Lawn dormancy during drought
It’s not a pretty picture, but it’s an important message. A reminder from an Environmental Resources Technician to share. It’s what drought means for our water supply and what’s important to focus on now and for the future. If you see brown grass like this, don’t worry.
Grass goes dormant to survive during drought conditions to conserve nutrients and energy (just like during cold winter months). It’s not dead unless we have a very long period of drought and heat. You can water your grass 1/2 inch every two weeks to keep the crowns alive but this will not green your grass. Depending on the variety of grass it’ll take 3-4 weeks for your grass to green up again after drought.
A part of our responsibility as land owners is to conserve water as much as possible because it’s the same water that all of our families drink and the lawns do not need water during drought, we do. It’ll save you money and time not worrying about your lawns and let your grass conserve energy for when rains come again. Another issue that arises is that people water mid-afternoon and evaporation from wind and sun negates their efforts. If you need to water turf, due to prolonged drought, water between 6am-8am.
Watering your veggies, fruits, and newly installed plants is understandable because they are a valuable resource and adds biodiversity to the area. Mature grass is heartier, thankfully, and can bounce back easier because of it’s dormant survival mode.
We promote increasing square footage of hearty perennial landscape plants or Xerioscaping, technical name for planting for non-irrigation gardens. For example, native plants are really great at handling drought. There are many other plants, once mature, you can have a more “hands off” approach. It’s better for your soil, better for the environment, and time-saving. Which leads to much easier management of your yard in the future.
We have a post of the Top 8 Tough As Nails Perennials ( that also are pollinator friendly! ) and a list of drought tolerant plants.