Mold and Dormancy are the two primary reasons for grass losing its natural color. Dormancy is a period in an organism’s life when metabolic activity is temporarily stopped to help it conserve energy. This typically occurs late in the Fall, Winter, and Summer due to environmental stressors. Insufficient sunlight or lack of hydration are common factors in dormancy. Mold and Fungi are plant diseases that can drain nutrients from your grass.
Is your lawn brown or yellow right now? Don’t worry, the grass isn’t dead. Well established grasses can survive drought induced dormancy for 3-4 weeks. This is a natural process and can be remedied quite easily.
The following are methods you can use to counteract discoloration:
If a drought goes on beyond 4 weeks, apply enough water to re-hydrate the grass and wet the soil down to 5 inches. This won’t restore the original color instantly, but it will keep the plant alive.
It’s also important to water your lawn early in the morning in order to prevent mold from growing in the grass late at night. As long as the grass is dry by nightfall, there should be a reduction in discoloration. Remember not to water your lawn too frequently, because constantly damp grass creates mold.
Avoid using Nitrogen rich fertilizer in early Spring and late Fall. While Nitrogen fertilizer promote lush green growth, it also provides a good habitat for fungus to grow. Use Nitrogen fertilizer only in the Summer or late Spring.
Fertilizing in the late Fall also ensures that the grass stays fertile approaching the Winter months.
Mowing the yard regularly will contain the spread of fungus. The ideal rate of lawn mowing is every 10 days to a height of roughly 2.5 to 3 inches. Mowing too frequently will cause a buildup of clippings which inhibit photosynthesis and allow more fungus to develop.
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