It’s summer in Houston! Hopefully you’ve been listening to the Houston Grass Podcast and your lawn is ready for Houston’s summer heat. Houston Grass has the products and the know-how you need to keep your grass healthy. Call us at 281-431-7441 for quick quotes for your project and answers to your questions.
Houston Grass Podcast Episode 4
Michael Romine: Hi, this is Michael Romine and this is the Houston Grass Podcast. Here we are in early June in Houston, Texas, and it’s gotten hotter than we talked about a month ago. And we’re still not getting a whole lot of help from Mother Nature.
Got a couple inches of rain a couple weeks ago which all the farmers were grateful for. But it’s not helping a whole lot with the water in the lawn bill, for sure. We’re not getting any good, consistent rains. We’ll talk about the watering and fertilizing and just some of the “taking care of grass when it starts to get hot outside” tips.
Time to Fertilize with Nitro-Phos Superturf
If you haven’t already fertilized for the summer with the Superturf, there’s no time like the present. We just got another big shipment of it in here today, because we went through what we had. If you look at Nitro Phos’s schedule, it it actually mentions a couple of fertilizations during the summer.
And if you’re going to do any fertilizing during the summer, you definitely want to do it with Superturf. And the reason is, other than it’s a fantastic blend of fertilizer, is part of their nitrogen is slow release.
I think about half of it is slow release. So you get the instant green up for the lawn. But then it, it holds on to about half of it and slowly releases that nitrogen into the soil.
That’s good on several fronts. You get the you do get the instant gratification of a green up, but then you also you slowly release that nitrogen into the soil.
And that way, the number one thing is you don’t burn your grass with a big influx of nitrogen into grass. This time of year, if that’s not followed up with enough water it can really burn your grass. Superturf can prevent that.
So you get it out there of course, and water it in real good. You should be watering a couple times a week right now, a good half inch watering right after you apply the fertilizer would be great and then go back to your regularly scheduled waterings.
Watering Your Lawn During Houston’s Summer
And speaking of your waterings you should be watering about one inch of water per week right now with a hose and a sprinkler. I have found that takes takes about four hours with typical city water pressure and most sprinklers. Obviously the best way to determine the amount of water you’re putting on your lawn is sticking a rain gauge out there and measuring.
And I ideally you do that with two, half-inch waterings per week. So if you’re using a hose and sprinkler two hours on Saturday and two hours again on, on Wednesday or so that should be enough. The ideal watering time is always in the morning before the wind kicks up and before that evaporation really gets really gets kicked off.
Chinch Bugs Look for Drought Stressed Grass
Stay on top of that watering because another one of our topics is chinch bugs. Chinch bugs look for drought-stressed grass, and he who does not water his yard will get chinch bugs. They will eat you outta house and home. As chinch bugs eat they inject a toxin into the grass as they eat it. And. It’s basically like you spray Roundup on it. That grass is gone. You will be having to call us and and talking about grass replacement. The only thing that’ll come back there normally is Common Bermuda grass after the chinch bugs kill the Saint Augustine grass.
Increase Your Mowing Height to Retain Moisture
Stay on top of your watering and get that mowing height up. It helps to transition from three to three and a half inches to three and a half or four inches or so.
The taller grass helps shade that dirt underneath. It helps hold that moisture in longer. So you don’t lose as much to evaporation. It’s not as stressful on the grass.
There’s lots of reasons to increase that mowing height, but you definitely want to do that this time of year. This is the now through September, keep that mowing height up and make sure you water because your grass is really growing this time of year.
Mow at Least Once a Week During Summer
So you really want to be mowing at least once a week. If you’re taking very good care of your grass and you’re watering and fertilizing like you’re supposed to, you really need to mow about every five days. If you don’t you’re going to be raking because the grass is growing so much during the summer in Houston. You never want to cut more than a third of the leaf tissue off at a time.
Cutting off more stresses your grass. If you are only mowing once a week, you’re probably cutting more like half of it off because that grass is really growing. It’s not the end of the world. If you have a lawn service, they’re probably coming once a week.
Or maybe you just don’t feel like going out there more than once every seven days. Whatever the reason, it’s important to follow the mowing up with a real good watering. One of your waterings should absolutely be the day after you mow. That is a real good time to put some water on it.
You get a real good response then, and it just helps that grass. If it is stressed at all, that water helps knock the edge off of that. On the flip side of watering here, another thing I would like to talk about a little bit is gray leaf spot.
Watch for Gray Leaf Spot in Your Summer Grass
We’re getting lots of phone calls about gray leaf spot as it gets hot and humid. It’s just a fact of life in this part of the world during the summer. We carry Heritage G which is a granular fungicide. Heritage G is second to none as far as treating preventing and treating gray leaf spot.
Anytime anybody is going to buy grass from us this time of year, to be planted in the shade, we recommend a preventative treatment of Heritage G. Our grass comes with a lot of fertilizer in it because we do take the extra care of it and spend a lot of extra money. Our thick, pretty lush, deep green grass comes from fertilizer.
Planting Grass in the Shade? We Recommend a Preventative Application of Heritage G
You take fertilized grass and plant it in the shade and then you dump a lot of water on it. This is what you have to do to get grass established — particularly the Palmetto St. Augustine. That’s one of the grass varieties that we recommend if you’re going to plant grass in the shade.
