In this episode of the Houston Grass Podcast, Michael talks about springtime lawn care and what you should be doing now to get your lawn off to a great start. Got a question? Call us at 281-431-7441.
Summary of How to Get Your Lawn Off to a Great Start
Good morning everyone. This is Michael Romine with Houston Grass and this is the Houston Grass Podcast. I’ll start our session here this morning by announcing that we’re here in early spring . It’s late February, and spring is just around the corner. It’s supposed to be 84 degrees today. So that’s pretty much spring if you ask me.
We’re Selling Palmetto St. Augustine by the Piece – for a Limited Time
So what we run into this time of year is lots of requests for folks to get pieces of Palmetto St. Augustine. The Palmetto St. Augustine is the more shade tolerant of the two St. Augustines we have. Whereas the Raleigh St. Augustine needs the six or seven hours of direct sunlight a day, the Palmetto St. Augustine can survive on four or five hours of sunlight per day. Normally throughout the year the only grass that we sell by the piece, the 16 by 24 inch piece, is the Raleigh St. Augustine.
We get an uptick in demand for the Palmetto St. Augustine this time of year. So we will start bringing up a couple of pallets of the Palmetto St. Augustine either on Thursday or Friday, or maybe even both if it’s well received. We can sell it by the pallet, but we will also sell it by the piece. So if people are interested in purchasing that it will be available. It will be first com, first served.
Today is February 23rd. We will not be open this coming Saturday, but we will be open the following Saturday and then towards the end of the week, we’ll be getting a pallet or two of the Palmetto. Hopefully we’ll have some inventory into Saturday morning as well. But like I said we never can predict how fast that’s gonna go. We’ll try to get as much of it up here as there is demand for. So just wanted to let everybody know that.
Palmetto Can Patch the Shade-Damaged Sections of Your Raleigh St. Augustine Grass
One thing that I’d like to mention about the Palmetto is that the Raleigh St. Augustine and Palmetto St. Augustine look really, really similar. So if you, if you’ve got a couple of weak spots in your Raleigh St. Augustine yard due to shade issues, you can get the Palmetto St. Augustine and patch it in there. As long as that area’s getting four or five hours of direct sunlight each day it should do fine. If the area does not get four to five hours of sunlight, you should think about enlarging a flower bet or trimming those trees some more.
But the two varieties look so similar that you could lay them beside one another. If you study real closely, you would be able to tell the difference. But for the most part, no one will be the wiser. So if you need to get your lawn off to a great start by patching in a few pieces of Palmetto here and there that is certainly an option that would be available to you for the next few months here.
Our Newly Harvested Grass Is Greener with Every Shipment
We do need to talk about the temperatures. It has warmed up significantly. The grass that we’re getting is greening up more every shipment that we get every day. If someone is wanting a hundred percent green grass, we tell them that we’re probably three to four weeks from that barring any more hard frost or anything like that.
If you do find a hundred percent green grass somewhere, it’s probably been spray painted. Some of the big box stores will do that. There’s nothing wrong with it, but if you look close you can tell that it has in fact been painted. Like I said there’s nothing wrong with doing that, but just know that is what you’re getting. We do not do the painting. We just stick with Mother Nature greening everything up.
Get Your Lawn Off to a Great Start by Removing Dead Thatch
If you’re confident that we’re past that last frost, we’re getting real close to cut the St. Augustine off short. Actually everything, whether it’s Zoysia, Bermudagrass, or St. Augustine, it’s time to go ahead and cut everything off short. Bag all that. When I say cut it off short, I mean drop your mower deck one notch, maybe two from your normal. So from your three or three and a half or three and a half or four inch mowing that you do, drop it down a notch or two. Kind of scalp it off, and be sure and bag all that dead thatch material. Get it out of there. That’ll start getting sun down to where it needs to and get that new growth to come out.
Fertilizer or Weed and Feed Can Get Your Lawn Off to a Great Start for the Year
We are taking shipments of all the fertilizers now. Tomorrow we’re getting the Nitro Phos Weed and Feed in the purple bag that’s got the Atrazine in it.
