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Physics of Dormant Sod

Why is my grass brown? Did I kill my grass? Did I not water it enough? Did I water it too much?

Your grass most likely isn’t dead, it’s dormant.

Cool season grasses are what we have here in Indiana, Kentucky Bluegrass and Fescue to name a few, fall dormant causing them to turn a light brown color during the winter months. Dormancy can cause the grass to look and even feel dehydrated and dead. There is still so much going on underground when your grass is dormant, think of it as hibernating. Your grass is conserving water and nutrients since it will not be receiving it from outside factors such as rain and sunshine. This is also a period for your grass to rest. We all need a nap every now and then and the winter months bring the most stress due to the cold temperatures and dry conditions.

Grass typically falls dormant when the temperature falls below 40 degrees Fahrenheit. It can remain in this state for up to six weeks without any adverse effects. After the six weeks plan for your grass to return in the next 10-14 days, with rain or watering. Take into consideration light or heavy winters depending on where you live.

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