Here in north Texas, the 3 most popular grass types are Bermuda grass, Zoysia grass, and St. Augustine.
They all handle the heat and occasional Texas drought, but each one has specific needs regarding irrigation, fertilization, mowing, and shade cover.
Whether you’ve already got one of these breeds and want to be sure you’re taking the best care of it, or you’re ready to lay a new bed of ground cover, we’ve got the basics covered for you.
Lawn Watering Schedule
While watering 3-4 times per week seems ideal, we often face watering restrictions in this region. Fortunately for these grass types, less can be more.
Watering deeply – that is, for a longer period of time – can effectively hydrate your lawn on a twice-per-week schedule. Deeper watering saturates the soil, giving the root system multiple days of adequate moisture. Your grass typically only needs 1 inch of water per week.
If you’re trying to choose the most drought-hardy ground cover in order to save energy, Zoysia grass is your best bet. Bermuda grass is a close second, with St. Augustine coming in third, as it needs a bit more water than the other two.
Speaking of watering your yard, did you know that hand-held sprayers are a great way to disburse nutrients? Liquid fertilizers can be attached to your hose, making it easy to spot spray patches of lawn that need a bit more care.
While it may seem logical to fertilize at the beginning of spring, your grass will benefit most with treatments during its peak growth season. This is typically around May in north Texas.
Nitrogen is the primary compound needed for a healthy lawn, and it is a main ingredient in most fertilizers. Be sure you check labels for compound ratios that work best for your ground cover. Keep in mind that Bermuda grass tends to need a bit more nitrogen-based nourishment, while Zoysia grass needs very little.
If your lawn is full of weeds, you’ll need a full year of fertilization treatments before you will start to eliminate the weeds and get a full lawn of healthy grass. Depending on the type of fertilizer you use, you’ll probably need about 6-8 treatments throughout the year.
Most professionals recommend keeping about 1.5 inches of length on your lawn to optimize even growth. Usually, you don’t want to cut more than 1/3 off the grass blade. So, if you’ve let the grass grow too tall, then you may need to raise the height of the mower blade to insure you don’t cut off too much and hurt the grass health.
All 3 grasses we’re discussing grow hardily in warm Texas weather, and your mowing schedule may vary depending on how quickly it grows.
Bermuda grass stands out in this category, as it actually does best with a reel mower that can safely shave it down a bit closer to the surface.
The amount of shade your yard gets depends largely on the proximity of other homes, as well as the maturity of nearby trees. If you’ve got a highly or partially shaded lawn, St. Augustine will fare better than its counterparts.
Zoysia grass offers moderate shade tolerance, while Bermuda grass requires full sunlight in order to thrive. If you’re in the market for a new pallet of ground cover, be sure you survey your yard at various times of day to get a good idea of which regions get large patches of shade.
Among all the factors to consider with healthy lawn care, some basic knowledge on these four topics should set you up to maintain a luscious lawn. Keeping a gorgeous green yard is all about knowing the essential needs of your ground cover. If you’d rather spend your downtime enjoying your landscape, check out our lawn maintenance services and let us do the work for you.