The weather is starting to heat up and the rain is becoming less frequent. You might begin to notice that your lush, thick, green lawn is taking on a new appearance. Brown areas in your lawn might be starting to form. There are a few reasons that brown areas in your lawn can appear. The cool temperate days of Spring move on as the heat of Summer begins to shine through. Summer days grow longer and warmer allowing the sun & heat to dry out your lawn. The wet rainy Spring also moves on which adds to the yellowing/browning of turf-grass. Rain fall, rather the lack of it, is one of the most common reasons lawns turn brown in the warmer months.
It only takes one week without 1″ of rain fall for your grass to start turning brown. Your lawn then turns dormant in order to survive (also known as drought stress). Once lawns dry out, it takes a great amount of rain water to get it growing again. Your lawn has to get growing again to grow out the brown dormant grass. It will take 1-1/2″ to start the recovery process. Your lawn will not fully recover until it receives enough water.
With that said, it may not be possible to adequately water your lawn with a sprinkler during the “dog days of Summer”. Lawns with irrigation systems are susceptible to drought stress as well because irrigation sprinklers do not always provide enough watering overlap. The key is to get enough water. Your lawn must get 1-1/2″ of water per week to stay green and keep growing.
There are some reasons that some lawns show drought stress sooner than others.
- Mowing Height – 3-1/2″ or higher. Use the highest setting on your mower.
- Soil Conditions – pH, Clay content, & Phosphorous. Get a soil sample
- Buried Construction Scraps – Drywall, Wood, Concrete, & Gravel
- High Content Of Gravel In Soil – From nature or construction
- Thatch Level – Maintain at 1/4″ or less
- Type Of Grass – Older grass types may be less drought tolerant
- Dull Mower Blades – Sharpen once a year