The Drip: A Turf Performance in Early Fall

by | Oct 12, 2020 | The Drip

As usual for Florida, summertime came with an abundance of rainfall. And its effects on lawns will soon be evident in the warm, dry conditions of early fall.

As a general rule, deep and infrequent watering is the best way to promote healthy turf that can better withstand periods of drought. Indeed, allowing soil to dry until plants reach a point of moderate drought stress, then watering to wet the entire root zone again stimulates more roots to grow deeper, which is the key to stress tolerance.

Daily summer rains, however, do not allow this to happen because the upper soil profile is always at field capacity (maximum water holding potential). So as we approach the seasonal transition to fall, it is common to see turf take on a bluish-grey appearance with folded leaf blades or brown coloring in some areas, in as little as one to two days, without rainfall or irrigation.

Though this may be alarming, it does not mean the turf is dying. In most cases, these effects are temporary, and turf undergoes a full recovery as new roots are formed.