As a horticulturist, I get asked a lot of questions about grass. One of the most common ones is: what temperature does grass stop growing? Understanding how temperature affects the growth of grass is essential for anyone who wants to keep their lawn healthy and vibrant. In this article, I will discuss the impact of temperature on the growth of grass and provide some helpful tips for keeping your lawn in top condition.
Grass is an incredibly resilient plant that can thrive in almost any environment. However, extreme temperatures can cause it to slow or even stop growing completely. In general, when temperatures reach around 50°F (10°C), grass will start to go dormant and cease growth until temperatures rise again. This means that if you live in areas with cold winters, you need to be prepared for your lawn's growth to slow down drastically during these months.
Understanding how temperature affects the growth of grass is key for maintaining a healthy and attractive lawn year-round. In the following sections, I'll explore this topic in greater detail so that you can better care for your grass no matter what climate you may live in.
Grass growth can reach astronomical heights, literally and figuratively, when the temperature is just right! Ideal temperatures for grass growth range from 65 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Cool-season grasses, like fescue and bluegrass, thrive in temperatures that are a bit cooler than warm-season grasses such as zoysia and bermudagrass. While optimal soil temperature varies slightly with each species of grass, it’s generally accepted that any temperature between 60 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit is ideal for healthy turf. With the right amount of water, sunlight, and nutrients, these temperatures create a lush garden oasis that will make your neighbors green with envy.
Grass growth is highly sensitive to temperature. When temperatures reach beyond the optimal range, grass growth will not be as successful. When temperatures become too low, grass can experience frost damage. This is especially true when temperatures drop below 20°F. Grass in these conditions will suffer from damage and can even die off completely if frozen for an extended period of time.
High temperatures can also do serious damage to grass growth. Temperatures above 85°F can cause heat stress and dehydration in the grass, leading to yellowing, wilting, and death in extreme cases. It’s important to manage temperature variability to promote healthy grass growth.
When temperatures become too extreme, grass growth will slow or stop. Knowing the temperature threshold at which this occurs is critical for managing healthy grass growth. Generally, warm-season grasses such as Bermuda, St. Augustine, and zoysia can tolerate temperatures up to 95°F. Above this temperature, the grass will begin to die or go dormant. Cool-season grasses such as fescue and bluegrass are more tolerant of cold temperatures but should not be exposed to temperatures lower than 25°F for extended periods of time.
Managing the temperature variability in your lawn is essential for ensuring healthy grass growth year round. Start by selecting the right type of grass for your climate zone so that you can take advantage of its heat and cold tolerance levels. To keep temperatures consistent in your lawn, consider adjusting your mowing schedule; shorter blades reflect more sunlight which helps to cool down the soil during hot weather and retain heat during colder months. During drought conditions, irrigate regularly with a deep root watering system to ensure adequate hydration and promote vigorous growth even during extreme temperatures. By following these steps, you can ensure optimal growth conditions for your lawn all year long.
It is clear that temperature plays an important role in the growth of grass. To ensure healthy and sustained growth, it is essential to keep temperatures within their ideal range. When temperatures become too high or too low, grass can suffer from stunted growth or death.
As a horticulturist, I recommend aiming for a consistent temperature in the range of 50-85°F. This will provide the best environment for optimal growth. If temperatures fall outside of this range, it is important to take steps to protect your grass by using shade cloths and other protective measures.
Finally, it's worth noting that grass can grow in temperatures as low as 32°F and as high as 95°F, although at these extreme ranges growth will be drastically reduced. In fact, research has found that when temperatures reach over 95°F, there is no grass growth whatsoever! With proper management and attention to temperature variations, you can ensure your grass remains healthy and vibrant year-round.