It’s HOT and you should focus now on how to care for your grass in Houston’s heat. In this episode of the podcast Michael talks about how much to water, how to prevent chinch bugs and gray leaf spot, and how to adjust your mower. The big box stores are advertising weed and feeds, should you use them now? Michael talks about using herbicides now too. Call 281-431-7441 for answers to your questions and a quick quote for your project.
Good morning, everyone. I’m Michael Romine, and welcome to the Houston Grass Podcast. As we approach the end of June, we’re experiencing the typical Houston heat, and I want to focus our discussion today on how to care for grass in Houston’s heat.
I buy about 10 pallets of grass a month. There are about half a dozen suppliers on this side of Houston. Houston grass is consistently the highest quality. Middle of the road on price but the speed of purchasing/loading is second to none. I’d be surprised if you’re there longer than 3 minutes. SUPER professional. These are the kind of people you can take pictures of your lawn issues to and they’ll give you correct responses and help you solve those kinds of problems.
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In recent weeks, we’ve endured several days with temperatures exceeding 100 degrees. With similar conditions expected in the days ahead, and considering we’re only in June, I worry about where we’re headed.
Get One Inch of Water on Your Grass Every Week
Care for grass in Houston’s heat starts with activating your irrigation system or manually watering your lawn, if you haven’t done so already. Proper watering is the most essential element to combat this heat, requiring at least an inch of water per week, ideally spread across two to three watering sessions.
I understand that increased water usage can hike up bills, but consider the alternative — replacing your entire lawn. That’s a far more expensive undertaking, so it’s crucial to stay on top of your watering schedule.
Using a hose and sprinkler, however, could be time-consuming. For example, before I had an irrigation system, it took me about four hours to water my lawn adequately. So with similar water pressure and sprinklers, you might do two, two-hour waterings each week. I recommend using a rain gauge to ensure that your lawn is getting the necessary amount of water. By spacing out your watering, you can also avoid excessive runoff.
Chinch Bugs Will Attack Drought-Stressed Grass
Without sufficient watering, your lawn becomes vulnerable to pests like chinch bugs. They first manifest as small hotspots, which could be mistaken for simple dry patches in the yard. However, these areas are usually the chinch bugs’ first targets, particularly where concrete structures, like sidewalks and driveways, radiate heat into the surrounding grass. Failure to water these spots promptly might lead to losing that section of your lawn, not to drought but to chinch bugs.
Raising Your Mower Height Helps Your Grass in Houston’s Heat
You should also raise your mower’s height during this time of the year. Keeping your grass at around three and a half to four inches can provide shade to the soil, preserving moisture and reducing stress on your grass.
Don’t Use Selective Herbicides During Houston’s Heat
One thing I’d advise against is weed control at this time of the year. In most cases, homeowners, myself included, should not use selective herbicides in their yard. We see many people inadvertently damage their lawns using these products. Even with accurate application, using them in this heat is a recipe for trouble. Instead, tolerate the minor weeds you have after heavy rain or watering and pull them out manually if needed. Never apply herbicides to a newly installed lawn. Wait at least a year.
If You’re Installing Shade Tolerant Grass and Watering Like You Should — Treat Preemptively for Gray Leaf Spot
Also, be vigilant for gray leaf spot, especially if you have shade-tolerant grass like Palmetto. Our farm applies fungicides, but its effectiveness might wear off depending on the time it arrives at your place. Hence, it’s a good idea to apply a fungicide like Heritage G preemptively within the first three to five days.
It’s Too Hot for Grass to Sit on a Pallet
Another point I’d like to stress is the importance of installing new grass promptly. We sell grass all year round, so if you order it for a Friday delivery intending to lay it on Saturday, the heat will cause it to yellow on the pallet. So, plan to install your grass the day it arrives, followed by heavy watering, especially on the first day.
How Much Sunlight Does Your Grass Need?
Lastly, I’ll touch on the topic of selecting grass for shaded areas. As a rule of thumb, Raleigh St. Augustine requires six to seven hours of direct sunlight per day. If your yard is shaded, Palmetto St. Augustine, requiring just four to five hours of sunlight, might be a better choice. The more sunlight any grass gets, the healthier it will be.
In conclusion, watering is paramount, especially during this hot season. Be sure to plan your lawn care strategies accordingly.
Houston Grass Delivers Quality Second to None at Competitive Prices
Call us at 281-431-7441 for answers to your questions and a quick quote for your project. Our grass is grown at out family farm in Bay City, and we’ve been in the grass business there since 1981.