Until the hot, humid days of summer are finally over, we hardly notice when fall, and winter, slip into Houston. Even our lawn hardly notices because warm-season grasses can stay green into late fall. They only go dormant when the temperatures stay below 60 degrees.
Although snow is rare in Houston, we can’t dismiss the possibility of real winter weather. After all, freezing temperatures and periods that stay in the low 30s to mid-40s for a few weeks at a time have been recorded at George Bush Intercontinental Airport.
If you don’t want to be surprised by brown grass in the spring, you need to help it have a good winter. Here are a few steps to take this fall:
We rarely get snow, so you need to water your yard all winter. At least one to two inches of water a week. To make sure the moisture has time to soak into the soil, water slowly to avoid a lot of runoff and water waste. Make sure to water in the morning to allow your grass to dry before nighttime. This helps to prevent the chance of disease creeping in.
Rake the leaves
Did you know that leaves covering your lawn keep much-needed sunlight from your grass? To keep your yard healthy during the fall and into winter, rake the leaves and put them in a compost bin or, you can chop them up with a mulching mower so that your lawn is fertilized naturally. Keep the plastic bags out of the landfills.
Don’t forget to aerate
One of the best ways to revitalize your lawn is by aerating. People have trampled all over it this summer and the high volume compacts the soil, which, in turn, creates a barrier between the grassroots and the water, oxygen, and badly needed nutrients needed to get your grass through the winter.
Let’s talk about overseeding
The best time to overseed is when the air is cool, but the soil is still warm. Sowing additional grass seed over parts of the lawn where the grass has become thin or has bare patches, helps to thicken the turf so that it can withstand disease and weeds that prey upon it during the fall and winter. If you overseed after aerating, you’ll toughen up your lawn’s foundation before winter comes.
Defend your lawn
Brown patches often appear in the fall and are easily recognized by the patches of damaged turf that can be inches in width and expanding to several feet wide. Grass blades turn yellow at the edges and brown inside the patches. To prevent them from developing, refrain from overwatering and make sure drainage is adequate. When your yard is healthy, you’re less likely to have trouble with disease.
If you take care of your lawn seasonally, it will stay healthy and lush without breaking your back or your bank!