Is your lawn looking pretty bad this year? Mine does. We’ve been facing drought-like conditions here in the Fox Valley. I was focused on preserving my gardens with hand-watering, so by mid-June the lawn at my St. Charles home looked like it usually does at the end of August.
As a homeowner, you can take precautions to minimize the long-term impact of a brown lawn. Check first with your local city water department to see if there are watering restrictions (see below info for St. Charles, Geneva and Batavia below).
Drought stress is a condition caused by excessive heat and/or lack of water. Drought stress can lead to dormancy, a normal condition for grasses of all types. A good test for draught stress is to step on one of the grass’ brown patches. If your footstep remains as an imprint in the grass, it’s likely that your lawn is water-deprived.
Brown spots from drought stress appear randomly and without pattern. This is different from brown spots that may occur because a sprinkler system is miscalibrated, or because some lawn sections are shaded whereas others are exposed to direct sunlight.
You may not have stopped your lawn from turning brown, but, generally, you can nurse it back to being green.
To water a brown lawn back to health, start with a steady watering schedule — typically 2 hours every few days (approximately 1 inch of water) — and be careful not to over-water. Then, just wait. It may take a lawn 3-4 weeks to return to its natural green color.
St. Charles, Geneva and Batavia Watering Time Limits through August 31: Even numbered addresses may sprinkle on even-numbered days, odd numbered addresses may sprinkle on odd- numbered days, from 12 a.m. to 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.. No watering from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Hand watering of pots and gardens is allowed at any time. Newly seeded or sodded lawns may be watered more often by special permit so contact your local water department for more information.
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