Burnt Grass: Will he ever turn green again?


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Hot, dry summers leave noticeable traces, especially in the grass. The formerly green carpet "burns": It turns visibly yellow and finally looks like dead. At least now, many hobby gardeners wonder if their lawn will ever turn green again or he is completely burned and finally gone.

The reassuring answer is yes, he is recovering. Basically, all turf grasses are well adapted to summer drought, because their natural habitat are mainly dry, full-blown steppes and dry grasslands. If the periodic lack of water did not exist, sooner or later a forest would establish itself here and displace the sun-hungry grasses. The dried leaves and stalks protect the grasses from complete dying. The roots remain intact and drive again when there is enough moisture.

irrigate dried lawns

The good news: If you wash the burnt grass for a long time, the grasses will re-drive

Scientific investigations

As early as 2008, the well-known expert on lawns Harald Nonn, how the drought stress affects different lawn mixtures and how long it takes for the areas to regenerate after re-watering. In the previous year, he sowed seven different seed mixtures in plastic containers with sandy soil and cultivated the samples under optimal conditions in the greenhouse until they had formed a closed sod after a half-year. After a saturation irrigation, all samples were kept dry for 21 days and only slightly rained on the 22nd day at 10 milliliters per square meter. To document the dehydration process, the color change of each seed mixture from green to yellow was photographed daily and evaluated with a RAL color analysis.

Certain types of fishes recover particularly quickly

The stage of complete dehydration had reached the seed mixtures after 30 to 35 days, that is, there were no leaf green parts more recognizable. From the 35th day all three samples were rained regularly again. The expert documented the regeneration process every three days, also using RAL color analysis.
It was striking that the two grass mixtures with a particularly high proportion of the two types of fescue Festuca ovina and Festuca arundinacea recovered much faster than the other mixtures. They showed 30 percent green again within 11 to 16 days. The regeneration of the other mixtures took much longer. The conclusion: Due to the ever hotter summers, dry-resistant lawn mixtures will be more in demand in the future. For Harald Nonn, the aforementioned types of fescue are therefore an important ingredient for corresponding seed mixtures.

Stronger weed growth in burnt grass

Lawn weed dandelion

If the grass burns and is thus weakened, weeds such as dandelions can spread more easily

Nevertheless, a downside remains, if one waives the lawn irrigation in the summer and the green carpet is regularly "burned": Over time, the proportion of Rasenunkräuter increases. Species such as the dandelion find with their deep taproot even then enough moisture, if the leaves of the grass species have long turned yellow. They therefore use the time to spread further in the lawn. Friends of the well-kept English lawn should irrigate their green carpet in time for dryness, especially for this reason.

This is how burnt grass becomes beautiful again

When the burnt lawn, whether with or without irrigation, has recovered, it needs a special care program to eliminate the effects of the summer drought. First, bring an autumn fertilizer to strengthen your green carpet. It supplies the regenerated grasses with potassium and small amounts of nitrogen. The potassium acts as a natural antifreeze: It is stored in the cell sap and acts here as a de-icing salt, by lowering the freezing point of the liquid.
About two weeks after fertilization, you should scarify the lawn, as the leaves and stalks that died in the summer are deposited on the sward and can accelerate the formation of lawn felts. If there are larger gaps in the sward after scarifying, it is best to sow the area with fresh grass seed with a spreading trolley. They germinate before the onset of winter, ensuring that the sward quickly becomes dense again, thus preventing moss and weeds from spreading unhindered. Important: Even if the autumn is very dry, you must keep the seeding evenly wet with a lawn sprinkler.

Lawn care calendar to download

Our lawn care calendar shows you when and which care measures are required - this is how your green carpet always presents itself from its most beautiful side. Simply enter your e-mail address at the bottom of the page and download the lawn care calendar as a PDF document.

Video Board: How to Revive a Brown Lawn.

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