Summer lawn care can be a task for most homeowners. With limited time due to your job, time spent family and friends or not wanting to work during the hotter times of the day, there are certain steps you can take to make having a beautiful summer lawn easier in the Texas heat
Summer lawn care believes it or not starts in the spring. This is when you will want to check your lawn equipment for efficiency. Sharpening blades, changing the oil, and refreshing your gasoline are all essential for a headache-free summer.
A consistent weed control program can help minimize the weed populations and reduce the number of times you will have to mow. Weeds are opportunistic and generally grow in any areas that are thin or thinning and also grow faster than any turf. With weeds present in your lawn, mowing more often is necessary to keep an even cut lawn. A pre-emergent application in the spring with help minimize weed growth throughout the summer months. After the pre-emerge application, spot treatment of existing weeds as well as any that may break through the pre-emergent barrier may be necessary for a weed-free lawn.
Along with the pre-emergent application, fertilization of your turf is key to a full, healthy summer lawn. There are different fertilizer requirements for different turf types. Generally fertilizing 2 times in the summer months is sufficient. You will want to fertilize once going into summer and once in the middle to late summer.
Irrigation is another step to a great summer lawn. You will need to adjust your irrigation from spring to summer. More water will be necessary for a healthy lawn due to the diminishing rain totals/chances and the hotter temps. Watering for longer run times per zone and fewer times throughout the week helps promote deeper root growth. This, in turn, helps your turf deal with heat/drought stress throughout the summer.
To help your lawn with optimizing water usage, aerifying and topdressing is highly recommended at least once every growing season. Aeration helps with compacted soils as well as water percolation through the soil profile. Topdressing behind the aerification amends your soil with a blended compost to give your turf a good nutrient-rich soil growing medium. Sand is also used in this process. Sand helps more with drainage and leveling than the nutrients content.
As your turf is growing at the beginning of the summer, it can be tempting to cut it as short as possible to reduce the number of times you have to mow. In the hot months of Texas summers, this is not a great idea. The optimal mowing height for Bermuda grass, especially in the summer is 2 to 2.5 inches. For St. Augustine in the summer, the optimal height is 2.5 to 4 inches. These heights help develop longer roots and shade the soil from heat.
Following these tips will help you keep your lawn beautiful and healthy in the Texas summer.