Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Ask Bryant Park: Why Is the Lawn Brown?

Lawn roll-out is always an exciting time as it marks the return of one of Bryant Park's best features and the coming arrival of spring. However, if you look at the grass right now, it is not the vibrant green that we've come to expect in the summer months. Here's a quick explanation of the lawn's color.

The sod, a mix of Kentucky Bluegrass and fescue, has been growing for at least two years at a sod farm on Long Island. We purchase mature grass because the roots are more established, meaning that the grass will be better able to withstand heavy use during the summer months.

This photo, taken during this year's lawn installation, reveals the color of the dormant grass. 
During the winter, the grass goes dormant and turns brown. It is not dead, but rather awaiting temperatures consistently in the 60s. Those temperatures will signal to the grass that it is time to come out of dormancy and turn green again!

As part of the re-awakening process, root systems from individual pieces of sod will knit together (think of a quilt). As part of the knitting process, the pixellated appearance of the lawn will fade out and the grass color will be more consistent.

This photo was taken on the first day the lawn was open in 2014. Though the lawn is currently far from this vibrant green color, it will soon transform. 

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