8 Easy Tips for a Green Lawn in Plano, TX
Lawn Care Tips
Thinking of ripping up your lawn and starting over? Consider these insights and lawn care tips before you make your move.
Removing your lawn and replacing it with new sod can be a costly decision that will involve a high volume of hard work. Which can be avoided with proper lawn care techniques to resurrect your current lawn. Check our lawn care tips below and you’ll be well on your way to having the best lawn in Plano, TX.
Lawn Care Tip #1: Does your lawn puddle, or is it rough when you mow, resulting in uneven cuts? Is the grade (i.e. gradient or slope of the land) of the yard the way you want it? These are the two major reasons for completely renovating your lawn. If your lawn is just patchy and full of weeds, those problems can be reversed with little TLC.
Lawn Care Tip #2: If you do decide to continue with a complete lawn renovation then begin by spraying with a glyphosate-ONLY herbicide. This will eliminate the existing vegetation without contaminating the soil. After 10-15 days, when the grass is good and gone, rototill about 3 – 5 inches down with a rear-tine tiller and use a metal rake to smooth and manipulate the grade.
Lawn Care Tip #3: Consider the type of grass you have. Characteristics of grass types vary in leaf texture, canopy density, climate, drought tolerance, shade tolerance, and much more. It’s crucial that your lawn consists of the appropriate grass in regards to your lawn’s environment. Consider the strengths and weaknesses of these grass types. (Remember to choose wisely. This could be a major, long-term decision.)
This is the most popular choice in North Texas. It’s inexpensive, durable, vigorous, cold-hardy and resistant to most weedkillers. On the other hand, it’s also considered one of the world’s most invasive weeds and can easily take over a flower bed if you’re not careful. It also needs 6 or more hours of direct sunlight per day to properly flourish. So, if you’re lawn is covered with large trees, this may not be the grass for you. Compared to other grass types, it’s most likely to cause allergies.
St. Augustine grass
Crowding out all other grasses (including bermuda), it’s the dominant grass type. It’s a bit more shade tolerant, only requiring as few as 4 hours of direct sunlight per day. The downside is that it’s easily trampled and doesn’t fair well in extreme winter temperatures.
Zoysia is fairly low maintenance and can thrive in many different environments. It tolerates considerable variations in exposure to sunlight, water, and temperature. It’s also fairly durable and pleasant on the eyes and skin. It tends to have a soft, fine texture and is naturally a low growing grass. The major drawback is that zoysia tends to lose its color around mid-autumn and stays brown well into spring. This could be a deal breaker for homeowners who enjoy having the best lawn in the neighborhood year-round.
Benefits of having a buffalo grass lawn are water conservation (buffalo grass is well-known for its drought resistance), low fertility requirement, low growing, and has few insect problems. It does have its own disadvantages though; Grass seed and sod can be more expensive than most other grass types because it isn’t as mainstream in Texas. They prefer drier climates (which might actually be an advantage in North Texas). Also, older varieties are less dense with numerous seed heads that are unattractive to some homeowners. The main disadvantage is that its adaptation range is somewhat limited. Personally, wouldn’t recommend it for most urban areas.
Fescues are most common in the Panhandle and southeastern side of the state. Though the most heat tolerant of the cold-season grasses, it’s not well adapted to hot, humid climates. Centipede is common in East Texas where the soil is sandy, making it a suitable, low maintenance option. Sort of resembles St. Augustine in appearance. Wouldn’t recommend it for most lawns in North Texas, specifically the Plano area.
Alternatively, you could follow the rest of these tips and avoid all of that.
Lawn Care Tip #4: Like most NBA play-off competitors, lawn care also has a “Big 3”; mowing at the recommended height, fertilizing according to grass type and season, watering responsibly. These are the basic lawn care tips for a green, healthy lawn. Assuming that you have the appropriate grass adapted to your area.
Lawn Care Tip #5: Mowing at the recommended height is crucial for grass success. Grass that’s too short will have a weak root system, while grass too tall will have weak grass blades. Remember to never cut off more than ⅓ of the grass blade at a time.
- Common bermuda: 1.25 – 1.5 inches
- St. Augustine: 2 – 2.5 inches
- Hybrid bermudas: ¼ – ¾ inches
- Zoysia: 2 – 3 inches
- Buffalograss: 3 – 4 inches
- Fescue: 3 inches
Lawn Care Tip #6: Fertilize according to grass type and season. Common bermuda and zoysias should be fertilized every two months, late March or early April through early October. St. Augustine late March or early April, early June and early September. Hybrid bermudas every 6-7 weeks, but with lighter amounts. Buffalograss mid-May, mid-September. Fescue September, November, and February.
Lawn Care Tip #7: Most lawn care professionals recommend testing your soil every three years. A soil test will show what nutrients your soil lacks, as well as its pH level. Contact your local extension office for a soil test kit. Typically, the soil in Plano will only need a slow-release Nitrogen fertilizer (4-1-2 ratio).
Lawn Care Tip #8: Conserving water is crucial to both your wallet and grass health. And because water is such a precious commodity in Texas, summer water restrictions are the norm. To help you conserve water, use a “smart” water sprinkler system. This will monitor local precipitation and help streamline your watering. For optimal grass health, water between 4 am and 8 am. Watering too late at night can create fungal disease whereas watering during the heat of the day can fry your grass.
Have questions about lawn care? Visit our Plano lawn care page or share your thoughts in the comments below.