AP NEWS

It’s time to start working on a lush lawn

March 11, 2019

Whether you are getting your lawn in shape because you plan to downsize and put your house on the market, or you just want to get it looking great, that means you have some work to do. It’s time to go outside and get your lawn in shape. This provides both short and long-term benefits: Homeowners can enjoy fresh air and exercise while cleaning up the lawn, and this will set the stage for lush, green grass to grow.

To ensure that your lawn remains healthy through the summer and fall, here are tips:

Clean up

To have a successful growing and mowing season, the lawn needs a quick spring cleaning. Pull weeds, roots and all, either by hand or with a handheld weeder. Then, grab a rake to scrape away any dead grass and any grassy weeds, like crabgrass.

If you have one, use a mulching mower to recycle leaves, grass, etc. back into the lawn. Over time this will improve your soil.

Mow high

Double-check the mower deck height; position it to cut grass at the highest possible setting for your grass type. The higher the mower is set; the deeper a lawn’s roots will grow. Don’t mow so low that you “scalp” your lawn. This won’t make your grass green up quicker.

Feed

“After a long stretch of colder weather, lawns will be hungry — especially in a warmer climate like Houston. Southern grasses like St. Augustine, Centipedegrass, Zoysiagrass and Bermudagrass require extra nourishment and care during this time of year, to prevent stress from heat and drought during peak summer months,” said Phil Dwyer, Ph.D., turf grass scientist, Scotts Miracle-Gro.

Spring lawn feeding helps grass grow longer roots, creating a thicker, greener lawn with better tolerance to Texas summer heat and drought.

If you are not sure what fertilizer to use, ask at a nursery.

The first number of the fertilizer is nitrogen, the second is phosphorus, and the third number represents potassium.

Prevent weeds, fire ants

Pesky fire ants and stubborn weeds like dollarweed and clover are no stranger to Texas lawns. Regular lawn maintenance — especially feeding — is key to crowding out and preventing both.

AgriLife extension

Spring is a great time to prepare lawns for summer as warm-season grasses come out of dormancy and begin to green up, according to Dr. Becky Grubbs, AgriLife Extension turfgrass specialist, College Station.

Grubbs said that AgriLife Extension has science-based information that can direct homeowners on most lawn care questions and concerns.

Go to https://aggieturf.tamu.edu/ to find information about different species of grass, identification and treatment for weeds and insect pests.

Once the yard is looking great, it’s a nice place for friends and family to gather and spend time outside.