The winter of Texas 2021 has gone down in history as one of the harshest cold weather events of our state. This spring, we will focus on lawn and landscape recovery. We’re sure that many of you folks in the greater Central Texas area are concerned and curious about the next steps you should take to encourage rejuvenation in your yards. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered!
In this blog, we will discuss the present things we are seeing, what we are doing, and what you can do for:
- Turf Health & Fertilization
- Trees & Shrubs
Here are few quick notes before we get started:
Turf Health & Fertilization
What we’re seeing:
Freeze Damage – Many of your plants have experienced harsh damages due to the extreme freeze we’ve encountered. This could be a big setback for lawns from Waco to San Antonio.
-Several lawns that were greening up before the freeze have returned to dormancy.
-We’ve noticed that there is purple discoloration on St. Augustine lawns due to the low temperatures. Discoloration may also be found under trees.
-While many of your plants and shrubs have experienced shock and freeze-burn, grassy weeds are doing just fine. They are a hardy turf plant and will be the first to emerge from dormancy.
–50% of broadleaf weeds, however, were damaged by the freeze.
-Due to the prolonged dormancy that we are encountering, you are most likely seeing Annual Blue and Ryegrass, Dallisgrass, Poa Annua, and Rescuegrass in abundance.
What we’re doing:
Topdressing & Aeration – this is a MUST for rapid lawn recovery!
- We recommend you get topdressing and aeration for your lawn immediately.
- These applications will revamp your lawn and nurture your grass, roots, and soil back to health.
- Additionally, helping warm up the soil and add nutrients to supplement what the snow washed away.
Weed Treatment – We drop the hammer on those bad-boys conducting spot treatments and inspecting for freeze damage.
-We will not “blanket” spray because your lawn needs more time to come out of dormancy and rejuvenate – also, it’s bad for the environment.
-Our weed service treatments are complimentary for customers from Belton to Kyle (actually ALL service areas) with 6+ applications!
Custom Blend Applications – We are on Round 2 of our Custom Blend Fertilizer application (click to read more about this much-needed treatment and how it helps)
-In this round, we focus on new growth that will strengthen your lawn and choke out weeds.
-A deeper and thicker root structure will be developed, and we also concentrate on weed control.
-After the freeze, we’ve been holding off on some pre-emergent applications on Bermuda lawns for the last 2 weeks; we’ll be resuming these soon. We do this to give the turf and root system all of the time it needs to get out of shock and emerge from dormancy.
-For those who did not receive the pre-emergent in Round 2, you’ll receive it in Round 3.
What you can do:
Mowing – To eliminate all the dead grass and help lawn recovery, we recommend mowing your lawn.
–You’ll want to mow low, 1 to 2 notches lower than normal, and bag the leftover clippings to reduce the spread of weeds. This mowing practice will remove old, dead growth leftover from last year and encourage new growth with a fast green-up this spring.
-Here are the appropriate lawn heights to follow for different grass varieties for our area.
-Check out our blog about the myth that mowing spreads weeds!
Watering – You should water based on the temperature!
-For the rest of the year, create a percentage based on average daytime highs. For example, 70 degrees is 70% demand or .7 inches per week.
-A cycle soak is best if you run it multiple times a day back-to-back to allow deeper penetration of water. Doing this will train the grass to pull water from deep in the soil. You can read this blog about our cycle and soak watering method here.
-Too much water in the spring may lead to fungus, so be careful you don’t over-water!
Trees & Shrubs
What we’re seeing:
Freeze Damage – we’ve seen a lot of freeze damage on our trees and shrubs.
-As a result, you’ll notice the leaves and limbs of plants appear injured or dead.
-Due to the damage that we are seeing, we speculate that it will take nearly three months before you see a really good recovery of your trees & shrubs.
-Smaller shrubs and North-facing plants got hit the worst so they will take longer to show signs of recovery.
What we’re doing:
Deep Root Feeding – We are currently on Round 2 of our tree and shrub care program.
-This includes deep root feeding which will improve the health and rejuvenation of your trees and shrubs.
-By doing this, the nutrients lost by the freeze are supplemented.
-Our deep root feeding uses a balanced fertilizer that contains biostimulant and micronutrients. Vitamins, bio nutrition, and trace-elements will then be transported to your plants. As a result, the uptake of water and all nutrients is improved as well as blooming and fruit production of your plants, shrubs, and trees!
What you can do:
Mulching – Apply 2 to 3 inches of natural, organic mulch over the planted area to help warm up the soil and aid in recovery.
-To avoid contact with the trunk and stems, keep the mulch 2 to 3 inches away.
-Mulch piled against any tree, shrub, or plant trunk will increase the chances of stem rot!
Delay Pruning – Hold off right now, we want to wait until things green up!
-You don’t want to remove live branches if they appear damaged or dead.
-We speculate 2 to 3 weeks before you can prune, except for the cosmetic limb removal of fallen branches.
Watering – Trees and shrubs less than 2 years old:
-Problems may arise if newly planted shrubs and trees are irrigated by systems designed to water turfgrass, flower beds, or established plants.
-In well-drained soil, such systems cannot supply enough water for the new plants without overwatering everything else and wasting water.
–Water these new plants by hand with a hose or with a temporary micro-irrigation system designed specifically for them.
Mature trees, shrubs, and plants:
-Determine when and how much to water by becoming familiar with the characteristics of the planting site and then striving to maintain constant moisture, but without saturation.
P.S. About Pests…
While flea and mosquito infestations may be delayed, they have winter survival techniques and the strength to survive.
Call us to get those In2Care buckets set out two weeks before the season starts…to get ahead of the curve with our pet & pollinator-friendly mosquito solution.
Our In2Care solution is so targeted to attract mosquitoes, one of our customers placed the trap right next to their beehives (and the bees are happily making honey within feet of the mosquito trap).
We love this intelligent solution so we’re not blanketing the earth with unnecessary pesticides.