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Lawn/ Drought Question
#37922 July 20th, 2005 at 08:11 AM
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We have an odd even watering schedule in effect in town right now.
I have a feeling a total watering ban will be coming very soon. We will continue to water out trees, plants, and flowers.
If we have to let the lawn go dormant will it come back in the spring? Duh We have kept it lush and green so far this summer.
This may seem like a dumb question but i am really concerned.
Greg kissies

Re: Lawn/ Drought Question
#37923 July 20th, 2005 at 10:28 AM
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It depends on the kind of lawn.

Warm weather turf, such as kikuyu; bermuda; zoysia; st. augustine; centipede grass; bent grass, can take very little water. They turn brown and will revive if given water on a regular basis, like once a week. But, if they are just left w/o water the sun & heat can kill them.

Warm weather grasses go dormant after the first frost. A trigger for dormancy, brough on by cold, resulting in a brown lawn from no chlorophyll production.

If they turn brown when it is sunny & hot, they are not dormant. They are dying.

If you can cut back to 1 time per week, water two 10 minute periods w/spray heads; two 25 minute periods w/ rotors. Fertilize your lawn & feed it with extra nitrogen, at least a week before you begin to cut back the water. This will give the lawn nutrients to fight the detrimental conditions. And, the nitrogen will prolong the green color.


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Re: Lawn/ Drought Question
#37924 July 20th, 2005 at 08:26 PM
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I don't really 'know' a lot about grass keeping, but here's what I'm observing.

I live in Toronto and we've had the same drought -we still haven't had enough rain, even though there was a couple of days drizzle recently.

Here's what I'm seeing - green is coming through right now - it seems the brown grass has seed, 'cause when you rake at it, it promotes the green to come in.

That's what I'm doing - raking, cleaning and getting up as much stone and small bits as I can. Once the rains come again, I think it will green up more.


So it's there.

Another thing I notice - if I've been raking in a spot, taking out weeds, dried leaves, etc., the birds come along to eat - here's two reasons why that would be;

1) the grass seeds are under the brown blades;

2) the worms are attracted by the raking and come to the top of the soil.

Like I say, I don't really 'know', I'm just telling you what I've been seeing.


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Re: Lawn/ Drought Question
#37925 July 21st, 2005 at 01:18 PM
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2 weeks ago my lawn was brown everywhere except in the shady spots. 2 weeks from now it will likely be brown again, but right now it's lush beautiful green. I live in southern Michigan, which is pretty much the same as northern Illinois and we deal with the drought/rain cycles here too. It would take several weeks of scorching heat and no rain to actually KILL your lawn. No doubt it will turn brown and crunchy and LOOK dead, but that's just a heat induced dormancy and it will come right back with the first good rain.

John


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Re: Lawn/ Drought Question
#37926 July 22nd, 2005 at 05:54 AM
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Thanks everyone for the help!
We received some good rain today so were very thankful for that!
Greg smile

Re: Lawn/ Drought Question
#37927 July 22nd, 2005 at 12:47 PM
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Glad to hear you got ya some rain Greg! We got almost 2 inches in the past 36 hours and I swear I can hear my lawn growing right now LOL!

John


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Re: Lawn/ Drought Question
#37928 August 7th, 2005 at 09:27 AM
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Our lawn looks awful but your question reminded me of something we did 25 years ago on a whim. We got tired of watering the patch of lawn outside our kitchen. It was right next to the laundry room and we attached a hose to the washer and drained it out the window. We drained everything onto the lawn - soap, bleach, you name it. We were young and stupid and had the best looking patch of lawn in the neighborhood. If the draught gets too bad.......


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Re: Lawn/ Drought Question
#37929 August 7th, 2005 at 11:38 AM
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This may not be a lot of help at the moment but it is something to keep in mind for the future.

Early and late in the season (spring/fall) grass should be kept short. I'm in S/W Michigan so what I'd do is set my mower deck up a bit around the middle of June and bump it up again a few weeks later if necessary. The longer the grass, the more dew it catches. The more dew it catches the more mosture added (and retained) in the soil.


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Re: Lawn/ Drought Question
#37930 August 14th, 2005 at 10:01 PM
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Our Lawn is 4 years old now. Originally sod. My husband has been overseeding it with tall fescue. Now with a drought most of our yard is dormant except for dinner plate size clumps of green tall fescue every few feet...it looks awful! Tall fescue is reccommended for cental KY...obviously our sod was something else! Do I try to kill the clumps of tall fescue??or what?? Mine is the ugliesy lawn on our street..HELP!

Re: Lawn/ Drought Question
#37931 August 14th, 2005 at 10:57 PM
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Living in Australia, into our third or so year of drought in many parts, longer in others, i am only too well aware that lawn is the worst groundcover to have for water use. I NEVER water grass. It will not die. I wish it would sometimes. However, an even better way i've found of dealing with the dry periods is to convert it from this:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v239/m.longstaff/DSC01513.jpg
to this
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v239/m.longstaff/DSC01545.jpg
thumbup

Lots of planting to do when i get home. Drought tolerant Ozy natives come to mind.


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Re: Lawn/ Drought Question
#37932 August 15th, 2005 at 03:23 AM
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Hey Longy,
Your pictures are great, and remind me of my husband's fav saying regarding lawns: pave it and paint it green. Not sure I totally agree.

Re: Lawn/ Drought Question
#37933 August 15th, 2005 at 04:21 PM
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pave it and paint it green.
+++++++++++++++++++++++++
yeah i prefer plough it in and mulch it.


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