Drought stress is one of the leading causes of of turf decline. It is therefore important to be able to recognize the symptoms of drought stress when it occurs. One common mistake many people make is to assume that drought stress could not be an issue if the irrigation system is coming on regularly.
The truth is that most irrigation systems are not one hundred percent efficient, providing double coverage to the entire lawn. Most lawns have gaps in sprinkler coverage that become especially noticeable during hot, dry weather. To verify if some or all of the lawn is under drought stress check for these symptoms: The grass has a light, almost gray color. This color is even over the affected area with no dark or healthy blades of grass mixed in. Foot prints or mower tracks are highly visible right after being made. The individual grass blades are folded together long ways in a V shape. If these symptoms are present, check the affected area for proper sprinkler coverage. This can be done by placing several containers of equal size and shape around the yard, running the irrigation system and then comparing the amounts of water caught by the containers. Adjust or modify the irrigation system as needed.