How to: Prevent lawns from going dormant

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SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – It’s a common sight here in western Massachusetts: brown, dried and burned lawns. But while we’ve had a significant lack of rain, most lawns are not actually dead, instead, they’re going dormant.

It’s a self preservation mechanism where the grass’ needs for water become minimal to none. If your lawn was unhealthy before the abnormally dry weather, it could potentially die, but most are holding on through the scorching and dry conditions.

The first sign of drought stress or going dormant is a change in color, and a lack of bouncing back up when walked on. Some local towns have non-essential water restrictions, so follow those before watering more to green up your lawn.

Gary Courchesne, the owner of G&H Landscaping, told 22News the best way to take care of your lawn amid a rain deficit.

“Instead of watering the surface of the grass, [you] want to water the root system down deep into the soil. So that the roots will continue to grow deeply down in the soil which will stay moist more, for a longer period of time.”

Courchesne said to water deeply, but as infrequently as you can possibly get away with. Water early in the morning, and not in the evening, to prevent disease. Also, mow short and often. Keep your grass higher at 3.5 inches. 

Courchesne also told 22News to not use weed control when it’s dry like we are now as that can cause an additional stress for your lawn.

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