In this episode of the Houston Grass Podcast, Michael talks about how you can help your lawn through the temperature swings of fall in the Houston area and help set it up to thrive next year. If you have questions, please call our office at 281-431-7441. You can plant grass in the fall and it will do fine with proper care. We can usually give you a quote for your project over the phone.
Summary of Lawn Care Tips for the Temperature Swings of Fall in the Houston Area
Good morning, everyone. I’m Michael Romine, and welcome to the Houston Grass Podcast. It’s Halloween, the last day of October, and it is 48 degrees outside. Just this past weekend at my parent’s house, we were sweating in shorts as we prepared for Halloween.
Now, the weather is different. We’re expecting a return to the eighties this coming weekend. These temperature swings probably leaves many plants, trees, and grasses confused.
Despite the weather changes, the rains have kept everything green, providing some recovery from the summer drought. You should now be able to discern which plants will flourish and which won’t. We are receiving lots of inquiries from people wanting to replace grass that clearly won’t bounce back in their yards.
Now Is the Time to Replace Grass Killed During Summer’s Drought
We’re also getting numerous pictures from people asking why their grass is changing. This is often because where St. Augustine grass has died, Common Bermuda grass is sprouting. In this part of the world, any bare dirt or dead grass will be replaced by Common Bermuda grass and perhaps a few other weeds.
Despite the current cold snap, it’s still a good time to plant grass. We sold a lot of grass right before the freeze three years ago when everyone’s pipes broke, and that grass turned out fine. The only issue we saw was that freshly cut grass on our farm got a little zapped, but even that recovered.
People often ask us the best time to plant grass. We usually recommend March, April, and May due to the moderate temperatures. But if you can avoid the summer, fall is also a good time to plant grass. We operate year-round and always have grass available.
Even when the grass is dormant and looks like hay, it can be planted successfully. It will remain dormant for the rest of the season and start growing in spring. The only precaution is to minimize heavy traffic during this period.
If you have large dead spots or need grass for a new home, now is a great time to plant. It could even save you a bit on your water bill.
The Time for Fertilization and Pre-Emergent Application is Ending
Let’s talk about fertilizing and pre-emergent schedules. Most schedules suggest using Nitro-Phos Fall Special in October or early November. However, we’ve sold out of the Fall Special and won’t be restocking. If you haven’t applied it yet, do it immediately or wait until spring.
The same goes for pre-emergents; they are usually applied in September or October. If you haven’t done so yet, it’s almost too late.
Brown Patch Season Is Upon Us
With the arrival of cool nights, brown patch fungus may become an issue. Cool temperatures combined with moisture creates an ideal environment for brown patch. Using a product like Heritage G can help prevent and combat this fungus.
Water Less As Your Grass Growth Slows
As days get shorter and cooler, plants require less water because they’re growing less. Once dormant, they barely need any water at all. Watering requirements for established grass decrease from one inch every week to one inch every other week, which winter rainfall usually covers. Unless we have a dry winter, you can mostly shut off your irrigation system.
Grass growth will also slow down, necessitating less frequent mowing. Also, with frost and even freeze predicted in the next two nights, Bermuda grass will be the first to lose color, usually turning purplish a day or two after frost, followed by brown. However, during the predicted eighties this weekend, it may start new growth.
St. Augustine grass will also start to lose its color. Now is not the time for bright green grass, so don’t add fertilizer or nitrogen. Let the grass slowly go into dormancy.
It’s a Great Time to Aerate Your Lawn
Another good practice to consider is core aeration, which is beneficial this time of year. While it may be an extra step for some and you do need to be cautious with irrigation systems, it’s definitely worth the effort.
That’s all for this morning. If you have any questions, please give us a call. We will close during the week of Thanksgiving and the week between Christmas and New Year’s to spend time with our families. Other than that, we are always here and ready to answer your questions or supply you with grass. Thanks for listening, and we’ll talk again next month.