GreenGrass Blog

Tulsa Lawn Care Update – Winter Drought

Posted by Kathy Wilder on Tue, Jan 10, 2017 @ 02:46 PM

Happy New Year!  We hope everyone is off to a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year!


Unfortunately, most lawns in Tulsa and the surrounding area are not very happy right now.  We are officially experiencing severe drought conditions.


Lack of water and high winds have given us some very dry landscapes.  Not good for your grass, and not good for fire danger!


Whenever we have a few nice days, drag out the hose and soak your lawn.  We know that it's difficult and inconvenient at this time of year, but watering could make a huge difference in how your lawn looks in the spring.


We have started our first application of the year this week (no, it’s not too early) which contains crabgrass pre-emergent, broadleaf weed control and also fertilizer for the fescue grass.  But water is just as important, if not imperative.  Your lawn needs 1 to 1 ½ inches of water per week, year round.  And our weather is not providing it.


Drought damaged fescue.jpg

Drought damaged fescue


If you want the technical blah-blah, read on!


Tulsa is particularly challenged when it comes to nice lawns, because we are in a “transitional” zone.  It’s really too hot for fescue grass (a cool season grass,) and sometimes it gets too cold for bermuda grass (a warm season grass.)


Bermuda grass grows best in hot climates.  When temperatures drop, it goes into dormancy to conserve energy, so to speak.  It’s not dead – its root system is active.  But if temperatures get extremely low, the roots can sustain “winter damage,” especially in areas of thin turf, resulting in brown spots in the spring.  How can we protect it?  WATER!  Water is insulation against the cold.  A dried out lawn is much more susceptible to winter damage.


Fescue grass grows best in cooler climates.  It will happily grow in full sun in more northern areas.  As a cool season grass, it is actively growing.  It may slow down when it’s freezing, but it will resume when the temperatures warm up.  Fescue needs sun just as much as bermuda, but in our area we can’t plant it in full sun because it gets too hot here.  So right now, it’s soaking up the sun.  Fescue needs WATER because this is its growing season, and it’s making and storing food for itself to get it through the hot summer, when the leaves are back on the trees and it doesn’t get as much sun.


Leaves on fescue drought.jpg


Speaking of which, try to keep the leaves off your fescue so it CAN soak up the sun.


We know that watering in the winter is a problem, but if you are able to do it when we have a nice day, your lawn will reward you by being healthier and stronger and greening up faster in the spring.