Dead vs Dormant: How to Assess the Status of Your Grass

Essential Tips for Pruning Your Landscaping
December 30, 2020
How to Find the Right Landscaping Products Supplier for Your Project
January 1, 2021
Show all

Dead vs Dormant: How to Assess the Status of Your Grass

As landscapers, we take a lot of pride in how our grass looks. That’s because grass usually covers a huge portion of our properties and is one of the first things that people notice when they take a look at our landscaping. Even if you have beautiful plants surrounding your property, clean hardscapes that add unique design elements, and a well-manicured landscape, if your grass doesn’t look great it will seriously impact your overall success. After you have been landscaping for a while, you start to pick up on hints that can tell you what might be wrong with your grass.

One of the biggest mistakes that landscapers make is thinking that their grass is dead when it is actually dormant. To avoid this error, it helps to learn a little bit about grass and its life cycle so that you can take the appropriate steps to correct any problems. That’s why we’ve put together the following article to help you assess the status of your grass and determine whether or not it is dormant or dead. Keep reading below to learn more and remember to reach out to Cal Blend Soils if you are interested in purchasing landscaping products that can take your property to new levels of success.

Why Does Grass Go Dormant?

Before we start discussing the ways to tell whether or not your grass is dormant or dead, let’s take a deeper look at why grass goes dormant. When grass goes dormant, it is essentially going to sleep until the growth season. Dormancy usually occurs in the winter and allows your grass to shut down in order to conserve water and nutrients so that it will make it through the harsh periods of the year. Dormant grass typically turns brown and is the plant’s natural reaction to conditions that are not conducive to growth. Grass can also go dormant in the summer if it is stressed out by heavy heat and drought. Summer dormancy usually lasts around 3-4 weeks, and your grass can come back to full health after that period. The bottom line here is that grass goes dormant as a natural reaction to extreme conditions in order to survive.

How to Tell if Your Grass is Dormant vs. Dead

Now that we know why grass goes dormant and understand that it is completely natural, let’s discuss some of the ways to recognize whether or not your grass is dormant or actually dead.

Monitor the Temperatures

One of the best ways to determine whether or not your grass is dormant or could be dealing with more serious issues is to monitor the temperatures. The weather will always play an important role in how your grass looks and can be a good indication of whether or not your grass is in a dormant period. Cool-season grasses stay dormant when the weather is warm for longer than warm-season grasses. Keep in mind the type of grass you have on your property and how it will naturally react to temperature changes.

Patchy Lawns Are Cause for Concern

When your lawn goes dormant, it will usually do so in a uniform manner. That means that the entire area that your grass covers will turn a brownish color. If you notice that there are patchy areas that look dead or brown, there’s a good chance that those areas are dead grass. You should check your irrigation system to ensure that it is watering your entire lawn. Try increasing the amount of water you give your grass if it is patchy and see how it reacts. There’s also the chance that those patchy areas of your lawn are being affected by pests or plant diseases, so explore the remedies for those issues as well. Just remember that when your grass is dormant, it will be brown all over instead of in certain areas.

Tugging Your Grass Can Provide Insight

Another great way to test whether or not your grass is dormant or dead is to try tugging at it. When grass is dead, it will be easy to tug out and won’t put up a fight at all when you pull on it. On the other hand, if your grass doesn’t come out of the ground easily when you tug at it, the chances are good that it is in a dormant state. Don’t go too crazy with pulling up your grass, but this is a great way to get some instant insight into the status of your lawn.

How to Care for Dormant Lawns

Just because your lawn is dormant doesn’t mean you can sit back and relax until it comes back into its growth period. Dormant grass still requires care, which is why you should keep an eye on your lawn throughout the dormant times of the year. You don’t need to mow or aerate, but what you should do is limit the amount of foot traffic while it is dormant. Dormant grass is more vulnerable to damage caused by people walking on it, so keep that in mind. You should also focus on getting rid of any weeds that sprout up, as they will take water and nutrients away from your grass and make it harder for it to survive the harsh months of the year.

Final Thoughts

It doesn’t matter if you have warm-season or cool-season grass on your property, it will go through periods of dormancy. That’s why it’s so important to keep the tips mentioned above in mind to determine whether or not your lawn is dormant or dead. If you are dealing with serious landscaping issues that are killing your lawn, make sure you reach out to Cal Blend Soils. We have landscaping products like fertilizers that can help you to get your lawn back to normal in no time. Contact one of the team members at Cal Blend Soils today to learn more. We even offer discounts on bulk purchases!