Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Season of brown grass and drought

The dry summer season has played havoc with lawns across Central Ontario. Patchy green and mostly brown lawns can be seen everywhere, except in downtown Toronto where only the concrete grows tall and strong in the sun. The Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs says that brown lawns are just dormant lawns. As long as no traffic is on the lawn it can stay dormant for up to six weeks and still come back to life. The do say that for every week after the six week dormancy period 25% of the turf will be lost.
A wetland dries up and starts to crack

"With dry weather, people start wondering what is going on with their brown lawn. The first thing to realize is that when lawns go brown in the summer due to lack of rain, they are not dead, they are just dormant. The grass plants may appear dead to the naked eye, but deep inside the plant there is a small area (called the crown) that is still alive. Once this crown gets moisture again, it will come to life and the turf will green up in 10-14 days."
Most areas of Central and Southwest Ontario have had 20-40% less rain than usual and some places are experiencing drought conditions. This is hurting our lawns and farm crops and food prices in the fall are predicted by the government to be higher due to the lack of moisture. And it's not just us - the 2012 North American Drought has expanded from the 2010-2012 Southern United States Drought and includes areas of Quebec and the maritime provinces.

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