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Lawn Care Schedule for Central Texas

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Yes, growing grass can be difficult. But with your lawn and landscape adding 18% to your homes value, there isn't much choice. Most lawn services that offer a lawn program that is way cheaper than you could ever do yourself, plus the added benefit of not having to store and apply the different products necessary to maintain a lawn during a drought such as what we are in now.

For those who want to do-it themselves, and are in central Texas.
This schedule is for southern grasses that need some rejuvenation, including: St. Augustine, Bermuda and Zoysia
Its what we do, and what you should do too.


  • FERTILIZE - Avoid feast or famine. Applying the total years fertilization in two (spring and fall) feedings is bad, here's why; Fertilizers unable to be used, will simply wash away into our watersheds, An overabundance of nitrogen will contribute to many insect and disease problems, such as Brown Patch and Grub Worms. Apply fertilizers at rates, no higher than can be used by your specific grass type during the times a year that they can be completely absorbed. This means applying no more than one pound of nitrogen per thousand square foot, per application, always using a slow release fertilizer during the summer months. (Recommended by Texas A&M as well)

    ST. Augustine Grass: 4-5 Total pounds of Nitrogen per thousand square feet, per year. (reducing to 3/4 pound per thousand if you have a pre-disposition for disease)
    Bermuda Grass: 5-6 Total pounds of Nitrogen per thousand square feet, per year. (Bermuda loves Nitrogen)
    Zoysia Grass: 3-4 Total pounds of Nitrogen per thousand square feet, per year. (Apply even less during wet years, unless you want Zoysia Patch)

    Late February-Early March - apply a simple 15-5-10 for an early green-up. Most companies that make slow-release fertilizers also make a mixed release 15-5-10 that provides for a quick two-week green up as well as a coating that delays release. I recommend against the use of weed and feed type products. Weed and feed products are bad for your trees and shrubs, and bad for the environment, as they are post emergent herbicides. However, spot weed-and-feed treatments are can be used for those with turf-only landscapes or landscapes that have been established for many years. Warning: Most weed-and-feeds contain Atrizine which burns roots of young trees and shrubs and will kill Bermuda grass. They are fatal to several tree species, including Post Oaks. Atrizine can and will find its way into our drinking water, and is a big problem. Upon close examination of the bag, you will note that the manufacturer warns against using underneath the drip-lines of all shade trees.

    Late March-Early April - apply slow-release 3-1-2 ratio fertilizers. with 3% iron and 10% sulfur. The iron will help keep the lawn green, with the coming rains. The sulfur will help buffer the pH as well as slow the release of the product. Sulfur is also a great natural fungicide. (recommended formulations 19-5-9, 19-4-10, 18-4-6, 15-5-10.)

    Late June-Early July - Again apply slow-release 3-1-2 ratio fertilizers, with 3% iron and 10% sulfur.
    (recommended formulations 19-5-9, 19-4-10, 18-4-6, 15-5-10.)

    - if turfgrass looks yellow (chlorosis) or necrotic, use an application of either granular or liquid iron. Once a year should be enough. If you applied the 3% iron earlier in the year, as recommended, this should not be happening, unless environmental issues also exist. Iron needs Nitrogen to work. often times a fall fertilizer will work at this time. look for a 5-0-15 ratio with 10% Iron and 20% sulfur. The Low levels of nitrogen will not encourage fungal issues like brown patch, while the sulfur will buffer the pH and help strengthen the lawn against fungal issues.

    October-November - apply winterizer formula high in phosphorus for winter hardiness. Phosphorus helps develop strong root systems. Ratios vary, but make sure they are "winter" or "fall" formulas designed for southern grasses.
    (examples: 18-6-12, 8-12-16, 10-5-14) Will make lawns winter-hardy.

    *December-January - Apply a bio-stimulant, with micro-nutrients. The Bio-Stimulant increases microbial activity, building healthy soil, along with micro-nutrients. This will give similar results as top dressing with compost, without the risk of bringing in disease, insects and weeds. Products such as Medina Plus or Milgornite can be found at local garden centers.

  • *FUNGICIDE - two times a year, as needed:
    July-September - Gray Leaf Spot is a blotchy spot on the grass blade leafs. (mostly on St. Augustine lawns) Use fungicides  like  Kocide 2000, Compass, Revere or Banner. Spot treatment of all lawn diseases is included in our normal program.

    September-October - Brown Patch is best treated with preventive products. To control the dreaded Brownpatch fungal disease (symmetrical brown circles in the grass) you must prevent it from coming up with a systemic lawn fungicide with Bayleton, Pro-Star, Banner or Compass. Spot treatment of active Brown Patch is included in our normal program. Preventative treatment is available at an additional charge.

  • PRE- EMERGENT HERBICIDE - Two to three times a year:
    (Pre-Emergent controls and prevents weeds) Early spring and fall are highly recommended. Mid summer, only if you have an ongoing battle, such as neighbors who don't care for their lawn, or if you are next to or near an open field.
    Late October-Early November - Use pre-emergent herbicides, to prevent the weeds that we experience in February and March. Use Barricade, Deminsion or Pendimethlin to control both grassy and broadleaf weeds.

    *February-March - Use pre-emergent controls to start the year off right. These products are best applied, prior to the weeds actually germinating.

    May-Early June - One more application of a Barricade, Dimension or Pendimethlin to control weed through the rest of the year.
  • POST- EMERGENT HERBICIDE TREATMENTS - Post emergent treatment of broadleaf weeds can be made year around in both St.Augustine and Bermuda Lawns. Products to use would include Trimec, and Lescogran. Be careful, and always read the label. Most herbicides are temperature sensitive. In fact, never use Trimec above 90 degrees. Grassy weeds are next to impossible to get rid of in St. Augustine lawns, Post - Emergent. However, they are a breeze in Bermuda Lawns. Use Products containing MSMA. Never use MSMA in St Augustine, as it will kill it on contact.
    MSMA is for Bermuda and Zosia Grass. It will kill most grassy weeds, including Dallas Grass and Crab Grass. Although it is labeled for Yellow Nut Sedge, it generally will not kill it. Use a product called Manage instead. Manage is a selective herbicide labeled for sedges only. It works very well, but is a bit pricey. Manage is available at an additional charge.

  • *INSECTICIDES - It is our belief at Real Green's Lawn Club, as a way to be kind to the environment, that you do not put down insecticides unless you know you have a problem. However, be prepared during the hot summer months July through September to attack chinch bug damage. This will show up as irregular shaped spots in the lawn along the concrete. Any liquid insecticide, like Permethrin or Cypermethrin, will treat the spot well. Then apply a granular insecticide like Deltamethrin or granular Permethrin in a broadcast applicator throughout the rest of the yard.
  • *Grub Worms - are treated in another way, using Merit (imdecloprid).  This treatment is best left to a professional. Merit will give season long control.  Grub prevention using Merit is available, at an additional charge.
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