6 Tips For Lawn Care In The Texas Summer Months
If you live in Texas, then it goes without saying that summer is your busiest season and also the hottest.
You’ll be running errands, hosting garden parties and taking your kids to the pool, not to mention keeping up with all that yard work. August and September are the hottest months in Texas.
Here are 6 tips to keep your lawn in tiptop shape during blazing Texas summer months.
1) Have a water timer that will turn on your sprinklers at intervals you can set according to your watering schedule. This ensures the healthy lawn gets enough time to soak in water before it’s dried out again by the heat, especially if you’re going away over the weekend or away on vacation.
WATERING SCHEDULE: When you’re away, make sure your green lawn is well-watered.
Here’s a guide to how much water each different type of grass needs.
A good rule of thumb is that if the ground under your grass is moist (not muddy), it doesn’t need to be watered again yet for at least another 48 hours. If your grass feels dry just below the top layer, it needs watering again. And if it looks brown and crispy as though it can’t tolerate any more water without dying……it probably should not get any more water without dying!
2) It’s very important that you don’t let your grass go yellow. That might invite bugs and other pests which eat good, green grass but are not attracted to pale, dying grasses. If this happens, do a deep-watering of the lawn. This is not as safe as using a timer, but if you can water every 15 minutes for 30-40 minutes it should give your beautiful lawn enough hydration to stay healthy and green. The grass seed needs regular watering and fertilizing to stay healthy.
If this is not possible, water your green lawn in patches. Just do about a third of it at first and go back later to the other two thirds. Grass will grow back faster than you think if you are consistent with watering your beautiful lawn regularly.
When watering grass on a property that has sprinklers or hoses, be careful about where you’re doing it. If you put the hose right onto tree bark or root system areas, those trees can die off from being under-watered for too long of a period. The same applies to flowers; many flower species don’t like very much at all, so just keep an eye out when watering around them!
3) If you have an irrigation system that uses plastic pipes, make sure they are always at least half-filled with water. A pipe which ends up empty may become damaged by sun exposure and break, spewing out sand and dirt or even worse: contaminating your whole network of pipes with bacteria! Don’t let this happen—it’s cheap to keep them full!
When you are watering your beautiful lawn, strive to water it evenly. Avoid using sprinklers that throw the water out in just one direction – try getting a spray nozzle for better even distribution. These kinds of nozzles will also use less water and make sure your plants get enough of this life-giving resource. It’s good for them too!
4) Get yourself a wide push mower (or any mower actually). It’s easier to navigate over large portions of terrain and doesn’t have to be adjusted for every time you tip it up or down. It also has a larger cutting width, so you aren’t doing as much walking back and forth (and resulting sweating).
Start a little bit away from the tree or bush you are going to edge. That way, when you reach it, all you need to do is push the mower along the base and not stop and then start again. The result should look as above; cut grass about an inch away from the ground, with a nice clean line of cut grass. If there’s any tall grass left on the other side of your line that needs cutting, just repeat this process until everything is being taken care of.
For small shrubs or trees in tight spots near sidewalks or buildings, it might be easier to simply use pruning shears wherever they are needed instead of trying to shove a mower through a narrow space (all while preventing the blades from taking off someone’s leg).
The process is pretty much the same for any type of mower, just be sure to always keep it at a 45-degree angle and above your feet. Cutting with the sharp blades at an angle will chop off more when you push forward (which results in less effort on your part) and will give you a nice edge. A lower blade can catch dirt or grass clippings and throw them back up at you.
You’re done! Now you should have easier navigation over large portions of terrain, a cleaner sidewalk for pedestrians, and happier neighbors. You might also be sweating a little more than usual, so get some water and sit down in the shade.
5) Get yourself some good gloves! The last thing you want is to overheat your hands while working outside. Just remember that if they’re too hot you’ll be stinging when you sweat onto them. That’s just not pleasant! There are many solutions here: get the ones with ventilation in the knuckles, make sure your palms don’t touch the handle or anything else sweaty… Wearing thin gloves inside larger mittens works as well!I like the DeWalt Nitrile gloves I got from Home Depot. They’re reasonably priced, tough and comfortable!
6) If all else fails and everything turns from green to brown and crispy, you have one last resort. A cup of cola poured into a watering can will revive dying grass in almost no time. But be quick about it! The effectiveness of this trick depends on how much sun your lawn has been exposed to and over how long a period.
As cola contains phosphoric acid, which has a similar effect as lime on plants. In fact, the sweet tang of cola is due to it being high in phosphate and citric or ascorbic acids. Phosphates are plant food and essential for growth. They are particularly good for lawns because they help convert nitrogen into ammonia so that the grass can use it more effectively. Citric acid also helps prevent scorch damage from drought conditions and helps maintain chlorophyll content during hot spells.
How to do it Pour a one-pint glass of cola into a watering can at room temperature (not straight out of the fridge!) with water that has been standing overnight so that any chlorine will have evaporated. The more dilute the acid, the more powerful it is! Water your lawn in hot weather as often as possible. Not only will this keep it healthy and green by keeping it cool, but frequent watering means that when you do get around to pouring on a cup of cola, it has maximum effect.
If you don’t have any cola handy, then straight lemon juice makes a very good substitute – especially if you are using baking soda to raise the pH of your soil.
You can also try mixing honey with water instead of lemon juice or cola. It doesn’t seem to work quite so well but is still better than nothing!
This is not 100% guaranteed to save your lawn and there’s still the possibility that it will turn yellow again afterwards, but if you’re in the heat of summer with nothing else to do than sit at home and drink cold beer anyway, why not just pour some into a watering can? It’s certainly worth a shot!
If you live in the Austin area and are looking for professional lawn care services, give Grass Works Austin Lawn Care a call to schedule your free consultation at (512) 797-1640 to learn more about our services or request an appointment online via the form below.
You may also enjoy reading: Don’t DIY: 5 Reasons To Hire A Lawn Care Professional.