During the summer heat, the lawn is continuously exposed to sunlight that causes the turf to dehydrate. One of the early signs of heat stress or dehydration on turf is brown patches. However, when the conditions are extreme, to protect themselves, it might go into dormancy.
Here is how to determine whether your lawn is in stress due to heat.
What are the Early Signs of Heat Stress?
Discolored patches are late signs of heat stress. To protect your entire lawn from damage, you must regularly look for wilted grass blades as one brown patch can affect the other areas.
Moreover, healthy grass bounces back; hence, it will form ghost prints of your footsteps if it is in heat stress. However, here are some other tests to determine if your lawn is in drought:
Grass discoloration is one of the obvious signs of heat stress. Entire areas will discolor or only the tips of the grass depending on the degree of dehydration. However, sometimes insects or diseases might also cause it to discolor.
One way to see if it’s because of heat is to consistently water your lawn and see if the color changes from greyish or brownish green to bright grass green.
Uniform or Uneven Patches
There are two types of discoloration: random or uniform. When the discoloration is arbitrary, it is due to heat stress. If it’s uniform, then the reason can either be a disease or insects.
A screwdriver immerses easily in the green part of the ground. However, in the brown area, it will not be easy due to heat stress. Even if your grass seems green, it might be on the verge of turning into unsightly brown patches. Hence, it must be checked regularly, as brown patches can affect other areas.
Reducing Heat Stress
When you are sure that your turf is in stress, you must follow these steps to ensure your lawn’s health:
First, you must confirm the absence of a chich bug or damage caused by grub. You must take a close look at the grass and see if any insects are crawling in between. As damage by these can also cause brown patches that are uniform.
Water generously as it might solve this problem. It is recommended to water your lawn at least 2-3 times a week, especially during the morning. In hot summer, the lawn is constantly exposed to the sun, which causes the water to evaporate.
Hence, if you have scorching weather, you must water your lawn regularly. However, watering at night must be avoided as it invites turf diseases.
Over mowing the grass might inhibit the grass’s energy to grow back. It is recommended to remove only one-third of the leaf blade in one session, so it grows back immediately.
Avoid compacting means to avoid foot traffic or over mowing. Itis is harmful to your turf as it can invite weeds or insects while accelerating the damage due to heat stress.
One technique is to aerate the core, so the grass’s intake of nutrients and water increases, which will stop it from dying and damage due to heat stress.
Strategically fertilization your grass right after the drought season is essential. It ensures that you have given the plants enough nutrients to grow back.
If your grass has been damaged, then you must overseed the whole lawn to ensure the grass will grow back. Moreover, provide fertilizer and water accordingly.
Dormancy in the grass is a way to protect themselves from heat stress. Hence, if your plant is going to the dormancy stage and drying out, then there is nothing much you can do other than waiting for to grow back.
The bottom line is, regularly examine your lawn for dehydration, drought, or heat stress. No matter what the quality of your turf is, it will be in stress during hot weather. Hence, all precautionary measures should be taken to avoid it from drying out.