Your Central Texas Lawn Update: Fall 2022
lawns were impacted by the severe drought this summer, some entering dormancy and turning brown.
Here’s how to tell if your discolored lawn is dormant or dead:
Dormant grassroots will hold when given a gentle tug
Dead turf will pull easily from the ground
Summer dormant lawns can survive up to a month, but without signs of new growth or recovery beyond, it’s most likely dead
We’ve all seen the chasms in the ground, some seem large enough to snag and twist an ankle!
Clay-based soils suffered tremendously from this summer’s drought and as a result, created giant cracks. As moisture returns to our environment and the soil naturally shifts, all the gaps will fill back in.
Brown patch is a common fall fungus (Rhizoctonia species) that we see each year, typically on St. Augustine & Zoysia lawns. It’s caused by humid and damp conditions, frequently seen on poorly maintained, and over or under-watered lawns. The recent rains may cause an
increase in brown patch as our climate becomes more humid.
Catching and treating brown patch early is important; here’s what to keep an eye out for:
Tan discoloration in a doughnut shape, with a patch of green grass in the middle
Delicate blades that easily pull from the stolon in affected areas
Diseased spots can range several inches to feet in diameter
If your lawn has experienced a disease in the last few months, scars might be more prominent and unlikely to heal during the growing season
We needed the recent rain – desperately! In response to this good weather,
weeds will be popping up in abundance. It’s no surprise, however, as these annoying guys persist regardless of the weather. Unfortunately, this increased weed activity could be worse in areas damaged by drought as there’s less turf to fight for nutrients.
Another fan of this autumn season is pests. We see
lots of grub worm and armyworm activity around this time that can quickly destroy your lawn.
Here is what to look out for on your lawn:
Patches of brown discoloration, a result of destroyed grassroots from grub worm feeding under the surface
If you notice 8+ grub worms per sq ft inhabiting your topsoil, your lawn will require treatment
Predators like raccoons may dig and forage on your lawn for grub worms if your yard is infested
Rain makes consumption easier for grub worms, and it’s that time of year when they’re naturally active for their second feeding
Stripped foliage and transparent grass tips are common signs of armyworm damage, eventually turning your grass brown when left untreated
If you notice armyworms on the sidewalk, this is a good indication there are many on your lawn
Armyworm damage looks like drought stress because of the discoloration, but as the pest pillage continues, your lawn will completely lose its foliage. You might notice areas unaffected by armyworms that create an obvious contrast with damaged turf
Our liquid aeration treatments add breathability and encourage moisture in compact, dry lawns. This treatment is
vital for drought recovery and will provide the relief your lawn has been craving all summer long.
Here’s a quick rundown of how liquid aeration works:
Creates millions of tiny, unnoticeable pathways in the ground across your yard
The tunnels relieve soil compaction, encouraging breathability and space for roots to grow deeper
With access created below the surface, essential nutrients, water, and air can easily enter and work their magic
Unlike core aeration, liquid aeration covers the entire surface, right up to fences and foundations, and doesn’t break sprinklers or buried lines
Each application builds upon the last, creating a compound effect
We apply our
organic, locally sourced topdressing to invigorate turf health and improve soil composition, making it great for a fall lawn recovering from the drought.
Check out why our topdressing is great for your yard:
Coupled with liquid aeration, this application feeds your grassroots by infusing beneficial microbes and minerals through the little pathways
Enhances soil conditions for increased root density and health
Stimulates vigorous, green turf growth, producing new shoots and fuller grass that combats weeds
The combination of organic matter and nutrients trigger microbial activity, feeding and revitalizing your soil
Levels your lawn’s surface, smoothing out the lumps, bumps, and dips
During the fall, we are working through Round 6 and Round 7 of our Fertilization & Weed Control program. We apply a
pre-emergent weed barrier in the spring and autumn that reduces weeds before they even have the chance to make an appearance!
