Friday, June 29, 2007

Dormant lawns can't take traffic or mowing

If you're worried about your crispy lawn and drought stress, here's good advice from Pam Charbonneau, a turfgrass expert at the Guelph Turfgrass Institute, University of Guelph:
Just a bit of information about the lack of rain, a lawn requires 2.5 cm a week of water to keep it green and from going dormant and of course we have not had any significant rain for several weeks now. To add to this, many municipalities are starting to impose watering restrictions. There is no real problem in letting turf go dormant. A lawn or turf in general can survive for several weeks without water. It will recover when the rains do finally come. It is just a bit more fragile than a lush green stand of turf. Some general things to keep in mind with drought stressed or dormant turf:

• Try to keep traffic off of dormant turf
• Don't fertilize or mow dormant turf
As I expect at least 150 visitors at our Open Garden day on Sunday, July 1, I have actually been watering the lawn around my most important garden areas. I don't usually do this, but with a drought this severe, the added stress of foot traffic on the grass would probably kill it off - plus the greening-up of the lawn makes the garden beds look better.

And, thank goodness, at least the nasty humidity won't be plaguing us for a few days. The forecast is "mainly sunny." Heck, what else would it be when it never rains???

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