A city grown to shine in the sun doesn’t always mean the lawns outside your homes would feel the same. Especially after all the dry, hot air that we've experienced May through August, it is inevitable for your green lawns to lose their shine without proper water and nourishment, the main strengths.
Just like every other living thing, too much time in the sun results in the diminishing of its energy. Peculiarly for those who feel they have been watering their grounds daily, with such considerations and care, their green lawns still manage to turn brown despite the ongoing care they continue to provide.
Spring in Texas leaves as fast as it arrives, leaving the St. Augustine grass and Bermuda grass to deal with the summer sun alone. Research shows that once a lawn is resentfully affected by the heat stress, new issues like weeds, distinctive types of diseases, and pests have a larger chance of popping up.
Considering this, if you have not educated yourself on the symptoms of heat stress and their solutions, things can get out of your control quickly. You need to know exactly how to analyze the situation by sight at first.
7 Signs to Identify HeatStress in Texas
Visible Footprints on Grass
A walk across the grass shouldn’t feel like you are walking on stiff grass or clay to set footprints, and if the grass you are walking on doesn’t bounce back up, it is usually because your grass needs water.
The lack of bounciness is a strong indication of the lack of water in the roots of those blades and the ground itself because if there were enough water, the grass blades would be able to rise back up to keep them taut resilient.
Discoloration on the Grass
As you look outside your hot window, maybe the St. Augustine grass would be laying looking discolored and out of health. When the draught starts to appear, your grass develops a bluish grey color before turning entirely brown.
Heat stress will first kill the tips of the grass, turning it brown, and then slowly spreading drown the whole blade in its color. It is also known that a lot of different lawn diseases and infestations can cause discoloration, making it a little tricky when it comes to identification.
Wilting of Grass Blades
Wilting, in another word, means curling up. In this case, a wilted grass blade can be spotted when one reaches low to see it prominently; only then it can be accurately viewed. It is a definite sign of heat stress in the sweltering summer months.
Invasion of Weeds
Just like your love for ice cream in the hot Texas heat stands strong as the day comes, weeds love to corrupt the lawns in this blazing heat. Weeds are uninvited guests that can't wait to take over your party.
Anytime you spot brown patches, weeds are sure to follow. The lawn is already having a hard time staying green, giving an excuse for the weeds to make a home in their growth. They are often found tougher than your turf grass. Weeds are said to take any space that the grass isn’t already in ownership of.
Soil and Aeration
In Texas, it is common news when you hear about clay soil taking place in the city's ground. When the soil gets so hard that the water cannot pass through, aerating your lawn can help alleviate this issue for a while.
There are multiple ways to test your lawn to find out if it's clay soiled or not. One can be tested with a screwdriver; all you will have to do is push it into your lawn. If it enters the ground easily, your lawn has been watered perfectly. And if, in any case, you find yourself struggling to get in it, it means your grass needs water and aeration.
Edges and Cracks on the Lawn
To examine your lawn, you could start by looking at the edges of your lawn. A gap between the concrete and the soil reveals that your lawn may not get enough water to stay moist and onto the ground. When there's a space between them, the soil is hardening and finding trouble sticking to the hard cement floor.
On the other hand, cracked soil throughout your dear yard is yet a new indicator of heat stress; not enough water results in the lack of dampness in the soil, which in other words, is only the soft brown dehydrated. Watering your lawn with at least 1 to 1.25 inches of water can fix that issue.
Improper Mowing Practices
You must be wondering why mowing could lead to such a vast amount of heat stress and why Texans cannot keep it green and bouncy even after such care. Mowing the lawn in summer could be causing added summer lawn stress without you realizing it.
One of the reasons, researches show, is mowing during drought stress can have a negative impact when the grass is already at its limited growth. Recovering from such cuts is found challenging for the grass.
Whether it's St. Augustine or a Zoysia grass lawn, it is always important to remember that you should only do mowing to a proper height. You should now only remove 1/3 of a blade at a time and mow one to two times per week, liable to your lawn growth.
Treatment for the Heat-Stressed Lawns in Texas
Now that you have an idea of what you should be looking for during this drought lets talk about how to repair the damage!
These are some of the most helpful tips on how you could keep your gorgeous lawn green this summer in Texas.
Watering Twice a Week
Seeing that the drought is dry and raspy, you should first water the lawn so the hydration in the ground can start its work and help bring moisture to the hardened ground. To play a part, carefully water thoroughly for a few days and check how your lawn reacts. If, in any case, it fails to bring the lawn back to life, there may be another issue at play.
Another way to approach this can be by setting a watering schedule. Studies show that shooting 4-6 inches of water twice a week during the early morning and late at night can greatly rejuvenate the stressed lawn.
Reseeding or Sodding
If your lawn looks uneven in color and only a few spots or areas have been found damaged, reseeding or “overseeding” those spots can be an effortless fix as the Texas heat blazes on full strength. It is a popular method focused on planting grass seed on your existing turf while keeping in mind that this method may take time since it helps grow another layer all over again.
Although for large areas distressed by the heat, sodding can be the most beneficial. This manner involves transplanting mature turf with roots. While this gives your lawn the desired look, it is important to point out that it is costly; after sodding, frequent watering is compelling to foster capable growth and germination.
Regular Inspections of Your Lawn
By taking advantage of a professional's experience, you'll be able to receive more accurate insights and sharp advice. These qualified individuals will be able to spot problems with insects or diseases early on, especially before they become a major threat to the survival of your lawn, making it easy for you to start treatment early on to nurture the gorgeous green to good health.
Grass such as St. Augustine should be kept tallerl in summer. In Texas, it is healthy for the well-being of those heat-stressed lawns when the homeowners keep them 3-3.5 inches tall. It is because longer grass blades provide shade and absorb more water.
When you mow in the early morning or evening, you help reduce the amount of moisture lost from evaporation. It means the ground temperature will be chill enough to allow proper absorption.