The tendency of most people during dry spells is to let their grass go dormant. Most years that is sound advice. However when things get as dry as they have been this spring – and are projected to continue to be over the coming weeks – Flowerland Recommends giving your lawn a drink every 3 – 4 weeks.
According to our friends at Michigan State University, most lawns in Michigan are Kentucky bluegrass and can tolerate about 6 – 8 weeks without water before dying. (Yes, grass can die.) They recommend giving your lawn 1/2 to 1 inch of water every 3 – 4 weeks during this dry period. Remember the goal of watering right now isn’t to turn the grass green. It is to prevent it from severely drying out or even dying. MSU also offers the following tips and reminders.
- Don’t worry about trying to control weeds right now in drought stressed turf. Most weed growth is also slowing because of the heat and it would be more difficult to control them now.
- Heat tracks have been everywhere from home lawns to golf courses. These are usually caused by mowers, carts, spreaders and the like. Try to mow during a coolest part of the day, like early morning or after dinner. Plus keep the mower height as high as possible. Remember, grass needs leaves (aka ‘blades’) for photosynthesis. Cut off too much and the grass will expend extra energy reserves trying to make new leaves.
- If you have an irrigation system, watch the heads to make sure everything is firing on all cylinders. If it isn’t, you will see green and brown circles in those areas not getting enough water.
- Soil differences across an area can result in visual differences in turfgrass. That means while we all would like to believe the soil throughout the backyard is literally all the same, it isn’t. The results during this dry spell can look very similar to those seen with poorly functioning irrigation systems.