A Dry Lawn in October is Reason for Concern – Turfgrass Science at Purdue University

A Dry Lawn in October is Reason for Concern

Though areas of Indiana received some rain this week and more is forecasted, most of the state has received precipitation far below normal. Many lawns look as brown now as they normally do in August. This does not bode well for winter survivability of grass and the appearance of the lawn next year. September and October are prime growing months for cool season turfgrasses when they produce tillers, increasing density and filling in any thin or damaged areas from the summer. Additionally, this is the time when the grasses store their energy reserves for the winter which determines winter hardiness and performance next summer. All of this relies on good growing weather during September and October with ample rain. With unseasonably low rainfall since August, the turf plants are dormant or growing very slowly. Without ample rain or irrigation almost immediately, grass plants will be very weak going into the winter and widespread winter-kill could occur. The bottom line is that if you want to insure that your lawn survives winter and performs adequately next spring and summer, start watering now. Water thoroughly to wet to the depth of rooting and water often enough to keep the grass green and growing. After the lawn greens up, apply 1.0 lb N/1000 ft2 with fast release N and reapply another 1.0 lb N/1000 ft2 in early November near your final mowing.

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