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Why the grass turns brown in the fall.


Typically, in Central Texas we have a southern variety of turf which may be Bermuda, Zoysia, or St. Augustine. We are located far enough north for the grass to go dormant for the winter, which is why it turns brown in the fall as the temperatures cool. The shorter sunlight time and the cooler soil temperatures is what starts the process of the turf shutting down. There is nothing wrong with the lawn and it’s still alive, it will require a small amount of water throughout the winter.

The good thing about this is that maintenance and water requirements are very low. Mowing can be performed on a monthly basis to keep it clean, and it will only need to be irrigated once per week or once every two weeks depending on the amount of rainfall.

One of the negative aspects to dormancy is that the lawn will not recover until it starts to grow again in the spring. If there is damage from construction, wildlife, or disease it could be sometime before it will look good again. It is important to pay attention to how much traffic is on the turf either from dogs running of if you have kids playing. It is a good idea to rotate the areas they run or play in to prevent any damage from happening if possible.

The grass will normally start to green up in March or April and everything will return to normal. If you need more information, please watch this video:


Kyle Caldwell

LI 0021285