Why Would I Let My Lawn Go Dormant?

dormant lawnIs watering your lawn in this summer heat becoming too expensive? Have you simply not had time to enjoy your lawn like you wanted to? There are many reasons why people chose to let their lawns go dormant. By allowing your lawn to go dormant for the remainder of the year, you aren’t giving up, you are letting the grass turn brown without killing it and won’t be risking letting the weeds take over during the next few months.

The 4 Reasons Why

  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 during the summer and letting the lawn go dormant is the easiest maintenance option for them.
  4. Roll with the seasons:  “To everything, there is a season.”  Cool season grasses naturally slow down during the summer months. They typically grow during the spring and fall, so letting these lawns go dormant will save you money and water on grass that isn’t growing much anyways.

How to Let Your Lawn Go Dormant

Letting a lawn go dormant isn’t an exact science and there are many variables that can affect your lawns ability to recover.  Elements 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. You do NOT stop watering your lawn but you do not water nearly as much.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. Any more than 1/2 inch every other week, you will promote weed growth, ending up with a brown weedy lawn.
  2. Minimize traffic on the dormant lawn.  It can be damaged by 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.
  3. Routine trimming of tall areas and edges will give a uniform appearance.

As you can see going dormant 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 make your summer a little easier.For help with letting your lawn go dormant, contact your Lawn Coach today!