If you do all that, you’re going to see those little brown dots show up pretty quick. Our farm treats with the fungicide monthly and the fungicide lasts about a month, but we never know as it comes to us how much longer till that fungicide’s going to wear out. So we recommend within the first week of planting grass this time of year, if it’s going in the shade, putting out an application of the Heritage G. You put it out just like fertilizer.
If you’ve got one of the Scotts spreaders, I believe you put it out on a 1.5 or thereabouts. Of course follow the directions on the bag, and all the spreaders are a little different. But the point being it is it doesn’t take a whole lot of Heritage G, especially if you’re putting it out preventatively.
If you already have the gray leaf spot, you have to double the rate. That also means more money. Heritage G is great. You put it out once you put it out again, 21 days later, and that’ll usually keep you out of trouble with the new grass especially if you’re planting it in the shade during the summer.
So be aware of the gray leaf spot. Look for those little brown dots on the grass. They’re not very big. It starts out as little bitty brown dots on the individual blades of grass, but then they quickly spread and take over that whole blade of grass and the grass just turns ugly and disappears.
Watch for Gray Leaf Spot in Existing Lawns Too
Gray leaf spot shows up in existing lawns, especially in the shade. It can spread out through the whole area. If left uncontrolled, it can wipe you out. So be on the lookout for gray leaf spot, especially if you’re trying to plant new grass in the shade and you’re really having dump lots of water on it.
We Carry Heritage G at Our Office in Arcola
There are several places that sell the stuff. We sell it in a 10 pound bag and a 30 pound bag. Right now I believe it’s $50 for the smaller bag and $110 for the big bag.
So the stuff is expensive but it does its job very well and it doesn’t take a whole lot of it to do it. And it also can be used to prevent and/or treat brown patch in the fall. It’s also excellent at that. When we get the ugly crop circles out in our yard in the fall, it can prevent that. I’m a big fan of the Heritage G.
We Are Your “Grass Farm Near Me” in the Houston Area
Another thing I’d like to talk about here is a lot of people search Google for “grass farms near me”. I don’t think many farms sell directly to the public because they’re out in the country for the most part.
So if somebody was willing to drive a distance, they might could get grass, but the grass farms aren’t going to sell a few pieces. The farms sell to retailers that normally sell the smaller quantities like the big box stores and places like that.
However Houston Grass is a hybrid. The grass farm that all my grass comes from is my family’s grass farm. It is down in Bay City, Triangle Turf. And it is it’s my dad’s company that he started about two years before I was born. And now him and my brother run it.
My brother runs the day to day operations. So if I have any questions about anything that’s going on my brother’s a phone call away.
Again, there is no comparison between the quality of our grass and the grass of our competitors. Triangle Turf spends the extra money on the grass in lots of different areas, — the fertilizer is probably being one of the biggest areas and the watering of our grass. Our farm is 100% under automated irrigation.
So it gets water when it’s supposed to twice a week. And it gets the fertilizer every six to eight weeks. Most grass farms just don’t spend that extra money. And the proof of our quality is in the block of grass. Come look at our grass, most people are pretty astounded at what they turn out.
Most people are especially impressed when they compare our grass to the competition, like the big box stores. Most of them get a shipment of grass once a week or so. During the Houston summer, the grass has about 30 hours to sit on that pallet before it starts turning yellow. All we do at Houston Grass is sell grass. So we turn over grass we have on pallets very quickly.
We get at least a truckload a day here at our yard, if not two. So we are constantly turning over that inventory. If we hold a pallet of grass more than 30 hours we discount it. If you pull up to the big box stores and you see their mound of grass on pallets, baking in the parking lot you’ll see what we mean. Some of that big box store grass may survive for a week in the hot parking lot. It’s just not very pretty to look at.
All we do is grass and we’ve got nothing but the best. And like I said, if there’s ever any issues, I have a direct link to the farm. It makes our job really easy, frankly, because our farm does turn out such an excellent product.
We’re probably not the cheapest guys on the block, but I think we’re very competitively priced, especially if you compare us to the big box stores. And matter of fact, I think we’re about 30 or 40% cheaper than them. We got good grass and we only get it from one place.
We know where it’s coming from every time. So it’s easy to be consistent. And we know what we’re gonna get every time. Sorry to get on my soapbox about that. I’ll get off the soapbox now.
Removing Bermuda Grass from Your St. Augustine Lawn
Let’s see. Another thing I would like to talk about here is removing Bermuda grass. A lot of people call about removing Bermuda grass from their St. Augustine. The problem is that there’s no easy way to do that.
The only way to get rid of common Bermuda in your St. Augustine is spraying those areas with a non-selective herbicide like Roundup and giving it a week or so to die out. Then you scrape that grass out of there and replace it with new turf. A little enriched top soil going underneath it is a great idea too.
And then water in the new turf. That is really the only way to get rid of of common Bermuda in areas of St. Augustine grass.
If you keep a good, healthy lawn and you don’t have a lot of shade you can keep the common Bermuda grass from ever getting a start. Do the watering a couple times a week, and fertilizing three to four times a year.
Stay on top of that mowing. That is the best thing that you can do to keep weeds and the common Bermuda grass out of your lawn. Stay on top of those best practices. If you do, you won’t have to try to fight common Bermuda in your lawn. That’s just a word to the wise.
Start Your Lawn Project with Quality Second to None in the Houston Area
Please call us at 281-431-7441 for answers to your questions and a quote for your project. You can pick up your grass at our office in Arcola or we can deliver it to your project site. We can also arrange for professional installation.