Ya’ll know what’s around the corner…another sweltering Central Texas summer! With this year already off to a dry start, the best thing you can do for your Central Texas lawn is to prepare and anticipate the needs of your turf. Your lawn’s needs are similar to that of your body’s; pre-hydration and nutritional intake prior to sun & heat exposure keep us healthy and strong! In this blog, we’ll share 6 steps you can take to prepare for heat & drought in Central Texas.

Step 1 – Liquid Aeration

Central Texas soil is compact, which restricts root growth and the depth for air, water & organic nutrients. A simple solution to this problem is applying liquid aeration! This process creates tiny pathways across your turf, encouraging breathability in the soil for roots, air, water, and nutrients to spread deep in your lawn. Applying liquid aeration prior to July, even if you’ve already applied it, will benefit your yard substantially. Plus, the compounding effect of liquid aeration means that each application builds upon the one before!

Step 2 – Rebates

It’s always worth it to check your city/water districts for rebates to have your irrigation system inspected! Many will provide rebates/reimbursement for upgrading the type of sprinkler heads used. We have a short list for Greater Austin municipalities here.

Step 3 – Irrigation System Adjustment

Optimize your irrigation system by assessing your controller’s settings and the slope of the lawn, soil compaction, and soil depth. These are all factors that can impact your lawn receiving the correct amount of water. (Our pros can help you with this…)

Step 4 – Prehydration

Common in Central Texas, hydrophobic soil is when a waxy coating is developed on the soil’s surface to protect itself from the heat and retain moisture when temperatures are harsh and rainfall is sparse. While this is nature’s defense mechanism, it ends up repelling water instead of absorbing it. Think of potted plants when the water pools on the surface instead of immediately being absorbed into the soil.

But how can you avoid hydrophobic soil? Pre-hydration planning saves water and heat stress! At Emerald Lawns, we apply moisture management technology, Hydretain, in April and May. It works by reducing moisture evaporation and transforming humidity in the air into plant-usable water droplets to enable roots to absorb up to 50% more water!

water-efficiency

Another great way to avoid hydrophobic soil is by applying organic topdressing. Our topdressing contains microorganisms that will break down the waxy barrier and improve soil biology!

Step 5 – Topdressing

As we mentioned before, Central Texas soil is compact, composed of hard clay and limestone that reduces the rate of water infiltration. It’s also notoriously poor with high pH – just like our water. You can improve your soil structure & depth by applying organic topdressing & chocolate loam! Topdressing restores the  microbial activity and nutrients that your root system craves, and chocolate loam increases soil depth for water absorption and retention. 

Step 6 – Cycle & Soak

By using the cycle and soak watering method, you can reduce watering frequency, and promote deeper roots for a healthy turf! Simply set your irrigation system to run multiple shorter cycles between 10-15 minutes, thereby allowing the water to soak in at least 20 minutes before the next cycle. This method reduces runoff while still ensuring you reach that one inch of water your lawn demands!

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