Everyone should know that they have the option to let their lawn go dormant. That it is a management practice that is appropriate under certain circumstances and it isn’t just giving up. You can decide that letting the lawn turn brown is the desired result without risking that all the grass is going to die or be taken over by weeds.
4 Reasons To Let Your Lawn Go
1. Money: water costs money and our water districts have a two level cost structure that charges you more for going over a set amount. At Water One the largest water purveyor in Johnson County, you will pay 25% more for the extra water you use.
2. Convenience: When the lawn goes dormant you don’t have to mow. You can keep your lawn looking professional by just weed whipping the edges or the few tall spots.
3. Timeliness: Some people travel a lot during the summer and it just makes sense to manage your property this way while your gone.
4. Roll with the seasons: “To every thing there is a season.” And cool season grasses naturally slow down during the summer months.
How To Let Your Lawn Go Dormant:
This isn’t an exact science and there are many variables that can effect your lawns ability to recover. Things such as grass type and variety, soil type, and overall health of the lawn before going into dormancy. But in general, letting your lawn go dormant is not difficult.
1. As you probably figured out, you just don’t water AS MUCH. Notice I didn’t say STOP watering.
2. Schedule your watering so that you deliver about 1/2 inch of water every other week. This is enough to keep the growing point of the turf alive but not enough to keep it green. Less than that and you run the risk of the crowns drying out and dying. Which is what happened last year. Any more than 1/2 inch every other week you will promote weed growth, ending up with a brown weedy lawn.
3. Minimize traffic on the dormant lawn. It can be damaged with a soccer game or other heavy traffic that crushes the crown or growing point. When your lawn is actively growing it can bounce back better from traffic but not when there is no growth.
4. Routine trimming of tall areas and edges will give a uniform appearance.
.As you can see this isn’t just “giving up” on the lawn and pray that the grass will come back in the fall. It is a management option that may fit your needs.