Here’s what you can expect in Round 6:
Our slow-release liquid fertilizer sustains microbial activity in the soil and feeds your grass
Organic matter provides vital nutrients, with additional help from iron, sulfur, magnesium, manganese, & copper for improved soil composition
Humic acid & cold-water sea kelp
reduce heat and drought stress Liquid nitrogen encourages a long-lasting vibrance in color
Round 7 is perfect as we approach cooler temps:
We focus on stress restoration above the surface and eliminating weeds below
increase roots’ holding capacity for essential nutrients Sulfur decreases excessive pH levels
For Bermuda lawns,
low-dose nitrogen heals summer-damaged spots and our 6-month weed control barrier prevents the development of weeds Augustine & Zoysia lawns receive a
large dose of potassium to increase water & nutrient intake, and Prodiamine controls weeds without hurting the root system Nitrogen promotes growth in St. Augustine lawns
We’re prepared for turf pests with our Fall Grub Control application. Here’s how we stay ahead of grub worms, armyworms, and other common lawn pillagers:
A single application that provides
season-long protection and control from grubs and insects Vigilant, ongoing attention for timely care, plus we provide free service calls for our program customers
Our solution is
environmentally friendly, keeping pets, birds, fish, and pollinators safe We’ve changed our grub application this year on Bermuda lawns to combat armyworms as a proactive approach to last year’s epidemic
Our fungicide treatments
keep your lawn vibrant and healthy using spot treatments. Our techs’ trained eyes can accurately identify and quickly apply our remedy to diseased lawns as part of your lawn program. What You Can Do
During the fall,
you can expect to mow your lawn every 5-10 days before dormancy.
Here’s our quick autumn mowing guide for different lawn types:
Mow between mid-morning & early evening when the grass is dry
Regularly clean your mower blades after cutting spots with a disease, like Helminthosporium, to prevent spreading it further
Bag and dispose of grass clippings to prevent thatch build-up, diseases, & pests Bermuda & fine-bladed Zoysia Grass: 1”- 2”
Palisades Zoysia Grass: 2”- 3”
Augustine: 3”- 4”
Lower your mower a notch in thick St. Augustine turf when temperatures drop; not only does this help control moisture levels, but it also decreases the chances of brown patch
Follow these watering guidelines to maintain a beautiful fall lawn:
The seasonal watering setting on irrigation systems will provide the right amount of water & reduce watering frequency. A quick example: 80-degree average high = 80% seasonal adjust setting The best time to water your lawn is between 12 a.m. and 8 a.m.
A clean yard is a healthy yard –
debris can block sunlight, drain moisture from the soil, and attract insects & disease. All these factors damage your lawn, especially when recovering from drought.
Here are some tips for fall lawn care that will encourage a healthy winter dormancy:
Rake your lawn weekly, bagging the leaves and disposing of them
Store your outside possessions like toys and chairs off the grass
Keep foot traffic light, especially on lawns recovering from drought
Remove sticks, trash, and random objects from the grass
Be mindful of outdoor holiday décor and how it might impact your turf based on the above suggestions
Landscape What We’re Doing
Plants damaged in the 2021 freeze are experiencing residual stress due to a weaker than normal root system, or because they’ve been cut too far back. We’re seeing this mainly in:
The residual stress will take several seasons to balance out with the help of our fertilizers and proper care.
Due to the recent rains, there’s a
quick spurt of growth in sugar production that has attracted pests. The insects we’re seeing crawling out this fall are:
trees & shrubs that struggled most this summer will drop their leaves early due to the extreme drought and an over exhaustion of energy. Usually, we see these plants that exert the most energy through the summer drop leaves first:
Our Round 7 fertilizer will
balance deficiencies and restore energy that was lost during the summer. Not only does this round build your landscape’s tolerance and strength for the winter, but it also helps your plants emerge happy and in good health come spring.
We are administering our 3 to supply your fall landscape with: rd root-zone feed and harmonizer
Summer stress relief
Advanced root development
As part of our tree & shrub fertilization program,
our technicians are on the prowl for fall landscape pests and diseases, conducting applications every 30-40 days to protect your plants.
Here are just a few of the insects and diseases these treatments prevent and control:
Leaf Spot Fungus
It’s the perfect time to add a new plant to your landscape!
If you’re curious about the best plant options and planting tips, check out our blogs specialized for Central Texas landscapes.
fall landscape watering guide to help you keep your plants happy and healthy this season:
When temps drop below 85 degrees consistently, cut back your watering schedule to half rate
Slowly administer one inch of water once a week in the dripline
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