Despite the early spring and absence of snow, current weather in April is so dry lawns are under drought stress just as they attempt to put up new leaves. I have been on countless lawns and have discovered conditions more typical of late June or early July than mid April. While the warmer temperatures have induced some greening of grass, those lawn areas susceptible to drought stress are staying brown and are unable to capture enough moisture to push out new blades. I am seeing areas of lush green grass in typically moist or shaded areas while grass in the open sun with sand below is all but stalling, remaining brown.
The result of a dry, cool spring is crystal clear; lawns simply are not greening up as fast as they could or normally would with a massive lack of natural rainfall. A spring drought will not help any lawn or ornamental landscape plant since the winter was mild and dry. Turf grass exposed to drying winds and no rain means slow to minimal recovery from a snowless winter. The real proof of this phenomenon will show as winter kill during the upcoming weeks. As a result, lawns will have a hard time pulling out of winter stress or at least may not recover as quickly or completely. For those fortunate enough to have an irrigation system, fire those babies up and get that carpet of brown green! Our weather is more akin to those living in the dry Midwest like Arizona than NH or VT. With some rain in sight, perhaps this dry trend will end and the hum of weekend lawn mowers will appear as quickly as the migration of robins returning from Florida.