How to Spot Signs of Drought Stress in Your Colorado Lawn
If you notice signs of concern when caring for your Colorado lawn, it could mean many different things. Discoloration in your lawn can be caused by common lawn diseases, mowing stress, or even seasonal dormancy. The combination of dry weather and rough soil conditions can leave Colorado lawns victim to summer drought stress. If your lawn isn’t receiving enough water, there are a few surefire signs that point to drought stress in your Colorado lawn.
Signs of Drought Stress
Discoloration on Your Lawn
When a lawn is lacking water, you may notice a change in the normal green color of your lawn. If a once-green lawn starts to turn blue-ish gray, or yellow/straw-colored, your lawn may be thirsty. Dry grass will change color or even enter into a state of dormancy to protect itself from stress. Drought stress discoloration normally affects the lawn evenly throughout, so if you notice brown patches in areas that your sprinkler system can reach, you may be dealing with a lawn disease.
Wilting Grass Blades
Along with the change in color, the grass blades may fold or wilt if they’re not receiving enough water. Take a closer look at your lawn to check if you’re dealing with dehydration or possible lawn fungus. Dry turfgrass will turn brown at the tip down towards the root systems, while fungus will show lesions on the grass blades.
Dry Soil Conditions
Another symptom of drought stress is dry soil conditions. This can easily be tested with a screwdriver, by pushing the metal end into the soil. The screwdriver should easily penetrate the soil of a healthy lawn that receives enough water. Dry soil conditions will be more difficult. Hydrated soil will be dark in color, while dry soil will be lighter in color.
Recovery From Foot Traffic
After walking through the lawn or mowing, if you notice footprints or tracks, it’s time to water. Dry grass blades will lay flat, while a healthy lawn will normally spring back up after foot traffic.
Lawn Watering Tips to Prevent Drought Stress
To ensure your lawn is receiving enough water during dry summers in Colorado, water earlier in the morning, before 10 AM. Watering late in the day can result in evaporation from the sun. Additionally, be aware of overwatering. Watering too long in one area can cause runoff and water loss. It’s recommended to water deeply, fewer times a week, rather than short cycles each day. Short watering sessions will encourage shallow root growth which can contribute to other problems down the road. Lastly, measure the amount of water your lawn receives from your irrigation systems. Knowing how long it takes for your sprinklers to put out enough water is the key to finding the ideal watering schedule for your Colorado lawn.
Colorado Fertilization and Weed Control with Integrated Lawn Care
Successful lawn care takes teamwork and proper mowing and watering are just half the battle. The other side of maintaining a healthy lawn is fertilization and weed control. Homeowners in the Greater Colorado Springs Area trust Integrated Lawn Care for professional lawn care services. Our programs are built for Colorado lawns and include all the necessary nutrients and weed protection throughout the year. We also provide tree and shrub care, off-lawn weed control for rock beds and Colorado xeriscapes, and lawn aeration. Contact us today for a free quote!