Having a beautiful lawn in Austin, Texas, is relatively easy to achieve if you implement the right summer lawn care practices. One of the most important things that you have to factor in is that Austin has unique climate and environmental conditions.
Here are some great tips to help you ensure that your lawn is beautiful and the envy of the neighborhood.
Thanks to the hot summers and relatively mild winters that are experienced in Austin, one of the most important things that you need to consider when growing a healthy lawn is the grass type. An appropriate grass type will thrive in the region. Some of the best grass types for the Austin area include Bermuda grass, St. Augustine grass, or Zoysia grass.
There are other options available too, but these are the best. If you are having trouble with your lawn no matter what you do, then it could be that you have chosen a less-than-optimal grass species for the area.
Mowing the lawn regularly is a very important part of ensuring that your grass remains healthy. Clipping the grass encourages it to grow, but it is also important that you set your lawn mower at the right height for the grass type so as not to overdo it.
Bermuda grass, for example, likes to be mowed to between 1 to 2 inches, while St. Augustine grass prefers being mowed a little higher to 2.5 to 3.5 inches. Generally, the rule of thumb is to avoid cutting more than 1/3 of the grass blade length at a time. Anything more might put stress on the grass and inhibit its ability to grow healthily.
Note that not mowing your lawn at all for long periods of time can also be unhealthy for the grass and cause it to grow unevenly.
Mulching and Fertilizing
Bagging and removing grass clippings is common practice. However, there is something to be said for mulching them back into the lawn. If done correctly, this can provide nutrients to the soil and help it retain its moisture. This can reduce the amount of fertilizer that you need, so it’s an efficient process as well. It will also reduce the amount of waste that needs to be collected and sent to landfills.
That said, fertilizing your lawn properly is an important part of ensuring that it grows well. Different grass types need different types of fertilizers. To ensure that you have the right fertilizer for your grass type, speak to your local nursery or lawn care expert.
Whatever fertilizer you use, it should be a slow-release fertilizer or organic fertilizer that can prevent excessive growth while minimizing the risk of nutrients running off. The best time to apply your fertilizers is during the early summer months or spring, as this will encourage new growth and give your grass new life after the cold winter months.
Keeping your lawn maintained is critical. This entails not only mowing and fertilizing, as well as the implementation of proper watering practices, but it also includes aerating the soil, which will ensure that your grass continues to grow healthily year after year. Aerating the soil can improve water penetration and encourage better root growth.
Another thing that you should do is promptly remove weeds to prevent them from spreading. If you notice weeds growing in your grass, remove them at the root rather than simply mowing over them, as this can simply cause them to spread everywhere throughout the yard and choke the grass.
Provide a Good Shade/Sunlight Balance
Lawns need a lot of sunlight, but a fair amount of shade can also benefit them, particularly during the hottest parts of the day. To do this, strategically place trees with branches that lean over the lawn or erect simple shade structures, such as shade sails, to protect the grass from excessive heat.
Excessive heat stress can cause damage to the grass and prevent it from growing optimally. In some cases, it can even cause it to die, especially if it is not watered enough.
Be careful, however, not to plant trees too close to the lawn, as tree roots commonly absorb all the moisture, preventing grass from growing near them at all. Therefore, try to plant trees a little bit away from the grass to allow the lawn to grow where you need it to.
Watering Your Lawn in Austin
We’ve left the most important factor until last. Watering your lawn properly is the most critical factor for ensuring that it grows in a healthy manner, especially given Austin’s relatively hot and dry climate. The trick is to water the lawn deeply but not necessarily too frequently. This will encourage deep root growth, yielding a healthier and longer-lasting lawn.
The best time to water is early in the morning before the sun rises. Doing this minimizes the risk of evaporation and yields the best results. It also gives the grass enough time to dry throughout the day so that mold and other fungi don’t develop, causing disease.
Although watering early in the evening is also a popular practice, we don’t recommend it as the risk of disease developing overnight is increased. That said, always follow Austin’s Watering Restrictions, ensuring you water your lawn at permitted times.
Having a proper rainfall sensor system will also help you adjust your watering based on the rainfall. The rainfall levels in the area can fluctuate quite a bit, so you should have a system that allows you to adjust your watering schedule accordingly.
In excessively rainy periods, you should reduce or even skip watering altogether because you don’t want to oversaturate the lawn. When there isn’t a lot of rain, increased watering is absolutely critical. In addition to proper watering practices, water conservation should also be implemented where possible.
Where possible, collect rainwater for irrigation and install low-flow sprinklers or drip irrigation systems. This can encourage your grass to grow without using excessive amounts of water. This will not only be friendlier to the local environment but will also reduce your utility bill.
With a relatively warm climate but limited rainfall, having an efficient and functional sprinkler system that takes water conservation into account is central to achieving a beautiful lawn. To make sure that your sprinklers are operating at optimal efficiency and that water conservation is being exercised while ensuring your grass is properly watered, get proper sprinkler repair done when needed.
If you need a sprinkler head replacement or sprinkler valve repair, then speak to experts like us here at South Austin Irrigation. We can help ensure that your sprinkler system is operating as it should. Whether you need sprinkler repair or water conservation advice, get in touch to book a consultation!