The month of October is generally a dry month unless we get a late tropical disturbance to bring moisture from the Gulf. Our lawns may not be growing as fast as previous months, but they are actively transpiring and storing carbohydrates.
The turfgrass plant is 75-85 percent water by weight. A 10 percent reduction can cause death. Water within the plant maintains cell turgidity and opening of stomata, solvent or catalyst for metabolic processes. It's also the transport medium for nutrients into and through the plant.
Results of plant water deficits include thinner leaves, smaller cells in leaves, decreased protein content, decreased photosynthesis, and increased disease potential. Avoiding water stressduring tes next few weeks will help provide a healthier lawn come next spring.
Published October 11, 2010
Dr. Wayne Wells is an Extension Professor and Turfgrass Specialist. His mailing address is Department of Plant and Soil Sciences, Mail Stop 9555, Mississippi State, MS 39762. firstname.lastname@example.org