does the grass get tired?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by 1MajorTom, Jul 16, 2006.

  1. 1MajorTom

    1MajorTom Former Moderator
    Messages: 6,073

    Stupid question right? Well hear me out. Been in biz 8 years, and it always goes like this.
    If we have a great spring and wet summer, we'll be rolling along having a booming year. But come fall, we always end up just having a "so so" ending when it comes to the mowing. It's almost like the grass is tired and has grown it's cycle, and the grass slows down in the growing.
    However, if we have a good spring, but yet a dry summer, almost drought-like, come fall that grass is READY to grow again once the cooler temps hit, and we'll finish the mowing season with a bang.
    So my question is this, does anyone else notice this when having a booming spring and summer, the grass almost seems tired of growing come fall?
  2. Shady Brook

    Shady Brook LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Indiana
    Messages: 1,517

    I believe there is some truth in what you are experiencing. My understanding of grass (generally) is that it stores most of it's nutrients in the fall. At this time of year the roots are expanding and food is stored for the next year. I believe with good rains and good "prolonged" growth it pretty much uses up it's energy stores. I think fertilization helps, and certainly all programs are not created equal, but at some point the grass is just not going to continue to perform even with favorable conditions.

    We had a great spring and good summer until recently, and the grass has really slowed considerably. Even with rain and the most recent fertilizer application the grass has really slowed down. The temps are now climing which will not help matters, but it slowed before the heat would have really stunted it.

    So although I don't know if there are any research papers to back up your hypothosis, I believe it is reasonable and likely scientific.
  3. grass_cuttin_fool

    grass_cuttin_fool LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,526

    I have noticed it also Jodi, it seems you are gonna have 2 good seasons, seems it hard to have a great summer , spring , and fall.

  4. jpp

    jpp LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,131

    I have noticed it too. We us going into a week of high 90's here, I am wondering what will happen with the rest of July-August. We had alot of rain last week so that should help, but with high humudity and high temps that water is going to be sucked up from the soil that is for sure.
  5. sheshovel

    sheshovel LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,112

    Yep grass does get tired in mid summer.
  6. lawncare18

    lawncare18 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 742

    I would think the humidity would keep more moisture in the ground ... vs strate heat with no humidity.
  7. jpp

    jpp LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,131

    I guess my point should have been, with the sun beating on it is going to dry things out.Or baking it.
  8. lawncare18

    lawncare18 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 742

    yea jpp... Idk so far for us its been a good season... almost to august .. if we can get through august then we will be golden.. I hate talking about this with all the poeple down in texas that have straw its so dry... sorta sad to hear of locos haivng to go under due to mother nature and no rain...
  9. horticulturedawg

    horticulturedawg LawnSite Member
    Messages: 59

    It has to do with photo period, temperature (night time too) water, and fertilization. When the conditions are most favorable for the turf to grow like in the spring time, the grass goes nuts.... When some of these factors change, The turf slows down.

    It also depends on turf type. Zoysia and bermuda are loving this hot humid weather we are having in Atlanta right now. Fescue, not so much. In the fall, when the photo period shortens, Fescue will recover and bermuda and zoysia slow down. Soon thereafter they will go dormant.
  10. Precision

    Precision LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,995

    I find that it depends on the quality of the soil and the amendment program as well as the correct amount of water being applied.

    Down here, we have the water for 15 minutes every day morons and their yards do get sickly when the rainy season ends. No root structure, wonder why.

    but other than that, our properly maintained and properly fed lawns don't get much of a slow down. Sure the top end growth slows from 6 inches a week to more like 2 inches. but it is getting darker sooner and the summer downpours are slacking off, so that is to be expected. But the growth is still there and the grass usually stays dense and dark up until the 50 degree day time temps hit. Then growth slows to 1/2 inch per week and I can relax a bit.

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