It can be tricky at first glance to know if lawn is dead or dormant as it can look extremely similar. If you’re new to owning a lawn or if you’ve suffered through a period of particularly hot weather, you might be wondering if your grass is dead or just dormant (asleep). While dead lawn is obviously a concern, dormant lawn isn’t – here’s a few ways to tell the difference.
Cool season grass varieties go dormant to protect themselves when there is not enough water around to sustain an active growth phase – typically during long, hot weather. Warm season grasses can go dormant during cold weather – they will die back naturally. In both situations, the grass crowns remain alive. Dormancy is a natural, built-in protection mechanism and typically your lawn will return to normal when it’s ready and the weather dictates that it’s time.
Dead lawn is harder to detect however by continuing with your watering regime you will be able to see any areas that remain brown and therefore may be dead. This can be more difficult during cold weather and you might just need to wait until the temperatures warm up to determine if the lawn has been dormant or is dead.
We suggest watering regularly and deeply for a couple of days – this should bring the lawn out of any dormancy. Minimise any foot (including the four-legged variety) traffic which can damage the root systems on dormant grass. Put off mowing as the longer grass blades will provide shade for the roots and keep the moisture from evaporating too quickly.
After watering and coming out of dormancy there may be some areas or patches which stay brown – they may need to be replaced. Rake up and remove any of the brown and dead grass, lay down a thin layer of good quality topsoil, level the area and put down new turf. Water the new turf immediately and regularly until it is fully established and knitted together with the existing lawn.
Checking your lawn before deciding it is dead could potentially save you time as well as money. Replacing your lawn is hard work, so ensure you give it proper attention and watering for a few days before writing it off! Re-sodding certain areas is definitely a lot easier and more cost effective than replacing your entire lawn!
For turf to replace any dead areas in your lawn contact the team at Daleys Turf today.