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How To Tell If Your Grass is Dead or Dormant

Marshfield homeowners have been having a hard time lately. A very hot summer combined with severe drought conditions have combined to wreak havoc on local lawns. Once green yards are now khaki-colored and dry. As landscape contractors, we’re hearing about it. People are worried that their grass is dead, but that panic may be premature.

Here’s the thing: grass can be an incredibly resilient plant. Some varieties, including Kentucky Bluegrass, Tall Fescue, and Zoysia can tolerate prolonged drought conditions and still look pretty good. You may have noticed your Marshfield lawn service mowing less often this year, or leaving the grass a little longer than usual: these strategies help grass retain moisture, helping them survive these dry conditions.

Here is Western Massachusetts, a lot of the grasses people have in their yards are cool weather grasses. These varieties will go dormant when they’re not getting enough moisture. When grass is dormant, it looks like it is dead. It will be brown and crunchy and by all appearances look like it is no longer alive.

If your lawn is dead, you’re going to be sad until you reseed the lawn and new grass grows. Your Marshfield landscape designer can help you select grass and ground covers that are hardy enough to survive our challenging growing conditions. But if your lawn is not dead and is merely dormant, you don’t need to plant more grass. Your grass will recover its normal green appearance and begin growing again once it receives an adequate supply of water.

To tell if your grass is dead or dormant requires patience. We’re all waiting for these drought conditions to alleviate. Once rains return, dormant grass will turn green again. This may take until later in the fall, or even until next spring. If your grass doesn’t start growing in the spring, you’ll know it is truly dead and will need to have your yard reseeded.

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