Drought stress is a term those of us in the lawn care industry use to describe symptoms seen in lawns due to lack of water.  There are three basic stages of drought stress:

The 1st Stage:

The grass plant starts to change color from green to a matte gray color.  Also, your grass appearance will go from lush to more of a dried-out look.  During this first stage, you will also notice that the grass blades do not spring back after walking over them.

The 2nd Stage:

In this stage, the grass plant is transitioning from matte gray to yellow.  The grass blades are starting to curl and wilt.

The 3rd Stage:

This final stage is where the grass plant is transitioning into or has gone into dormancy (all brown).

Drought stress does not always occur in the summer.  For example, sudden bouts of warm weather combined with high winds and sun can dry out a lawn very quickly in the late spring.

What can I do to help my lawn recover from drought stress?

If you are irrigating your lawn regularly and notice drought stress, you may have to increase the watering time to bring the lawn back.  If your lawn is not irrigated, you will have to pull a hose and use a sprinkler until favorable weather returns.

Why do I see brown mower tracks in my lawn (sometimes and not others)?

There are times where brown spots or tracks from your mower pop up virtually overnight.  Often, this is caused by a turf disease called Ascochyta Leaf Blight, which is triggered by high temperatures and dry conditions.  If you believe you see signs of this disease, please call our office and your lawn technician will be happy to assess your lawn and give recommendations to help it recover.