Central Texas presents many challenges for achieving a lush yard. The soil is naturally deficient, the weather is erratic and periods of drought present unavoidable restrictions. Still, Central Texans love their time outdoors, and a beautiful lawn is achievable with the right knowledge and proper care.
Due to the February freezes, March may experience a slight delay in “green up,” or the increase of green color in your lawn. Luckily, Emerald Lawns experts have several tricks to speed up the process, allowing homeowners to enjoy their tiny piece of Texas sooner and longer.
1. Fertilize the yard & control the weeds
Emerald Lawns’ custom-blended lawn fertilizer treatments are distributed through a precisely-timed schedule throughout the year. During the month of March, Emerald Lawns is between Round 2 and 3 of its fertilization treatments.
In Round 2—which runs in February and March—rich bio-nutrients are applied and pre-emergent weed control is used to help establish roots and choke out weeds before they emerge. In Round 3—which is applied in March and April—nitrogen is added to support a lush, green lawn, and phosphorus is used to enhance root growth.
Unlike other companies that use the same fertilizer and weed control to blanket each lawn, Emerald Lawns technicians spot-treat broadleaf weeds, lawn insects and disease as needed.
2. Mow to grow
Mowing regularly is the best way to catalyze new growth. The first mow of the year is crucial in ridding your lawn of last year’s dead ends and damage, allowing the grass to prioritize new growth rather than pushing off old growth.
For the best outcome, set the lawn mower low for the first cut and bag the clippings. The result? Enjoying time outdoors on a greener lawn earlier in the year than expected.
“If you’re mowin’, it’s growin’,” said Aaron Carter, Vice President of Customer Experience at Emerald Lawns.
How often should I mow? Mowing weekly prevents thatch layers from developing between your soil and grass. Technicians at Emerald Lawns recommend that Bermuda grass of a dwarf variety be cut one inch weekly, and two inches for other types. Augustine grass should be cut three to four inches, and course-bladed Zoysia requires a two to three inch cut while fine-bladed Zoysia needs a one to two inch cut.
What time should I mow? Cutting grass during the heat of the day adds stress at a time when it is already tired and wilted. Emerald Lawns experts recommend mowing in the morning or the evening.
3. Water strategically
Make sure your lawn is absorbing as much water as possible during a cycle by getting your irrigation system checked. Ground shifts during the winter can alter the heads, impacting coverage or causing them to function incorrectly.
Emerald Lawns irrigators can reassess controller settings with the correct yard slope and soil compaction and depth in mind, and many city water districts offer rebates on irrigation system inspections.
When should I water? Central Texas homeowners should water in the morning, as watering in the evening can promote periods of prolonged wetness and promote conditions for diseases like Helminthosporium.
4. Utilize liquid aeration
Aside from the challenge of temperamental weather, Central Texas soil is composed mostly of clay and caliche—making it difficult for healthy, thick grass to thrive. Due to its notoriously poor quality, Austin-area lawns need annual restoration to flourish.
Emerald Lawns technicians use liquid aeration to open thousands of pathways in the soil for air, water and nutrients to follow. As a result, the turf’s root system grows broader and deeper—thus repelling weeds. This process offers exponentially greater coverage than older methods, such as core aeration.
5. Use topdressing
Once the turf’s pores are multiplied and the root system is deepened, Emerald Lawns technicians use topdressing to trigger microbial activity. The nutrient-rich formula increases root density and creates an environment for grass to prosper.
Emerald Lawns’ mixture is unique because—unlike other lawn care companies–manure is not included, allowing homeowners to forgo the annoyance of an overwhelming smell.
What is it made of? Invented by Emerald Lawns experts, its topdressing compost was created with Texas’ unique challenges in mind. The clean-ingredient recipe, which is 50% cotton burr, 25% pine shavings, 20% pine saw dust and 5% rice hulls, is perfect for replenishing nutrients that may have been lost during last summer’s drought.
How often is it used? Emerald Lawns applies topdressing twice a year, one application during January-May and another in September-December.
Emerald Lawns currently serves the Austin, San Antonio and Waco areas, but its staff is passionate about sharing their skills so homeowners all over Texas can benefit from their expertise. To learn more about how to take care of your lawn, visit https://emeraldlawns.com.
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