Dormant grass is not dead but is just sleeping. Dormancy is your grass’s way of conserving energy during times of extreme weather, including the coldest times of winter. When your lawn enters dormancy, the leaves can turn brown and appear dead. However, the roots are still alive and holding water and nutrients in reserve until better conditions arrive in springtime. If you want to better understand your dormant grass, the lawn care technicians at Scientific Plant Service can help you care for your lawn during this time. The first step in caring for your dormant grass is understanding what happens during this cold season.
When Does Grass Go Dormant?
Dormancy is a natural protection mechanism that kicks in during very cold conditions in the winter. When your grass goes dormant varies a bit from region to region. Dormancy is typically triggered when temperatures drop below 45 degrees Fahrenheit for several days in a row. Regular dormancy periods also depend on grass types.
Cool-Season Grass Dormancy
During the winter, your cool season grass won’t necessarily go dormant or look dead but instead go into a suspended form of growth. This means that cool-season grass creates complex sugars as a kind of antifreeze, which helps the grass survive when temperatures are frigid.
Warm-Season Grass Dormancy
Warm-season grasses are more efficient at using water and nutrients, but they can still enter a state of dormancy when temperatures regularly hit below 65 degrees Fahrenheit. For moderate climates, this dormancy period typically begins in mid-November. These dormant grasses conserve water and nutrients to prepare for extreme temperatures that may come.
How Do You Care for Dormant Grass?
A little attention and care are required for your dormant grass to return in spring and emerge successfully from its period of dormancy. The care you can apply includes the following:
- Fertilize Properly: High-nitrogen fertilizers are best used when your grass is growing. As dormancy approaches, use a potassium-based fertilizer.
- Avoid Mowing: Avoid mowing dormant grass to reduce unnecessary stress on your lawn.
- Reduce Foot Traffic: Foot traffic can cause damage to your dormant lawn. Keep foot traffic to a minimum as much as possible when your grass is dormant.
- Water Wisely: Once your grass looks a bit green again, kickstart green-up with well-timed watering.
By following these tips and consulting with the expert team at Scientific Plant Service, you can nurture your dormant grass and prepare it for a wonderful return next year.
Scientific Plant Service Is Your Go-To Source In Landscape Healthcare
Scientific Plant Service, located in Baltimore, is a privately owned corporation, chartered in Maryland in 1957 by Frank J. Burke. We started as a full-service Arborists specializing in the care of shade trees and ornamental shrubs, but today we are a Lawn Care company that is a huge part of the community. From aquatic environments and snow management to deer and mole control, SPS has services tailored specifically for your lawn and landscape.
We offer services in Maryland, Washington, DC, and Virginia, including: Harford, Baltimore, Carroll, Frederick, Howard, Anne Arundel, Montgomery, Prince Georges, Talbot, Queen Anne’s, Calvert counties in MD, as well as Loudoun County, Fairfax County, Arlington, Alexandria, and Falls Church in VA. For more information, contact us online, or call us at 410-321-0970. Be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Pinterest.