Spring is the perfect time to get your lawn in tip-top shape, so why not do it yourself? Whether you have Bermuda, Centipede, St. Augustine, or Zoysia grass, there’s a lot of personal satisfaction that comes with maintaining your eye-catching lawn.
First and foremost, it’s essential to know the importance of tending your lawn as the weather progresses into spring. It’s all about TEMPERATURE! As soil temperatures begin to climb, this triggers a response in warm-season grasses to “wake up,” which is the start of transitioning or “green-up.” Those warm-season grasses are ready to thrive once the weather gets warmer, but only with the proper care and maintenance. In this post, we’ll tackle the four main types of warm-season grasses, as well as give you the tips and resources needed to have the best yard in the neighborhood.
Types of Warm Season Grasses
- This warm-season grass is the hardiest and fastest-growing and is the preferred grass for sports fields and golf courses.
- Centipede is known for its excellent heat tolerance and low maintenance requirements. A favorite of lawn owners interested in minimal upkeep.
- Augustine grass is the most shade tolerant of the warm season grasses. Winter injury is a significant issue, especially if planted farther west than Columbia. Spring, summer, and early fall are the best growing times, while winter sees it dormant and brown.
- Zoysia is very thick and grows well in the sun and partial shade, but it will thin out in dense shade. Mower blades must be sharp, and you must mow the grass as low as possible. Zoysia grass is the only grass with rolled vernation.
Tips For Maintaining Warm Season Grasses
- Unless you have fescue, there is no need to put out any nitrogen until at least late April (commonly seen in “Weed and Feed” combinations).
- Putting it out before active growth (generally in May) can be wasteful and counterproductive.
- The best way to select a fertilizer grade is to have your soil tested, recommending a fertilizer grade for your need.
- Do not use too many herbicides! When the turf is stressed or when the temperature is more than 93 degrees, this will damage or kill the grass.
- Lawn Insects
- Keep an eye out for lawn insects, like mole crickets, grub worms, and fall armyworms. Learn more about types of lawn insects here.
- When watering, slowly open water lines to allow a gradual increase in pressure and ensure you have even coverage.
5 Ways To Easily Manage Your Weeds For Warm Season Grasses
- Make sure you have a proper mowing height and frequency.
- Mowing height and frequency depend on the type of grass, but it is recommended that mowing be enough so that there is no more than ⅓ of the blade removed.
- Proper watering rate and frequency are key.
- We recommend that you water with 1 inch of irrigation per week if minimal rainfall and 1 inch every 3-5 days if the weather is hot and dry.
- Fertilize at the right time.
- It will help keep a soil pH to ensure nutrients are available to your turf.
- Aerate, Aerate, Aerate!
- Core aeration is the process of mechanically removing plugs or “cores” of soil and thatch from a lawn. The best time to do this would be in May when your lawn is green and actively growing.
- Proper De-thatching.
- De-thatching removes the dead roots and stolons that live between the soil’s surface and the living, growing grass. This is best performed in May when the turfgrass is active and growing.
Great Resources for the Do-it-Yourselfer
A Homeowner’s Guide To Fertilizer:
Scotts offers excellent products and advice for maintaining your lawn.
SiteOne Landscape & Supply – Your Local SiteOne store is where the pros shop, and they also offer products and great advice to homeowners.
Clemson Extension Office– Take your soil samples for detailed analysis and fertility recommendations for your specific soil.
If You Still Need Professional Lawn Care, Look To The Turf Pros!
Our goal is simple: to be your local expert in lawn services from a company you can trust.
At Clark’s, we make your yard the envy of your neighborhood.
Call: 866-781-4991 or visit our lawn care page.
Contact us at: LawnHelp@ClarksTurfPro.com