Springtime Lawn Care Tips from the Houston Grass Podcast

Springtime lawn care starts NOW and Houston Grass Owner Michael Romine has some springtime lawn care tips to get your grass off to a great start this year. Call us at 281-431-7441 for answers to your questions and a quote for your project. We offer quality second to none in the Houston area.

Springtime Lawncare Tips from the Houston Grass Podcast

Summary of the Springtime Lawn Care Tips Podcast

Grass Is Getting Greener

Good afternoon, everyone. I’m Michael with Houston Grass, and this is the Houston Grass Podcast. Spring is starting to rear its head around here a little bit. There isn’t much green on the grass just yet.

I know around here, everybody kind of thinks of March 1st as the beginning of spring. People are definitely out working in their yards, and they’re calling us with grass questions, orders, and the number one question we’re being asked right now, multiple times a day, is, “Is the grass green yet?”

And the answer is no. If I had to put a percentage on it right now, I’d say it’s getting better every week. But we just had another hard frost at the farm about a week and a half ago, and that knocks out the color again. Ground temperature always dictates color. And until that ground temperature gets up and stays up, it doesn’t really get those new shoots of green grass coming up amongst the dead stuff.

So, I do think we’re well on our way. If you find green grass, there are retailers that have bought grass that’s been painted. I’ve seen it myself. I thought that was an urban legend, but there are really people who do that. So, it’s just not there yet.

Springtime Lawn Care Tips Include Planting Grass Now

Is now a good time to plant grass? Absolutely. For the next three months, it’s prime time to plant grass. If you start earlier, you beat the rush, the price increases, and the waiting lists for installation. But the biggest advantage you have for the next three months is that most vegetation in South Texas does most of its growing in the springtime. We’ll have moderate temperatures that help immensely; if we get some rainfall, even more so.

But those moderate temperatures make a lot of difference and it helps with that water bill a whole lot the earlier you do this in the spring. You can get grass established with just a fraction of the water you would need if you did this in July when you really just have to pour on the water for days and days.

Getting Rid of Winter Weeds

Another question that’s being asked a lot is about people seeing weeds, clovers, and broadleaf weeds in their yard, and they want to know how to get rid of them.

We do sell Nitro Phos fertilizers. The Nitro Phos Imperial in the red bag is just straight 15-5-10 fertilizer. We carry the fertilizer in the purple bag that’s got Atrazine for a post-emergent weed killer herbicide, and we sell the turquoise or teal-colored bag that’s got Trimec in it. They all have their different purposes.

Atrazine is what is in most of the Scotts products that people are used to. It is the one you have to be careful with. They do say not to use that one year after year, especially under trees and around flower beds because Atrazine can pollute groundwater. So you do want to be careful with it. You do not want to get it anywhere near your flower beds. So, if you can get away with just doing the regular fertilizer, the Imperial 15-5-10, that is a good one. It gives the grass its boost.

The Trimec is the fertilizer that you would use on Bermuda grasses and Zoysia grasses. You would not want to use the Atrazine weed and feed on those two types of grasses because they’re not made for it. I don’t know that it would kill it, but I wouldn’t want to do a science experiment in my front yard. So it would not be good for it for sure. So you’ve got to use the teal bag or the Trimec with the Zoysias and Bermuda grasses.

And the thing is, most of the winter weeds are going to disappear. If you can just mow them for six weeks or so, by the time we get to mid-spring, mid to late April, the heat is going to kill most of those weeds.

Be Cautious About Applying Herbicides

The weed and feeds are not a miracle cure; they probably kill 50 to 60% of the weeds that are out there in your yard right now. People call us, “Well, I used the weed and feed and I still have weeds. What do I do?” Well, now you’re talking about wanting to do it again. You certainly don’t want to do it again.

You could move to herbicides. We don’t sell anything like that because we have seen it is such a dangerous proposition for homeowners to put them out because it is so hard to get the right application.

First, you may have to have a chemical applicator’s license to even buy them to put them out. As for the herbicides you can buy off the shelf, some of them are effective, but if you put out a little bit too much, you can kill everything that it touches in your yard. Then you’re calling us about an entire yard replacement. So you’ve got to be real careful with that.

Be careful when you’re using herbicides; we tell people really if you’re going to get into those, that you probably should hire a professional. So be mindful of that.

