As a native Texan, I have learned through the years that caring for a lawn during the intense heat and humidity of a South Texas Summer can be quite the challenge. The most common type of grass that is used in suburban Southern Texas is St. Augustine which is a warm season grass
Along the way I have discovered helpful tips through trial and error and gleaned from the advice of those who have healthy lawns. Today I would like to share with you some of the things I have learned and hope that this helps you keep your lawn healthy this summer.
1. Water deeply and less frequently. Your lawn should receive 1″ of water per week and up to 2″ of water when the heat is severe.
2. To determine how much water your lawn is receiving, measure by using a rain gauge or or shallow can. If you have a sprinkler system, check various spots in your yard by placing several empty tuna cans throughout your yard to see if the lawn is being watered evenly.
3. Water early in the day to reduce evaporation and fungal growth.
4. Mulch grass clippings for a healthy yard. The grass clippings help keep moisture levels steady and returns nutrients to the soil and grass.
5. Mow regularly to control weeds and increase the density of your grass.
6. Raise the mower blade in summer. This is VERY important. Once I did this I saw great improvements in the health of my grass. Your mower blade for St. Augustine should be between 2-4″. This helps prevent weeds from germinating and your grass will develop deeper roots which results in increased drought tolerance.
7. Make sure your mower blades are sharp. You want to cut the grass not tear it. Tearing the grass weakens the grass, making it less drought tolerant.
8. Avoid fertilizing during the summer. Most fertilizers will burn up your grass during the summer. Wait until fall to fertilize. Some organic fertilizers do not burn up your yard but you should apply these before the temperatures hit 85 degrees.
9. The best preventative for weeds is a healthy lawn. If weeds become a problem it is best to spot treat with a hand sprayer or pick the weeds from the root.
10. St. Augustine grass doesn’t tolerate high traffic. For areas of your yard where the grass keeps dying out due to high traffic, create a path of stepping stones.
Bonus tip: Spray your yard with liquid seaweed 2-4 times per month with a hose and sprayer. This will reduce stress on the lawn as well as plants during the intense heat months.
If you have any tips to share I would love to hear from you.
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