By Katie Kuchta
Texas heat can be pretty intense and difficult to manage. Proper care for a lush lawn in San Antonio takes a little bit of understanding. Since this is supposed to quick, let’s not get into the wild details. The three things to always keep in mind are lawn mowing, watering, and fertilizing your lawn.
First, you should figure out what type of grass you have.
Know your turf
There are many types of grass and knowing what type you have is a great start. The most popular grass types for San Antonio include, St. Augustine, Zoysia, Bermuda, and Buffalo.
- Augustinegrass is easily the more common of the bunch. It grows fast, requiring extra maintenance. It loves the heat and doesn’t do well in cooler temperatures. However, it goes dormant after very hard winters. It also tolerates interaction and is fine in the shade
- Zoysiagrass is a deep lush green and has a thicker turf. Similar to St. Augustine, it maintains well in the heat and in shaded areas. It grows slower, requires less mowing, and has a low drought tolerance.
- Bermudagrass is a more textured type and is frequently used on golf courses. It works well in the heat and does not tolerate shade, making it very common and native to the south. It grows fast, requiring fertilization upkeep and mowing more frequently.
- Buffalograss is not as appealing with its thinner or tufted blades. It is, however, very low maintenance and requires less irrigation. It is drought tolerant and maintains well in the heat. Similar to Bermudagrass, it does not tolerate the shade and is the best in sunny locations.
For more information on grass types check out this chart here.
Now that you’ve, hopefully, been able to identify what type of grass you have – let’s get to those quick tips.
Depending on how quickly your grass type grows, you will want to regularly mow. Generally speaking, you should mow your lawn once a week for standard practices. Again, all of this depends on the grass type, season, and any water restraints you may have in your area.
Maintaining the grass height is pertinent to its growth. It is suggested that a healthy height for grass is between 2 and 3.75 inches. The height helps protect and shade the soil, slowing down how quickly the water evaporates.
Irrigating properly is important to keep the soil and grass hydrated, especially in the Texas heat. Set your sprinkler or irrigation system for three or four times a week. During the growth season, you’ll need to keep up with this more occasionally than in the winter time. It is a common myth that because of the heat you need to water more often – don’t be fooled! Water in the early morning or late evening when the temperature is cooler to help the soil contain the water.
Due to the current watering restrictions in San Antonio, watering once a week at the very least is important. The San Antonio Water System Organization claims that “watering with an irrigation system or sprinkler is allowed only once a week before 11 am or after 7 pm.” Make sure to set your watering schedule accordingly and stay updated on restrictions.
Fertilize as needed
Mulching and leaving grass clippings post mowing (called “grass”-cycling) is a quick and organic way to fertilize the lawn. You can knock out two steps at once. Make sure to monitor the health of your lawn and provide the appropriate amount of nitrogen as needed throughout the year. The grass clippings do this by releasing nitrogen as they decompose into the ground.
This may not be the first thing on your mind when you think about lawn care. An infestation of insects can leave parts of your lawn look deteriorated. In the San Antonio area, grass damaging insects can include, grubs, chinch bugs, snails, and slugs. If you notice this, contact a local garden center or lawn care service to find a solution.
Proper lawn care maintenance can seem really time consuming, but it doesn’t have to be if you follow these lawn care tips!
For additional information about San Antonio lawn care and maintenance, check out these resources:
- LawnStarter San Antonio has information about lawn service pricing, seasonal guides, and reviews of local lawn care professionals.
- Texas A&M’s Bexar County extension contains several detailed guides on landscaping in the San Antonio region. Additionally, they host several events.
Katie Kuchta is a gardening guru, outdoor living expert, and self proclaimed foodie. She can often be found cooking in the kitchen or on the hunt for the best tacos, follow her on Instagram @atxtacoqueen