Lawn Care Schedule For Central Texas
Lawn and landscape add 18% to a home’s value. We offer a lawn program that is way cheaper than you could ever do yourself, plus the added benefit of not having to store and apply the different products necessary to maintain a lawn during this drought.
Lawn Care For Those Who Want To Do It Themselves
This schedule is for southern grasses like St. Augustine, Bermuda, and Zoysia.
Fertilize – Avoid feast or famine. Applying the total years’ fertilization in two spring and fall feedings is bad because fertilizer not used will wash away. An overabundance of nitrogen will contribute to insect and disease problems, like Brown Patch and Grub Worms. Apply fertilizers at rates no higher than can be used by your specific grass type during the times a year that they can be completely absorbed. This means applying no more than one pound of nitrogen per thousand square foot per application, always using a slow release fertilizer during the summer months.
St. Augustine Grass: 4-5 pounds of nitrogen per thousand square feet, per year. (reducing to 3/4 pound per thousand if it’s prone to disease).
Bermuda Grass: 5-6 total pounds of nitrogen per thousand square feet, per year. (Bermuda loves nitrogen).
Zoysia Grass: 3-4 total pounds of nitrogen per thousand square feet, per year. (Apply less during wet years).
Late February-Early March – apply a simple 15-5-10 for an early green up. Most companies that make slow-release fertilizers also make a mixed release 15-5-10 that provides for a quick two week green up as well as a coating that delays release. I recommend against the use of weed and feed type products. Weed and feed products are bad for trees and shrubs, and the environment, because they’re post emergent herbicides. However, spot weed-and-feed treatments can be used for those with turf-only landscapes or landscapes that have been established for years. Warning: Most weed-and-feeds contain Atrizine, which burns roots of young trees and shrubs and will kill Bermuda grass. It’s fatal to several tree species, including Post Oaks. Atrizine will find its way into our drinking water, and is a big problem. Upon close examination of the bag, you will see that the manufacturer warns against using underneath the drip-lines of shade trees.
Late March-Early April – apply slow-release 3-1-2 ratio fertilizers. with 3% iron and 10% sulfur. The sulfur will help buffer pH as well as slow the release of the product. Sulfur is also a great natural fungicide. (recommended formulations 19-5-9, 19-4-10, 18-4-6, 15-5-10.)
Late June-Early July – Apply slow-release 3-1-2 ratio fertilizers, with 3% iron and 10% sulfur.
(recommended formulations 19-5-9, 19-4-10, 18-4-6, 15-5-10.)
June-September – If turfgrass looks yellow (chlorosis) or necrotic, use an application of either granular or liquid iron once a year. If you applied the 3% iron earlier in the year as recommended, this should not be happening unless environmental issues are present. Iron needs nitrogen to work, and often times a fall fertilizer will work at this time. Look for a 5-0-15 ratio with 10% Iron and 20% sulfur. The low levels of nitrogen won’t encourage fungal issues, while the sulfur will buffer the pH.
October – November: apply winterizer formula high in phosphorus for winter hardiness. Phosphorus helps develop strong root systems. Ratios vary, but make sure they are “winter” or “fall” formulas designed for southern grasses. Examples: 18-6-12, 8-12-16, 10-5-14.
December – January: Apply a bio-stimulant, with micro-nutrients. The bio-stimulant increases microbial activity, building healthy soil, along with micro-nutrients. This will give similar results as top dressing with compost, without the risk of bringing in disease, insects and weeds. Products such as Milgornite can be found at garden centers.
Fungicide – two times a year, as needed:
July-September – Gray Leaf Spot is a blotchy spot on the grass blade leafs. (mostly on St. Augustine lawns) Use fungicides like Kocide 2000, Compass, Revere or Banner. Spot treatment of all lawn diseases is included in our normal program.
September – October – Brown Patch is best treated with preventive products. To control the dreaded Brown Patch fungal disease (symmetrical brown circles in the grass) you must prevent it from coming up with a systemic lawn fungicide with Bayleton, Pro-Star, Banner or Compass. Spot treatment of active Brown Patch is included in our normal program. Preventative treatment is available at an additional charge.
Pre-emergent Herbicide – Two to three times a year: (Pre-emergent controls and prevents weeds) Early spring and fall are highly recommended. Mid-summer, only if you have an ongoing battle, such as neighbors who don’t care for their lawn, or if you are next to or near an open field.
Late October – Early November – Use pre-emergent herbicides, to prevent the weeds that we experience in February and March. Use Barricade, Deminsion or Pendimethlin to control both grassy and broadleaf weeds.
February – March – Use pre-emergent controls to start the year off right. These products are best applied prior to the weeds actually germinating.
May – Early June – One more application of a Barricade, Dimension or Pendimethlin to control weeds through the rest of the year.
Post-Emergent Herbicide Treatment – Post emergent treatment of broadleaf weeds can be made year around in both St.Augustine and Bermuda Lawns. Products to use would include Trimec, and Lescogran. Be careful, and always read the label. Most herbicides are temperature sensitive. In fact, never use Trimec above 90 degrees. Grassy weeds are next to impossible to get rid of in St. Augustine lawns, post-emergent. However, they are a breeze in Bermuda Lawns. Use Products containing MSMA. Never use MSMA in St. Augustine, as it will kill it on contact.
MSMA is for Bermuda and Zoysia grass. It will kill most grassy weeds, including Dallas grass and crabgrass. Although it is labeled for Yellow Nut Sedge, it generally will not kill it. Use a product called Manage instead. Manage is a selective herbicide labeled for sedges only. It works very well, but is a bit pricey. Manage is available at an additional charge.
Insecticides – It is our belief at Real Green Pest and Lawn, as a way to be kind to the environment, that you do not put down insecticides unless you know you have a problem. However, be prepared during the hot summer months – July through September – to attack chinch bug damage. This will show up as irregular shaped spots in the lawn along the concrete. Any liquid insecticide, like Permethrin or Cypermethrin, will treat the spot well. Then apply a granular insecticide like Deltamethrin or granular Permethrin in a broadcast applicator throughout the rest of the yard.
Grub Worms – are treated in another way, using Merit (Imidacloprid). Merit will give season long control.