What you need to know about Heat and Drought Stress:
- Normally occurs with seasonal high temperatures and lack of rain.
- Blades become dried out and turn “ off color”
- In extreme cases, lawn will turn brown and mimic dormancy stage. Also, grass will remain matted if walked on and “crunch” under your feet. You will see tracks from lawn mowers or anything driven over the sod.
- It can take up to 1-2 weeks to recover, once adequate rainfall or watering occurs.
- During drought conditions or if inadequate rainfall occurs, in order to prevent heat/drought stress, supplemental watering needs to be done before yard gets into extreme drought condition. Once this occurs, it is almost impossible to have the sod recover with routine irrigation.
- Rule of thumb is to water your sod infrequently but DEEPLY! When watering you need to water each area/zone at least ½” or more (35 min-45min in each location/zone). This keeps the root system deep and the lawn properly hydrated.
- If you water a little bit everyday, you are encouraging the roots to stay “shallow” and Increases the change of heat/drought stress damage., especially in high heat and drought conditions.
More information about proper watering can be found at this UGA Extension article Watering Lawns.