The chilly winter days in Texas seem like a good chance to stay snuggled up indoors.
There’s nothing wrong with that, but Texans still must tend to their lawns when everything isn’t all sunshine and rainbows. No need to panic. Winter time landscaping efforts are not difficult or time-consuming.
Your Texas lawn is likely covered with either Bermuda or Zoysia grass. These sun-loving grass types are resistant to most fungus and diseases. That means less work for you, especially in the winter. For shady properties, you may have St. Augustine grass. If so, it’s best to do your last fertilizing about five weeks before the first expected frost. Use a low nitrogen fertilizer. (5-10-10 is a good option.)
If you’re afraid to water your landscape in frigid temperatures, relax! There’s little need for this. Once a month is plenty generally. If there is a drought, however, you should check the soil moisture a few inches below the surface. If it is dry, then it’s time to refresh your turf and plants with some H20.
Speaking of water, would you like to save some? The winter months give you the free time to set up a rain collection system. This will save you money on utility bills in the hot season. Not to mention you will be helping the environment.
According to The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, 30 billion gallons of water could be saved each year by recycling rainwater. And that’s with a mere 10% of Texans implementing a water collection system. Not to mention, collected rainwater is better for your plants than treated water.
While you’re setting up a simple rain collection system you may notice debris on your lawn. Limbs tend to fall in the winter. Leaves blow in from your neighbor’s property and even lawn tools gets left on the turf. Don’t let your grass get damaged by these items. Use a blower and a rake at least every couple weeks to remove lawn debris.
As you sip on that hot chocolate try to remember writing checks to the mower repair shop last year. No fun, right? To save that money, hop off the couch, and head to the hardware store to get fuel additives for your gas-powered lawn equipment. This keeps the fuel from gumming up the works while the mowers and trimmers sit idle.
Make it a point to use ethanol-free gasoline next mowing season. You’ll have fewer engine problems going forward. BuyRealGas.com and Pure-Gas.org are two Texas resources to find better fuel for your small engines.
You can also contact your local lawn care professional to save time and money if you can’t seem to have luck with your lawn mower. To be more specific, the average price for lawn mowing in Texas is $36.56. This can help with convenience as well if you switch to less frequent mowing in the winter.
Finally here’s a handy tip to get a jump on Texas weeds as winter winds down. You can treat them individually on dormant grass types. Many weeds pop up long before the grass turns green. So you can use an old mop dipped in a chemical herbicide or a homemade organic weed killer to dab those weeds. It won’t harm the grass since it is still dormant. Do this more more carefully in flower beds since you wouldn’t want to harm your precious plants.
Katie Kuchta is a gardening guru, outdoor living expert, and self-proclaimed foodie. She can often be found cooking in the kitchen or on the hunt for the best tacos,; follow her on Instagram @atxtacoqueen.