Scalping Your Grass Once is One of Our Springtime Lawn Care Tips

So keep that in mind. We are probably past our last frost. It would be a good time to go ahead and get those yards scalped; that will promote that sunlight getting down to that dirt and promote that St. Augustine or Bermuda or whatever you have starting to grow. Drop your mower setting down a notch or two and mow the grass. If you don’t have a bagger, you’d want to rake up and get all that dead material out of there.

And if you do that and then hit it with some fertilizer and then some water, that’s a great combination to do right now for sure. Like I said, be careful with the scalping. You don’t want to do this multiple times a year, but in order to get all that dead material out of there now is a good time to do that.

Now Is the Time to Start Watering

And then I said follow up with water. We have had such a wet and cold January. And I have to say, in our part of the world here just south of Houston, we’re about three weeks without much measurable rain; it’s been less than a half-inch.

So it is probably time to turn those irrigation systems back on. I know I’m going to turn mine back on this weekend and check it all out, close all my valves that I had to keep it from freezing, test everything, check all the sprinkler heads, make sure they’re working and none are broken, and they’re all aimed where they’re supposed to be.

So now is the time to start watering. The rule of thumb is when the grass is growing and green, it should get an inch of water a week. You should do that in two to three waterings a week, which is 15 to 25 minutes per zone, depending on what kind of sprinkler heads we’re talking about.

I would probably only think about once a week right now. We are starting to dry out and I don’t want to get behind on that.

Overwatering Can Invite Brown Patch

So you can overwater this time of year when you’re in these transition temperature times; you can invite in brown patch, just like you see it.

It really rears its head in the fall. It will show up in the springtime as we transition into the warmer days as well. So you don’t want to overwater because that’s just fuel for it. And so if you do see some, it is not unheard of. The Heritage G that we have here is a fantastic product.

It’s a granular you put out just like fertilizer, and it will stop the spread of that brown patch. It doesn’t reverse it, but this time of year it will grow out of it really fast and you’ll get rid of those ugly scars. So if you see some of that, be mindful of it and maybe think about treating that.

This time of year it’s not as big a deal as in the fall when brown patch season seems to drag on longer. If you don’t do something about it early on in the fall, you’re looking at those scars throughout your yard all winter long. So not as big a deal this time of year, but be mindful of it.

Don’t go wild with the water, but I do believe that it’s time to turn the water back on. We’re slated for a little bit of rain next week. If we get a half-inch of rain, then you can turn it off again.

This time of year it’s probably ample for flower beds and probably in your yard and everything. But we are not getting that right now. So keep an eye on the sky.

Now Is the Best Time to Plant Palmetto St. Augustine Grass

I briefly mentioned earlier the benefits of laying grass in the springtime now, and it mainly has to do with everything growing better.

Everything, grass included, gets a better head start when you plant it this time of year. It’s starting to warm up, but we’re not in those brutal temperatures yet.

Planting Palmetto in particular this time of year is great because of moderate temperatures and moderate watering requirements. I would say that the absolute best time to plant Palmetto is in the spring. And the second best time would probably be in the fall when we’ve got those moderate temperatures.

We try to talk people out of planting Palmetto in the summertime. If you plant it in the summer, there’s a fungus called gray leaf spot that Palmetto has a tough time with. I don’t know if it’s because of the grass itself or the fact that where people plant it, Palmetto gets planted in those cooler areas up underneath the trees that stay damper longer.

And it just means the grass is more susceptible to that gray leaf spot in the summer. Gray leaf spot requires high temperatures, less air movement, and some moisture—high humidity, which we’ve got plenty of here in the Houston area. So now is a great time to go ahead and plant and get the Palmetto established.

That’s it for springtime lawn care tips I can think of off the top of my head.

Grass Prices Increased a Small Amount on March 1

Our prices increased a little on March 1st. And if, I always mention that if we’re going to have price increases, that’s when we normally do them. The price of pallets generally is going to go up $5. I think the Zoysias are going to go up a little bit as well. Always consult our price list on our website.

We keep that up to date and, if it changes, we make it more than obvious. We put the signs out front and everything. This year, price increases are coming from the farm. The labor prices have gone up a little bit for the program that they use.

That’s where the price increase comes in, and we’ve been telling people this for weeks. $5 is a relatively small increase these days on the pallets of grass and whatnot.

Call Us with Your Questions and Get a Quote for Your Project

So, anyways, if you have any questions, please give us a call at 281-431-7441. No, the grass is not green now; it is dormant, not dead, and it will take off just fine in a couple of weeks when we get some of those warm days and warm that ground up a little bit. So if you’ve got projects, now’s the time to call us.

Thanks for listening to our springtime lawn care tips.