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All About Winter Lawn Dormancy in North Texas

Jack Moore
Dec 5, 2022 1:36:28 PM

Even though we live in North Texas where the winter is often mild, most of our turf types go into some state of dormancy during the cold season. This is a good thing as winter dormancy is a defense mechanism for the lawn.

We know that people often have questions about winter lawn dormancy and what they should expect.

In this article, we’ll talk about grass dormancy in the winter and what it means for your lawn.

What Happens During Winter Lawn Dormancy?

Lawns go into dormancy when temperatures begin to consistently fall below a certain temperature. A dormant lawn is one that is not actively growing…but it is still alive. This is sometimes a misunderstanding amongst homeowners.

Grass that is dead will not come back but dormant grass will return to its state of active growth once the weather conditions change.

lawn with shrubs and trees in landscape beds

Lawns enter this state of dormancy in the winter for protection from the cold. Dormancy helps your lawn to conserve moisture and protects it from potential cold-weather damage.

Specifics around dormancy can be impacted by turf type. In North Texas, our three predominant varieties of turf type are Bermuda, Zoysia, and St. Augustine, all of which do go dormant.

When Does Grass Go Dormant in North Texas?

The dormant season for these predominant varieties is typically mid-November through Mid- to late-April, but it can also vary based on the temperature. Lawns generally go into dormancy once the temperatures consistently drop below 42.8 degrees.

dormant grass

You’ll likely notice that your grass is no longer growing actively. It will also take on a consistent brownish shade and won’t be the normal vibrant green that you are used to during the active growing season.

What Do I Do With Winter Dormant Grass?

One of the nice things about winter dormant grass is that there isn’t as much upkeep or care required.

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We get a lot of questions about winterizing a sprinkler system but here in North Texas, this just means making some changes (not shutting down the entire system).

sprinkler heads water plants and grass

While dormant lawns don’t need much water, if you have any winter rye or fescue in your turf, those grass types do still need some water during the winter months. In addition, it’s likely that you have plants on your property that will still require winter watering. Talk to your irrigation professional about how to adjust your system accordingly.

You’ll also want to keep up with leaf and debris cleanup as leaving these elements on your lawn can encourage unwanted pests to make a “home” out of your lawn (as they seek shelter under them). Thick and matted leaves can also block sunlight from the lawn.

Avoiding Damage to Winter Dormant Grass

Our only other recommendation for a winter lawn would be awareness around frost or ice.

If we do receive a layer of frost or ice, our advice would be to avoid walking on your lawn.

grass with frost

The frost itself won’t harm a dormant lawn (that’s why it went into dormancy in the first place). But heavy foot traffic can really compact the blades and lead to damage. If you’ve ever walked on a frosted winter lawn, you might notice that your footprints “stay there” all season. That’s not ideal for your lawn and could lead to damage.

Also, avoid raking a frozen lawn as this will do more harm than good when it is in this state.

The Rest of Your Winter Property

While your lawn care needs will decrease significantly in the winter, there are likely other areas of your property that will still require regular care.

Winter shrub pruning is one such example.

But just like the rest of the year, most homeowners don’t want to worry about what their property needs (or when it needs it).

In fact, in the winter, we know that people are often as busy as ever! With the holidays and family gatherings, you likely don’t have time to be worrying about your property.

These are the reasons why many North Texas homeowners would prefer to leave their property needs to a pro. Besides taking the burden off of their shoulders, handing these tasks over to a professional also ensures that everything will be done right. There’s often more to property maintenance than people tend to realize.

At Grassperson, our Total Maintenance Package removes all the hassles and headaches from the homeowner as we take over the property’s needs (year-round).

That means that rather than worrying about winter lawn dormancy or any other lawn or landscape issues, a pro is simply handling it all for you.

In the end, it comes down to less work for you and more time spent enjoying the things that you love!

Seriously, let go of worrying about your property needs by finding out more about our Total Maintenance package. Get a Free Quote, then you can enjoy the best lawn and landscape on the block!
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Image Source: Grass with Frost, Dormant grass

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