This time of year, you may notice that your grass has started to turn from a dark green to a light brown. In some circumstances, this might be cause for concern. Brown, lifeless grass can be a sign of pest activity, a chemical imbalance in the soil or diseased grass. Now, however, as we approach the months of winter, it’s more likely just a sign that your grass is going dormant.
Why Grass Goes Dormant
Modern species of turfgrasses have evolved to be hearty and adaptable in a variety of climates and weather conditions. Over the course of their evolution, they’ve developed the ability to go into dormancy as a defense mechanism in unfavorable conditions. Dormancy in grasses acts in much the same way that hibernation works in animals. Dormant grasses are able to keep their essential root systems alive while expending minimal energy in the process. Grasses typically go dormant during droughts, and just before harsh winter weather sets in. This allows them to “hunker down” until weather conditions improve and they’re able to thrive and grow again.
How to Tell the Difference
If your grass is turning brown more or less uniformly, chances are it’s going dormant. If, on the other hand, you see patches of brown, gray or white grass, you may be contending with pests or fungus. Pay close attention to the weather conditions in your area as well. If the weather has recently dropped or you’re experience a drought, your lawn is probably simply going dormant. This is a good thing! Dormancy means that your grass will be able to survive the nasty weather and come back stronger next season. Bear in mind that applying fertilizer will not cause your lawn to come out of dormancy. Rather, fertilizer should be applied preemptively in the fall before grasses go dormant.
Here at Suburban Lawn Sprinkler Co, we’ll be here to replenish your lawn with water once it returns from dormancy in the spring. In the meantime, feel free to give us a call with questions about your irrigation system or any of the other products and services we offer as well.