My lawn started to turn brown in early July. Can I get it back to green before it goes totally brown? One of my friends heard that once it is dormant, it will not come back until the fall.
July begins true summer in Michigan. We have had few soaking rains to benefit gardens and lawns. So, lawns that are not watered consistently will go brown and dormant to survive the lack of moisture.
Your friend is partially correct, assuming you are relying solely on Mother Nature to water your lawn. If your grass is healthy when summer approaches, it will naturally go dormant and turn brown. When temperatures cool down in fall and there is more rain as the seasons change, the grass naturally perks up green again.
You don’t need to panic that your brown lawn means it will die. It simply means the activity above ground shuts down until more water becomes available. The grass has food stored in its roots and will recover easily as soon as water becomes available.
Therefore, if you want the lawn to reactivate, you need to devise a consistent watering schedule and more closely monitor natural rainfall. Next, be careful not to mow your lawn too short during summer months. Leaving the lawn at 2 to 3 inches provides shade to the turf roots. Taller grass also helps prevent evaporation and makes recovery easier.
You can prevent a lawn from going dormant during a dry, hot summer by keeping it evenly watered. How much water depends on the type of soil. Clay soils hold water better than sandy soils, which drain quickly. Set out your favorite sprinkler and place a large-mouth jar or container in the spray pattern. Watch to see when you’ve collected about two inches of water and note how much time it took. Two inches of water is enough to penetrate any type of soil 6 to 8 inches deep. By augmenting natural rainfall, you can return your lawn to green status and avoid the summer dormancy period.