By Kaitlyn Ersek on Jun 21, 2018 1:19:41 PM
Summer is a tough season for all plants and turf is no exception. During the summer months, the turf is often stressed from heat, insects, and diseases. Brown patches appear that look unsightly or if conditions are too hot and dry, the turf may go into dormancy as a protective measure. If one of your lawns is suffering use the below 3.5 signs below to determine if the stress is caused by too much heat or drought.
1. The “Tug” Test
Even during a drought, established turf will still have extensive root systems. Conduct a “Tug” Test by locating a brown patch and pulling on the turf. If the turf doesn’t pull easily from the soil, chances are good that your turf is browning due to drought. If it does pull easily, insects or disease could be an issue.
2. The Screwdriver Test
Push a screwdriver into the soil in both a brown and green turf area. If the screwdriver pushes easily in the green lawn but won’t penetrate the brown patch, the soil is dry and heat is the problem. Credit for this test goes to Bayer’s blog!
3. Random or Uniform
When drought is a culprit, the brown patches appear randomly. If the pattern is more uniform, it could be a different underlying issue.
3.5 Early Signs
Prepare for summer stress by keeping an eye out for wilted grass blades and by checking to see if footprints remain on the grass after it is walked on.
Heat and drought stress can be a headache for lawn and landscape contractors but once the moisture returns, established turf will recover. Depending on your region, it may take three-to-four weeks for the turf to come out of dormancy and begin to green up again; providing extra water won’t speed up the process. If you are dealing with a new, young lawn, don’t let it go into dormancy. Without extensive root growth, the lawn may not survive dormancy without injury.
To learn more about dealing with drought and summer-related stress on turf, watch our 5.5-minute video below featuring Holganix CEO, Barrett Ersek.