Your lawn is an essential part of your home environment. It provides a space to enjoy outdoor fun activities with your family and friends and is the first thing your neighbors see whenever they pass by your home. The first impression is, therefore, critical. Although maintaining a lawn may seem easy, there are a few things that you must do to ensure it looks lush and green throughout the year.
1. Learn About Your Soil
The more you know about the soil on your lawn, the better you can maintain and manage it. Healthy soils are essential for a strong and healthy lawn. Texas is home to over 1,300 different kinds of soils. Each has specific properties that influence how the soil is used. If you want to learn about your specific kind of soil, you may need to hire a qualified pedologist from a certified Texas lawn management company or do an at-home soil test to gain insight into the nutritional level and pH of your soil.
You can’t have a lush and green lawn without performing a soil test. The results from your test will help you anticipate what your lawn needs. Besides that, knowing your soil type will help you decide what grass to plant on your lawn.
Each variety has different needs. A soil test will let you know which is compatible with your soil. A qualified contractor can help you interpret the results for effective lawn management. Ideally, you should schedule a soil test with a lawn care service at least every three years or before adding fertilizer to your lawn.
2. Know Your Grass
Knowing the type of grass you have growing will help you determine how best to care for it. Different types of grass have different treatment needs and at different times. The unusual weather conditions in Texas mean that only a few grass species can survive and thrive. Generally, the grass needs to have defensive properties against heat, drought, and cold. To ensure you plant the right grass, you must hire a Texas lawn management contractor to guide you.
An example of grass that does well in Texas is the buffalo grass; this is a native grass that is ideal for high-traffic areas with limited shade. Commonly found in central and south Texas, it can survive through all seasons and doesn’t grow as tall, translating to minimal maintenance. However, if you want to enhance the curb appeal, bent grass is the ideal choice.
Typically, bent grass is low-growing and appears as a uniform carpet when mowed. It is widely used on the majority of the golf courses. Even so, some grass species can only do well in certain regions. For example, bluegrass is ideal for northern Texas, while centipede grass works for south and southeast areas.
3. Mow at The Right Height
Mowing your lawn is one of the most time-consuming lawn management practices. However, it plays a big role in ensuring the grass grows with the right density. As simple as mowing your lawn is, you must consider several factors before you decide to hop onto your mower. The last thing you want is to end up damaging your lawn. If unsure how to go about your Texas lawn management, you can consult with local lawn mowing companies or hire a qualified contractor.
You shouldn’t wait until your grass is overgrown to start thinking of how to trim it. According to Maria Isabela Reis, tall grass is not only an ideal breeding place for pests and fungi, but the long clippings that fall on your lawn as you mow may fail to decompose, preventing your lawn from absorbing the nutrients and water it needs.
Moreover, mowing your grass when it’s too short will inhibit the process of photosynthesis, which may interfere with the growth of roots. Therefore, you must ensure you mow your lawn when the timing is right. The rate at which your grass grows will depend on your specific type of grass. However, the general rule is to cut the grass at least once every seven days.
4. Water Your Grass
Your Texas lawn management process will involve watering. Water is essential for all living things, and your lawn isn’t an exception. The amount your grass needs will vary depending on your location and season. In Texas, for example, the weather is mainly hot and dry. Therefore, you may need to water your lawn more frequently than in other cooler areas in the United States.
Watering your lawn takes more than pointing a water hose. The timing also has to be just right. If you decide to water your lawn when the water on the leaves can’t evaporate, you may invite diseases and fungus. On the other hand, watering your lawn when evaporation is high means the water will not reach the roots; you might as well skip watering that day.
The ideal time to water your Texas lawn is early morning before sunrise. This will allow time for the soil and roots to absorb moisture before it evaporates. Regarding the different methods of watering your lawn, the best one is from Mother Nature, but it isn’t always reliable. You can install a sprinkler system as a backup to ensure your lawn gets watered regardless of the season.
5. Feed Your Lawn
Are you hell-bent on ensuring the grass is greener on your side? Well, just like all living things, you will need to feed your lawn. All lawns, even the healthy-looking ones, can benefit from some tender loving and care in the form of fertilizer. The three main nutrients that every lawn requires are phosphorous, potassium, and nitrogen. Remember the soil test you did in the beginning? The results will help you determine the nutrients your lawn needs.
A typical Texas lawn management checklist should include fertilizing your lawn at least four times from April to October, according to Jack Moore. The fertilizer will not only help to enhance the thickness and color of your turf. It will also give the grass the strength to withstand harsh weather conditions.
You can choose to use either liquid or granular fertilizer. Regardless of what you decide to go for, remember, too much of anything is poisonous. Carefully read the instructions on the label of each fertilizer.
