As the summer months fade away and we work our way into the cooler months of fall and winter, many of us are asking ourselves how we should adjust our lawn care practices.
Although the increase in rainfall and cooling temperatures will alleviate some stress from our lawns, it is still important to maintain specific lawn care practices to ensure a healthy, vibrant plant life in the coming spring and summer months.
Winter Mow Heights
One of the most important factors in maintaining a healthy lawn is monitoring your mow height. There is no single or uniform height to which all grasses should be cut, so an understanding of the needs of your turfgrass is essential to maintaining a healthy lawn in Dallas this winter.
Optimal mowing heights vary depending not only on the type of grass you have in your lawn, but also with the season.
Many of us wonder, should I allow my grass to grow longer in the winter months? A common misconception is that a higher mow will allow the grass to better insulate itself and protect itself from the cold and frost of the winter season. This is false. Grass that is too tall is in fact weaker, more susceptible to damage, and generally less sustainable.
Most Texas turfgrass never fully hibernates, so our grass is still growing, albeit very slowly, even in our coldest months. In truth, we should practice a somewhat lower mow height for our lawns in the fall and winter, with the height specifically set for the turfgrass we have in our lawns.
St Augustine grass is generally a medium maintenance turfgrass, and is very commonly found in our lawns in the North Texas Area. This particular grass does not require a large change in the winter, although mow heights should be slightly adjusted. Typically in the spring and summer, the optimal mow height for St. Augustine is between 2.5-3.5 inches.
As temperatures cool, we should mow to a slightly lower-mid range height, keeping our grass around 3 inches in height.
This should be maintained until this grass goes into dormancy, which will come around early-mid November here in North Texas.
As spring approaches and temperatures rise, beginning the season with a slightly lower mow will help encourage this grass out of dormancy, and allow our plant life to begin to thrive at its fullest potential.
Another common turfgrass here in North Texas area is Bermuda grass. Like St. Augustine, Bermuda is also a relatively low maintenance grass for winter, and does not require a drastic change in mow height as temperatures cool.
Bermuda grass grows well in North Texas, as it can sustain itself through extended periods of extreme heat, as well as a relatively mild winter season. The ideal mow height for Bermuda Grass is between 1.5-2-.5 inches in the spring and summer, around 2 inches in the fall and winter.
This grass will go into dormancy earlier than St. Augustine, and typically enters into this period in September. As with St. Augustine, practicing an earlier and lower mow as spring approaches will encourage the plant life out of its dormant stage. Mowing back to 2 inches at the end of March is the best practice for Bermuda, and can help to achieve the most positive results for healthy spring growth.
Buffalo Grass is low maintenance prairie grass, and is also often found in our North Texas Lawns. With this particular grass, our mowing height throughout the year should be higher than other varieties. In spring and summer, the ideal mow height is between 4-6 inches.
As this grass enters dormancy in september, mow height should be decreased to 5 inches. As spring approaches in late March, Buffalo grass should be mowed again to the same height.
Zoysia Grass is also a very tolerant grass. As with Bermuda Grass, Zoysia is great for well trafficked lawns, and can also survive a moderate TX winter. Our optimal mow heights for Zoysia mirror those of St Augustine, with an ideal height of 2.5-3.5 inches in spring and summer, and a 3 inch height as this grass enters into dormancy.
Dormancy for Zoysia will also come in September, as temperatures first begin to cool. As with all grass varieties discussed today, an earlier and lower mow in March will be helpful, ideally around 3 inches in height.
How Gecko Green Can Help
Maintaining a proper mow height for your lawn is an important step in creating a healthy growth in the coming spring and summer months, but there are many other monthly, annual, and bi annual practices you can employ to maintain a healthy, thriving lawn.
Gecko Green is a local, family owned business local to the DFW area. Our trained lawn care professionals can walk you through the best lawn care program for your lawn, and provide these services for you accordingly.
Call us today for a free lawn care consultation, and we’ll work together to build your family a lawn that is well cared for and sustainable all year round!