Dry Conditions & Turf Dormancy


Here are some good tips from UMass —

ImageResponsible irrigation is the rule. This is a great time to assess the performance of irrigation systems, as the turf will quickly tell the story of any issues with coverage or output. When circumstances permit, however, dormancy of well-established and otherwise healthy turf can lead to savings of time, labor and management resources if approached properly. If dormancy is allowable, remember these important points for managing dormant turf:

• If you opt for dormancy, commit to it. Avoid irrigation unless adequate and consistent evapotranspiration (ET) replacement can be achieved. Irregular and insufficient irrigation during dormancy can actually further deplete valuable carbohydrate reserves and negatively impact later recovery. If dormancy persists for an extended period (perhaps 45+ days depending on turf species, soil, etc), however, reduced recovery can be expected.

• Restrict traffic on dormant turf to the lowest possible level. The turfgrass shoots that die back when dormancy progresses are not able to adequately cushion and protect the critical meristems that will ultimately facilitate re-growth and recovery.

• Mow only when absolutely necessary. If a mowing event is needed, avoid mowing during the hottest part of the day (this benefits the turf as well as the operator).

For full UMass article, visit: http://extension.umass.edu/turfmanagement-updates/dry-conditions-turf-dormancy

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