Is my Bermuda going dormant?

Sherm1082September 12, 2013

The subject pretty much says it all. I am in the Raleigh, NC area and I think my grass is starting to go dormant. I hope that's what it is and not something else. This summer has been unusual because there was a lot of rain. My grass has looked pretty good this year. A few weeks ago I noticed the rain wasn't as frequent and it was warm during the day (mid to upper 80s) but cool during the evening (upper 60s). That's been a little weird too if I am remembering correctly. My grass has grown vigorously all summer but it really started slowing down the last couple of weeks. Not long after that I noticed it browning and I originally thought something was wrong but now I am wondering if it is just going dormant or confused because of how cool it's been getting during the evenings. What do you guys think? Below is a picture of my front yard.

Also let me add that I lowered my lawn mower just a bit the last few cuts. I had to raise it during the summer when I went out of town and it grew too much for me to cut it at the normal height. Since it slowed down growing, I was able to lower it to where I wanted. Some of the browning is probably from that.

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I wouldn't worry too much. My bermuda is starting to brown just a little as well and my guess is it's because the days are getting shorter and the temps are dropping at night.

    Bookmark   September 12, 2013 at 1:21PM
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Are you watering at all? What about fertilizer? Should be doing that every month.Some of the problem is the lowering of the mower. You won't see dormat conditions until the first frost and you are far from that at upper 60's.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2013 at 12:33PM
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@ neilaz. I watered some last week and it's even rained since then so I haven't watered anymore. I pretty much have stopped fertilizing. I believe the Bermuda Bible says not to fertilize within 6 weeks of the first frost. I'm pretty sure I am within that time range.

The lowering of the lawnmower may have been a big contributor because it is trying to green just a bit. Besides that, I cannot stress how strange this summer has been weather wise.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2013 at 4:45AM
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Low 50's in the past few nights...

    Bookmark   September 19, 2013 at 5:46AM
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dchall_san_antonio(8 San Antonio)

Could be what happened is this. Earlier in the summer when it was raining all the time, any deep roots you may have had rotted away. The bermuda regrew new roots which did not have to go as deep looking for water. Now you are left with short roots which are much more susceptible to dry conditions.

You did not mention if you kept up with monthly fertilizer, but if not, that might have contributed to the issue. Couple all this with scalping it down and I think you could expect something like that.

It is bermuda. It will return.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2013 at 1:42PM
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Also let me add that I lowered my lawn mower just a bit the last few cuts.

There is your answer, you scalped it. At this time of year in transition zones you raise the cutting height in fall, not lower it.

But do not worry as it is only cosmetic and really doe snot hurt the grass. If you have not applied fertilizer in the last month, or are pretty sure your first frost is at least 30 days out, apply fertilizer, water it in real good, and raise the cutting height.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2013 at 11:33PM
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