Any person who’s maintained even a small patch of turfgrass is no stranger to dormancy, but few understand the benefits of this time period for your grass. Both cool and warm season grasses enter dormancy as a self-protective measure when growing conditions are not ideal. For instance, a warm season turfgrass goes dormant when temperatures drop below 60 degrees and maintain that lower temperature. Cool season grasses’ growth slows when temperatures are consistently below 56 degrees. Both of these types of grass can also go dormant when drought conditions exist.
While it may seem that a brown lawn is not a healthy lawn, that is not always the case! The roots of the grass are being protected so that when temperatures rise, the growth cycle can begin again. At that time, the grass can emerge and begin a new season of healthy growth.
Many of us can take a hint from our lawns and spend a bit of downtime during the colder months to recharge – after all, you don’t have to mow the lawn, so don’t forget to make the most of your own “dormant” season!