important! – but with raised mower blade settings to avoid cutting too short since the growth has naturally slowed down
  • Use a slow-release fertilizer which has a lower nitrogen content than usual as too much nitrogen can burn turf in high temperatures

And a couple of things you can do to keep an eye on the health of your lawn:

  • Make sure the turf is well hydrated especially during extended periods of high temperatures or no rainfall
  • Keep an eye out for different types of creatures including Japanese beetles, grubs, and even gophers and rabbits which can cause varying degrees of damage to the grass

As the temperatures in our region begin to drop in the early fall you will see our cool season grasses bounce back. If you want to give the turf an extra boost, consider aerating and over seeding. GreenSweep will aerate the lawn using a special machine which pulls little soil plugs up from the ground allowing water, air, and nutrients to better access the roots of the grass. Then our team will spread additional seed over the existing grass to help thicken the turf.

Contact us with any questions about turf dormancy, fertilizer, aerating, over seeding, or anything else turf! We are here to help make sure the grass is always greener on your side!