- Dormancy is one of the mechanisms nature has developed to help plants survive stressful conditions.
- Summer dormancy occurs in a lawn when grasses as exposed to an extended period of heat and lack of moisture during mid summer. This severe stress may cause a lawn to temporarily stop growing.
- Though not recommended, allowing a lawn to go severely dormant during extended drought periods may cause portions of the lawn to die and not recover.
- When a lawn becomes dormant, leaves and stems of grass plants usually turn brown, as crowns and buds stop growing.
- Lawn appears to be dead or dying.
- When the weather changes and cooler temperatures and adequate moisture returns, grasses normally will begin to grow again and with proper care the lawn will return to a healthy state unless you have an elongated period of heat and drought where some plants may have died.
The following practices will help to ensure summer dormancy does not occur:
- Avoid drought stress during hot, dry periods by watering in the morning.
- Thorough, infrequent watering promotes the growth of a deep, healthy root system that is better able to survive drought and heat stress.
- Raise mowing height to 2.5-3" (6.5 - 7.5cm)
- Promoting a healthy lawn throughout the year will enable a lawn to better overcome stressful periods which can induce summer dormancy.