After completing the design and installation of your landscape project; then comes the week-in, week-out care and consideration of the landscape. Houston lawn maintenance is a year-round affair which requires attention to maintain the overall design intent, plus some particular tasks caused by our climate and environment.
The Elements of Lawn maintenance in Houston Texas
- Turf maintenance
Landscape maintenance starts with the lawn. Houston lawns require mowing and trimming weekly in the spring and summer and every other week from during the winter. Rotary lawn mowers are the most common type used in Houston because of the prolific use of St. Augustine. Conventional Reel lawn mowers are used on Bermuda, Zoysia, or 419 Tiff varieties. Dethatching, the process of removing thatch or excessively thick grass, promotes healthy lawns. It can done with machine or by hand.
Installing winter grass is a great way to keep your yard beautiful throughout the winter months or more to the point November thru March. The local temperature ranges normally dictates that winter rye seed can be spread in early to late October. It is important to know, however, that rye grass has some negative aspects. For example, the rye grass can compete with the common St. Augustine grass for space and nutrition, which makes it difficult on the St. Augustine in the spring. This struggle is particularly apparent in shaded area where grass already has a particularly hard time growing.
Lawn aeration, also known as core aeration, is a recommended lawn care practice for compacted, heavily-used turf and to control thatch build-up. Lawn aeration involves the removal of small soil plugs or cores out of the lawn by a core aerator. The aerator extracts ½- to ¾-inch diameter cores of soil and deposits them on the lawn. Other types of aerators push solid spikes or tines into the soil without removing a plug, a procedure known as spiking. Spiking is not as effective as core aeration because, with Houston’s soil, spiking can actually contribute to compaction.
- Fertilization programs
Fertilizers can include semi-organic, fast release, slow release, winterizer, organic and low salt. Two additional important treatments are insecticides and fungicides, which help reduce fungus and insect infestations, an always present concern in Houston or gulf coast lawns.
- Irrigation Management
Watering long and less often ensures deeper water penetration, which gives your plant material stronger root systems and healthier plants. It also makes for a more drought-resistant lawn and you can water less, thus saving money. In the fall and winter months, you should run your sprinkler system in the late morning to reduce standing water, which is a perfect breeding ground for fungus.
An investment in an irrigation system can be a time and energy saver for your Houston lawn maintenance program. However, quarterly inspection of your system is required since sprinkler systems, like all machines, break down and need repair from time to time. This regular survey prevents the loss of water from undetected leaks, something that is important for the environment and your pocketbook. Attention to this detail is extremely important on large properties or for commercial lawn maintenance. In short, proper lawn maintenance requires proper irrigation system maintenance.
Exterior Worlds, one of Houston’s premier landscape companies, provides maintenance contracts, as well as high-end residential landscape design services, for Bellaire, River Oaks, the Memorial Villages of Piney Point Village, Bunker Hill Village and Hunter Creek Village, and the surrounding Houston area. Call Exterior Worlds at 713-827-2255 to discuss your Houston lawn service needs.