We already have everything else. The plain Nitro-Phos Imperial that’s just the fertilizer. And then the same fertilizer blend with Trimec instead of Atrazine. They both work a little bit differently, but they’re both there to kill the weeds, so that will be available.
We definitely recommend putting out putting out a fertilizer in the next couple of weeks. And of course, follow the directions on the bag and get it good and watered in.
If you haven’t already put out your Barricade Pre-Emergent I think you’re a little late on that. That’s kind of an early February thing and the next application for that is going to be May. So, put that on your calendar so you’ll be ready for that and kind of hopefully keep, keep some of those weeds at bay.
Trimming Your Trees Now Helps Your Grass All Year
It’s also a good time to think about trimming your trees. I’m no arborist. I’m not sure when is the best time of year to trim trees, but I do know that if you don’t trim those trees, you will not be able to grow grass. So if you got a couple of big live oaks in your front yard, two years is about the max you can usually get away without trimming your trees. Every year obviously is preferable, but I know it’s expensive to have that done. So every other year anyway, you need to get those trees trimmed up fairly aggressively and get that sunlight in there.
The more sunlight you can get in there for any grass that we have, uh, an grass that’s out there, the healthier and thicker and lush that grass is gonna be. We talked about the Palmetto earlier, it can survive on less sunlight. Yes but, the more sun that it gets the healthier that plant will be.
It May Be Time to Start Watering
The rains are getting a little less frequent, at least south of Interstate 10 here. The last couple of fronts that have come through, the energy has kind of stayed up north and we haven’t gotten a whole lot of rain with this grass starting to grow.
With the flower beds and everything else starting to bud out, things are going to start using up that water. And if we don’t start getting a little more measurable rainfall, everybody’s going to need to kick irrigation systems on or drag those hoses out and start watering. Getting that inch of water per week is kind of the going rule while the plant is growing.
I’m not sure that your grass needs that quite yet. We’re still having those cool nights and we’re not having the scorching days by any stretch yet. Frankly you can still overdo it with water. If you water too much, you will be inviting Brown Patch and then you’ll have to be applying fungicide.
Prevent Brown Patch to Get Your Lawn Off to a Great Start
Speaking of fungicide and Brown Patch, that is an issue this time of year. You still have those cool nights and warmer days, and it starts to appear going into the summer. Going into the fall, you may also see some of those brown circles with bright yellow edges. That’s an indicator that Brown Patch is out there and it’s active. In that case, you’d want to apply some Heritage G that we sell, or you can get online.
I highly recommend that Heritage G, two applications of that if you see some Brown Patch pop up. So be on the lookout for that. This is what comes to mind as far as what you need to be doing with the grass right now to get your lawn off to a great start.
Bermuda Grass Is Limited for the Next Month
I would also like to say we are getting lots of grass shipments in per day. I do know that the farm currently is a little bit short on Bermuda grass. So they’re limiting the amount that we can have of that. We’ve got plenty of Raleigh and Palmetto St. Augustine. Our farm is telling us that all they need is maybe a month of good growing weather, and that Bermuda grass that they have will be closed up and ready to harvest.
It’s just on the cusp of being ready, but it’s just not quite there yet. But we’re going to have plenty of Raleigh St. Augustine in stock and plenty of Palmetto St. Augustine in stock. And we’ll be ready to take your orders.
Price Increases Are Much Less than Last Year
We will be having a price increase on March 1st. The farm will be going up on prices a little bit, and therefore we pass that along a little bit.
It looks like it’s going to be $5 more for the St. Augustines — actually everything except Bermuda grass. The Bermuda grass is going up $10 per pallet. So those price increases will be taking effect on effect on March 1st. So, just wanted to throw that out there too.
That is kind of all I have for today. We’ll talk again next month and we’ll be in the throes of probably more 80 degree days and hopefully a little bit more rain. And we’ll have some tips to pass along then. I appreciate you listening and we’ll talk soon.