Why is My Winter Lawn Brown?
Dealing with Winter Dormancy
There is no doubt that your lawn is greatly affected by the elements during the winter season. When the cool temperatures arrive, many Utah County, UT homeowners start to notice their lawns turning brown. You may be wondering why. Well, just like any other species, turf plants must adapt in order to survive. When the winter hits, your grass will go dormant in order to preserve scarce resources.
In order to understand winter dormancy, you must understand why and how it occurs. When your grass detects that valuable resources such as water and sunlight are limited, it will convert into conservation mode. The grass plants then begin to relocate and utilize these valuable resources in its most important part, the crown. If the grass crown remains healthy, your turf will return to its lush green state when these scarce resources become more abundant. While brown grass might not be desirable, it is necessary for the health, survival and longevity of your lawn.
Dead vs. Dormant Grass
When the winter comes to an end and warmer temperatures return, dormant grass will transition back to its original state. Sometimes parts of your lawn may die, get damaged or thin over the winter. The first sign that your grass has died is that it does not green up in the spring. You should also try to tug on the grass to see if it is still well rooted. If you tug on the grass and it lifts easily then it is likely dead. It is also important to take note of the grass pattern. Are there brown spots in your lawn, or is the entire lawn brown? If your entire lawn is brown, it is likely still dormant; however, a spotty pattern can be an indication that parts of your grass have suffered damaged over the winter.
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