Winter dormancy or dead?

Is your lawn dying?

Your lawn over the past few months has endured some cold nights and milder days. For the majority of lawn varieties in South Australia, this kind of weather will have sent your lawn into its winter dormancy.

Kikuyu, Couch, Zoysia and Soft Leaf Buffalo lawns are all ‘warm-season grasses’. As the name suggests; the time when these grasses are actively growing is during the warmer months. Through winter, they slow down and can go into a certain level of dormancy; slowing growth and discolouring over time. Warm-season grasses will experience different levels of dormancy depending on your area.

So, the answer to the question, “has my lawn died?” is thankfully no! – It is likely to be just in some level of dormancy.

Winter frost on lawn
winter dormancy soil temp

Dormancy is a protection method that lawn grasses use to withstand freezing temperatures and frost. When grass becomes dormant the grass leaves thin and dry out. This helps the grass store its energy in the lower parts of the grass stem and root areas. If you’re in metro Adelaide or a protected spot it’s likely your warm season lawn won’t even go into full dormancy as the winters aren’t quite cold enough.

 

When will your lawn grow again?

As the weather cooled, you will have noticed your lawns growth also slowed. You might have even had a few free Saturday mornings with no more mowing! This change in growth normally occurs in warm-season grasses at soil temperatures around 14 degrees Celsius. It is not until this soil temperature consistently rises back above this temperature that your lawn will start to speed up its growth.

If your lawn wasn’t looking so flash coming into winter, you may have a job ahead of you in spring to get it back to health. Luckily, we only have a few more weeks until we can say ‘It’s spring’ and hopefully, the warmer days will come flooding in! Make sure to stock up on our favourite spring products and take a look at our spring care page to prepare yourself for the season to come.