Turf susceptible to drought?

Editor’s note: This article is from the archives of the MSU Crop Advisory Team Alerts. Check the label of any pesticide referenced to ensure your use is included.

It may seem odd to start considering how turf will perform this summer if the rainfall spigot shuts off, but the abundant rainfall this spring in many areas may actually hurt turf when it comes to summer drought stress. The cool-season turfgrasses which grow in Michigan produce the majority of their roots during the spring, and at times the excessive rainfall produced saturated soil conditions. Root elongation would be reduced in areas with saturated soils, and if the turf hasn’t grown roots by the time temperatures rise and rainfall diminishes, don’t be surprised if turf enters drought stress quickly.

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