• August 21, 2014

Extension agent offers tips for lawn care during the heat of summer

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Posted: Monday, July 8, 2013 4:30 am

With the summer heat in full swing, the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service is offering local residents some tips on keeping their lawns green this season.

The suggestions from the extension office come after the state has suffered multiple years of severe drought conditions. Those conditions last summer forced many residents to cut back on water usage due to restrictions.

“After last year’s severe heat and drought, the frequent and abundant rains and mild weather that followed this spring and early summer were most welcome,” said extension agent Lyle Zoeller in a written statement issued Friday. “But we are now back in a typical summertime pattern of hot and dry. Sprinklers are once again running to keep turf and plants alive as the temperatures bump the 100-degree mark.”

Zoeller said lawn owners will likely begin seeing dry, yellowed or dead spots in their grass as summer temperature continue to rise.

Zoeller recommended that owners make sure their grass is getting the proper amount of water at the right times during the week.

“Lawns need about three-fourths to 1½-inch of water per week (again, depending on soil type, etc.) to maintain peak performance,” he said. “The best watering scheme is to help the grass develop a deep root system that can take advantage of a larger reservoir of water by watering deeply and as infrequently as possible,” Zoeller wrote.

“That may mean watering every three to seven days in the summer, depending on soil type, temperature, rainfall, etc.”

Zoeller also suggested checking the distribution of sprinkler heads to ensure better lawn coverage, and also warns residents to watch for signs that chinch bugs may be damaging their lawns.

Early symptoms of chinch bugs include stunted growth, wilting, and then yellowing. Finally, the grass dies in irregular patches, Zoeller said.

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