6. Cover Bald Spots
Are you tired of looking at bald patches on your otherwise lush green lawn? It’s time to cover them up! Bald patches interfere with landscape designs and may indicate bigger issues. Therefore, it is important to establish the root cause of the problem in your Texas lawn management process.
Common reasons your lawn is patchy may include chemical burns, drought, heavy foot traffic, pet urine, and damage from outdoor fireplaces. Sometimes, there may be no fix to permanently resolve the problem unless you change how things are done in your home. For example, if bald patches result from heavy pounding as people walk on the lawn, you can benefit from installing walkways or barriers that reroute the traffic to a designated route. You can also hire backyard landscapers to help install a backyard play area where your pets and kids, if any, can play without damaging the lawn.
7. Pest Control
Have bugs and insects invaded your lawn? If yes, it’s time to hire a Texas lawn management contractor to help manage the problem. But before you contact your local contractor, check to see what bugs have invaded your lawn. Not all bugs are pests. In fact, bugs such as honey bees and ladybugs benefit your lawn and the environment.
However, if you detect the presence of grub worms, billbugs, or army worms on your lawn, contact a contractor immediately. Such pests will feed on the roots and leaves of your grass and end up causing significant damage to the lawn, for example, bald patches. Fortunately, many solutions are available for you to manage a pest problem. Your contractor should assess the damage to determine which treatment option is best suited for your lawn.
An example of a solution that will help you manage pests on your lawn is hiring a tree removal service. If your lawn is infested with bigger pests, such as rats and skunks, managing the trees on your lawn will be important. Larger pests use tree branches to access your property and damage the lawn by urinating. Pruning the branches of your trees is a great step towards ensuring you have a pest-free lawn.
A fence installation may be done for many reasons. One of the main reasons residential fencing is common in Texas is because it helps to act as a boundary between neighboring parcels of land. However, more than that, a fence will also help to protect your lawn from damage that may be caused when livestock trespasses on your property.
Before hiring a contractor to install a fence around your property, you should look into the state laws that govern the installation of fences in Texas. The state laws will help you determine the height and materials for fencing. Although wood is an ideal decorative fencing material, it isn’t sturdy enough according to the regulations. Therefore, as you look into fencing as a Texas lawn management tip, ensure you don’t find yourself on the wrong side of the law by ignoring set guidelines.
9. Dethatch Your Law
Thatch is a matted layer of dead and living organic matter that collects on the soil surface at the bottom of grass blades. It comprises leaves, grass clippings, and twigs that build up over time. Viveka Neveln says a bit of thatch doesn’t hurt your lawn. In fact, thatch with a ½-inch thickness helps to reduce evaporation and soil erosion. However, it becomes a problem when left to accumulate for a long time, forming a layer thicker than ½ an inch.
Thick layers of thatch prevent water and nutrients from reaching the soil and roots for absorption. This, in turn, exposes your lawn to diseases and pests. So what causes excessive thatch to accumulate? The biggest culprits include poorly aerated soil, too much water, and excess nitrogen. For effective Texas lawn management, you must avoid practices that can cause the grass to grow too fast.
It is also important to note that some grass varieties are more prone to accumulating thatch than others. A good example is the Kentucky bluegrass, which grows significantly faster than its counterparts. Dethatching your lawn will require more than one session, and three main techniques are used. You can use a power rake, manual dethatching, or vertical mower. Remember not to rush the process, as you may unintentionally damage the roots of the grass.
10. Hire a Professional
If you need help with your Texas lawn management efforts, don’t hesitate to hire a pro. Do as much or as little as possible and leave the rest to professionals. Learning how to manage your lawn takes time, skill, and commitment. Considering all the other duties you take on when managing your home, you may not have the time to learn how to effectively care for your lawn. A qualified contractor has a keen eye to spot all problems that may be present and already has the necessary training.
With so many contractors, who do you trust to work on your lawn? Finding the right company or independent contractor may seem scary. However, it doesn’t have to be when you do your homework. Research local lawn contractors and compare the different services and price points.
Choose the one that can help address all your lawn needs. Of course, they should be within your budget. You can also get recommendations from trusted friends or family members. This way, you can at least be sure that the reviews you’ll get are honest, and there’s also the fact that you can see the work done on the lawn in person.
Lawn envy is a real thing. You want your lawn to be the talk of the town, of course, for good reasons. Although Mother Nature will put your lawn through diverse tests and trials, with proper guidance, quality ingredients, and a reputable contractor by your side, your lawn can withstand the harsh Texas climate. Do all it takes to ensure your lawn stands out.