Get Your Grass Ready for Cold Weather

In Episode 9 of the Houston Grass Podcast, Michael talks about the things you should be thinking about now to get your grass ready for cold weather. Call 281-431-7441 for answers to your questions.

We’re closed Thanksgiving week and Christmas week, but we’re selling grass for the other 50 weeks of the year. Happy Thanksgiving!

Summary of Get Your Grass Ready for Cold Weather

Good afternoon everyone. This is Michael Romine with Houston Grass, and this is the Houston Grass Podcast. We are here on a cool afternoon, a week from Thanksgiving in November, and this will be a quick update about things to think about to get your grass ready for cold weather.  

There’s not a whole lot going on as grass goes. It’s one of those things that goes to the back of peoples’ minds this time of year. We still get lots of phone calls. We still are here selling grass like we are most days of the year except for the week of Thanksgiving and the week of Christmas. We take that time off.  

You Can Plant Grass This Time of Year

But the number one question this time of year is, is it okay to plant grass this time of year? And it absolutely is. The main thing is that the grass is headed to dormancy. We’ll start getting lots of questions about the coloring in the grass. The first question people will ask is whether the grass is green? 

And it is still green right now, but it is starting to lose some of its bright green color, and the first frost that we get, that green will pretty much be going away at that point. I suspect that in the next couple of days, we’ll have some nights in the high thirties, and we’re gonna get real close to that. 

So it’s nothing to worry about. The grass is still fine. Basically, what you have to tell yourself is that you’re paying for a root system at that point. You’re not paying for pretty green grass.  

The grass is just going to lay there on the dirt. It will cover the dirt up, and keep your soil from washing away. And it’s going to lay there until it warms up again, and the grass starts growing.  

As long as you can keep the heavy traffic off of it from dogs, people, and cars, your grass will be fine laying there till next spring. You still have to water it in real thoroughly after you install it. That’s what you would do any time of year. 

That first watering must get that two inches of water on the grass and get all the air pockets out from underneath the pieces of grass. Getting your grass stuck to the ground with heavy watering is very important. 

But after that, the winter watering requirements are significantly less than if you planted this grass in July, as you can imagine. 

Fertilization Is Done

If you have established grass, fertilization is obviously done. If you didn’t put your Fall Special fertilizer down in September or October, that first week of November is about the latest you would want to do that. Fertilization is done.  

You can back down on your mowing frequency. These cool nights are going to pretty much put the brakes on the grass growing at all. And you probably can get away with mowing every other week just about now unless you’re battling the leaves. 

You do want to keep the leaves off of it and not let them pile up because it’s still growing a little bit and still needs that sunlight. So, keep the leaves off. 

Cut Back on Watering

And the other thing to remember is to cut back on your watering. If you’re still watering at your summertime or early fall schedule, you are way over watering, and you’re just inviting fungus at this point. 

We’ve been getting enough rain lately to stop watering. I’ve had my irrigation system at my office, and my house cut off for about six weeks. We’re getting frequent enough rains here that we’re not needing supplemental irrigation. I will say that if we go two weeks without any rain, I will probably run my irrigation system at that point. 

The rule of thumb now is just an inch of water every other week, instead of an inch of water a week. So, that’s half the amount of water your grass needs during the growing season. Like I said, you’re wasting your money and just inviting fungi of different sorts, primarily brown patch, if you’re watering right now.

Be On the Lookout for Brown Patch 

And speaking of brown patch, we are still seeing lots of that. As soon as we get the first frost, that’ll put the brakes on the brown patch because the frost will send your grass into dormancy. But we definitely are still getting a lot of requests for the Heritage G fungicide.  

The big yellow circles with the bright yellow rings around the outside are a surefire sign of a brown patch. Heritage G is a fantastic product to put the brakes on that. So, you should still be paying attention to that.  

If you haven’t done an application of Heritage G and you’re not seeing any signs of brown patch anywhere, I wouldn’t worry about it. But if you’re seeing it, you should apply Heritage G.

 I did my first application of Heritage G about a month ago, and I was lazy about getting that second application out three weeks later like you’re supposed to. And I saw some brown patch starting to pop up, so I did my second application seven days ago. You should stay on top of that because you don’t want to look at the ugly yellow rings all winter long if you don’t have to. 

You Can Still Apply Barricade — But Not to New Grass

So, those are the things that come to my mind right now. Oh, one more thing is pre-emergent. You know, the Barricade Pre-emergent you put out in October and November. We are getting to the tail end of when you should put that out. If you haven’t put it out, it would be good to get that done in the next couple of weeks. 

The only time you would not want to put pre-emergent out is if you have new grass down You never want to put pre-emergent on new grass because pre-emergent creates a barrier over the soil to make it harder for roots to tap down. It does that whether these are weed roots or the roots from your new grass. 

So obviously you don’t want to inhibit the root growth of your new grass by putting down Barricade. The rule of thumb, with new grass is to wait for at least a year or so before you put down pre-emergent. That will allow your grass to get good and tapped down to the ground before you put any of that out. But if you’ve got established grass, October or November is the time to put out the Barricade.  

Get Your Grass Ready for Cold Weather

So, anyways, those are the things that come to mind to get your grass ready for cold weather. Most of them are just management things that you can do. Decreasing the water would probably be the first one that comes to mind. And remember that just because the grass isn’t green right now, that doesn’t mean that anything is wrong with your grass. We’re not going to see green, green grass again until probably the end of March. 

That is just a fact of life here. And all the grasses do that, and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with the grass. It’s going into dormancy and will green back up in the spring. 

So thank you for listening, and have a good afternoon. 

We’re Still Selling Grass

As Michael mentioned in the podcast, you can still plant grass even after it’s entered dormancy as long as you water it in and then keep heavy traffic off of it until spring after the roots have tapped down. If you have questions, please give us a call at 281-431-7441.

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