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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Have any of you ever had dormant tttf in the summer? If so, how did you water enough to get it alive but still keep it in dormancy? How long can tttf be dormant? From my experience, once tttf goes brown it doesn't come back. Grass affected by brown patch is supposed to still be alive at the crown and able to come back However, without leaves doing photosynthesis, how can the crown and roots stay alive? Tttf is touted for its drought resistance. That's great if you can keep it alive for a few years so the roots can grow long enough.
 

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My front lawn last year in late june was looking like it was starting to go dormant. Rain and storms were forcasted in the beginning of july, so right before that i put down double the rate of milo. Couple of weeks later it perked back up and was nice and green. I used an oscillating sprinkler 3-4 times a week for about an hour each time in the late afternoon. I know that is probably not the best water technique, but it worked for me last year and the lawn stayed green the rest of summer.
 

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I have never been successful in reviving fescue that has gone brown, ever. I tried once making sure it had enough water, and the weeds came in full force but the fescue never recovered. I'm pretty sure fescue is able to recover from dormancy - I see it do it on the side of the freeway, but it's probably got foot deep roots and it's years old. Therein lies the problem in the transition zone - you get caught in a cycle of grass not being able to survive summer because it's not mature enough, and never really having mature grass because it never makes it through the summer. I'm trying to break out of that cycle with bluegrass.

I suspect that if you let you lawn go brown and give it water every 2 weeks, you would get maybe 10% recovery from dormancy in the fall. That's plenty for mother nature to ensure survival of the species, but not enough to make a lawn.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the feedback. I found this conversation at ATY on the topic:
http://aroundtheyard.com/forums2/viewtopic.php?forum_uri=northern&t=15065&start
Seems like "oh, just let it go dormant" is bad advice for anyone growing tttf. I was intrigued by John's reply that the way to get fescue through the summer was to give it absolutely no nitrogen from any source from January to fall, to have it go into the summer 'lean and mean." I did cracked corn in April but next year I may try the no nitrogen at all approach (giving it plenty this fall before depriving it).
 

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I had an awesome lawn last winter and this spring. Then came summer. I lost a huge portion of it in most areas. Giving it one more shot and then switching to Bermuda or zoysia. I'd love KBG but it's not recommended here. I'm definitely favoring Bermuda or zoysia so I don't have to water it quite as much through the heat of summer.
 
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