For some people, the winter months are marked by a special kind of beauty where everything is layered in beautiful neutral colors and the world is getting ready for rebirth. For others, winter brings about a feeling of bleakness due to the dull colors of mother nature and they are just counting the days until spring comes to brighten everything up.
Regardless of what you think about the winter colors, one thing is certain- the brownish tan color of the grass. This color is brought on by lawn dormancy, which is a normal process that grass undertakes to protect itself when moisture is not readily available.
Are you wondering what lawn dormancy means for your yard? Your trusted landscaping experts at Landscape By Design have compiled everything you need to know about lawn dormancy and how it can affect your lawn.
Understanding Lawn Dormancy
Lawn dormancy isn’t necessarily a bad thing for your lawn. It is a behavior that your lawn uses to protect itself when conditions are not favorable for growth. Lawn dormancy is caused by two different factors, drought conditions or cold temperatures. Here is a closer look:
Lawn Dormancy Caused By Drought
All grasses can go dormant. The length of time they are healthily able to remain dormant depends on their genetics and health. Established lawns can typically stay dormant for about 3-4 weeks without any serious repercussions. However, if the drought lasts longer than 4 weeks, it can result in the dormant grass dying. Rehydrating the lawn in this case is the best way to ensure that your lawn remains healthy throughout a long drought.
How do you rehydrate a lawn?
Rehydrating your lawn can be done by infrequently watering early in the morning. This ensures that your lawn gets enough moisture to keep it going while keeping its dormancy intact.
It is important to also keep an eye out for your area’s daytime temperatures. Droughts that occur with temperatures reaching the 90s or higher may reduce your lawn’s survival time. It is important to irrigate lightly under these conditions. Add about a ½ inches of water, every three to four weeks to keep your lawn going strong. While your lawn will not look green, doing this will ensure that the grass doesn’t die and that the roots continue to develop underground.
Dormancy Due to Cold Temperatures
Cooler temperatures below 50 degrees make the soil temperatures fall as well and can result in the grass going dormant to protect itself. During this time, it is important to avoid heavy foot traffic on your lawn to protect the grass from damage, as the soil is more likely to contract during the winter months.
Don’t forget to fertilize before the first freeze. Fertilizing helps replace the nutrients that are taken from the soil during the summer months, and ensures that the roots have enough nutrients to keep the grass healthy even during dormancy.
Need Help With Winter Lawn Care?
Landscape By Design knows exactly what your lawn needs to be healthy and happy throughout the winter months. Tending to your lawn during the winter, prepares your lawn for the coming spring and ensures that your landscape looks its best when the warmer temperatures come back again. Contact our team today for more information on our landscaping services or to schedule an appointment.