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Dead And Dormant Grass: What’s The Difference?

Dead And Dormant Grass: What’s The Difference?

A green healthy lawn can increase your home’s value by up to 15%, so it’s especially frustrating when you look out the window and notice a patch of brown, dying grass. We’ve all been there. Your grass is perfectly green, robust, and healthy, yet suddenly it turns brown and dies. But, that’s not necessarily the case. That brown patch could simply be dormant grass. As a homeowner, it’s imperative to tell the difference between dead and dormant grass so it can be treated properly in your lawn.

Dead Vs Dormant Grass

If you want to tell dead and dormant grass apart from one another, you first have to understand what each one is.

  • Dormant Grass: Grass goes into a dormant state to conserve energy and water to help it stay alive. This means instead of keeping individual blades green and good-looking, resources move to the crown and roots to keep it from dying.
  • Dead Grass: When the weather conditions improve, dead grass won’t spring back to life. Instead, it remains a dry brown patch. To get your yard back to a healthy green, you’ll need to re-seed or replace the sod in your yard.

Actually telling the difference between the two can be a bit tricky since they both look the same.

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But How Do You Actually Know?

The first thing you want to do is to evaluate your yard as a whole. When lawns do go dormant, they tend to do so all across the yard. So if you’re just seeing brown spots or patches among green grass, you more than likely have an issue. In this case, you want to check your irrigation system immediately to ensure that all parts of your lawn are receiving adequate amounts of water.

  • If your irrigation system is working properly for your entire yard, then your brown grass problem is not from dormancy. To confirm this, one thing you can do is to water the brown area of your lawn more than you usually do for a few days and see if the grass comes back to life.
  • If it remains brown then you’ll want to look deeper into the issue. (Keep in mind that this isn’t necessarily the best test for every lawn since some lawns are affected by heat and drought or in areas where grass goes dormant in the winter as it does in Texas).

Your brown grass could be from a number of different issues like pests, pets urinating on your lawn, or even some sort of lawn disease. Another test you can do is to try pulling some out of the ground with your bare hands. Dormant grass will have some resistance when you try to pry it from the earth. Dead grass, on the other hand, usually comes out without any hassle.

Telling The Difference Is Essential

Being able to tell the difference between dead and dormant grass is a big deal and can have a major impact on the outcome of your lawn and landscape health. The problem is, even if you know the difference, it can be difficult to determine which is which. If you’re still not able to figure it out or just want to make sure you give your lawn the best care, our Chorbie experts make identifying between the two types of grass a breeze for homeowners. Contact us today at (972) 697-5221 to discuss the problem with your yard and to see how we can help with those pesky brown patchy spots in your lawn.

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