“If you are seeing dead areas in your lawn, don’t expect it to green up later”, says Dale Miller, Marion County Extension Director. Miller has seen many neighborhood lawns showing drought stress damage. He has found that older neighborhoods where trees shade the ground don’t seem to have as much turf loss. While lawns with hills and slopes facing the south have lost substantial areas of turf. Thatchy and sandy soil lawns left un-watered also experienced severe turf loss.
“The green grass of healthy or watered lawns stands out from the dormant lawns that are struggling to recover,” he said. “Many lawns have 25 to 50 percent of the lawns showing some degree of turf loss from the drought and of those injured lawns approximately 25 to 50 percent of the turf in each lawn has died.”
The bad news is that some homeowners are now dealing with dead grass that no amount of watering or rain will make it recover. In fact, those dead areas of the lawn that are not repaired this fall will likely be invaded by weeds next year. The good news is that September is the perfect month to renovate the lawn or at least reseed the damaged areas. Bluegrass and perennial ryegrass are cool-season type grasses that flourish during the cooler weather of the fall and spring seasons - as long as there is enough rainfall or water to nourish the new grass seedlings.
So don’t delay, if the grass is brown it’s probably dead (not dormant) and won’t recover and you will have missed the best seeding window to re-establish a healthy green lawn.