Established Lawns

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Care and Maintenance of an Established Lawn

watering can Limited water supplies have placed a new emphasis on the responsible use of water.

Since turf irrigation is one of the first uses to be limited when water shortages occur, it is necessary for responsible homeowners to know how to water their lawns effectively and efficiently.

The Texas Agricultural Extension Service provides the following guidelines for home lawn irrigation:

Homeowners should maintain a deep, infrequent watering schedule regardless of the water status because it is better for the overall health of the lawn. It reduces disease, helps insure good air movement down to the root system, and conserves water.

Approximately one inch of water each week is recommended for a well-maintained lawn; however, this can vary between different types of turf, seasonal changes, and differences in soil types. Deeply rooted grass draws moisture from a larger area allowing the grass to survive drought and hot weather that rapidly dries out the upper soil layer.

The following steps can be used to determine how long you need to run your sprinkler or irrigation system.

  • Set out a can on the lawn 6 feet from the sprinkler (cans with short sides like tuna or cat food cans work best).
  • Time the sprinkler or irrigation system until the water in the can reaches 1 inch.
  • Use a garden spade or a soil probe to determine how deep the soil was wet during the time period. Push the probe into the soil. It will push through the wet soil easily, but will become difficult when it reaches dry soil.
  • Special attention should be paid to eliminate water waste. To prevent run-off, monitor the lawn to make sure that water is not running onto sidewalks, streets or gutters. If the water runs off before the lawn is sufficiently wet, turn the sprinkler off for 30 minutes then resume watering.

The amount of water your lawn requires and receives will determine its overall health, beauty and ability to withstand use and drought. Too much water can ruin a lawn just as fast as too little.

push lawn mowerMowing
Proper mowing is important to any turfgrass maintenance program.

Mowing needs change with the season, weather, nutrients as well as other factors. One simple rule to follow is NEVER MOW MORE THAN 1/3 OF THE LEAF BLADE AT ANY ONE TIME. Grass plants have a "growing point" where the leaves originate. When grass is mowed often, that growing point is close to the ground. If grass is allowed to grow too long, the growing point moves up away from the ground and a close mowing at that point will cut off the growing point with the grass blade. Frequent mowing at the optimal mowing height for your grass will ensure that you aren't removing too much of the leaf blade and should result in a lush, healthy lawn.

It is essential to keep your mower blades sharp to insure a smooth, clean cut. When your mower blade is dull, a ragged, damaged, straw-colored top remains and is the prime point of entry for many insects and disease pathogens. Mower blades should be sharpened at least once a year.


Check with your local nursery to learn the recommended fertilizers to apply in your area for your specific soil type.
fertilizer spreader

Organic methods

Lawn grasses do best when provided with a sunny area and well drained soil.

Healthy soil must be provided for a lawn to become established and thrive. Compost, either homemade or purchased from reputable companies will enhance fertility and texture. In addition, beneficial soil biota (organisms) can be added to your soil.

Appropriate natural fertilizers can be used to boost plant growth. The soil can be tested to determine the nutrient needs of the lawn. Avoid fertilizer salts and pesticides.

lady bug Use a mulching mower to recycle clippings in place and return nutrients to the soil. This will reduce water stress.

Water should be applied on a regular basis but not excessively.

Beneficial insects (ladybugs, green lacewings, trichogramma wasps) can be released and natural predators (praying mantids, birds, beneficial nematodes) will be encouraged to take up residence in the lawn.

An organic lawn resists pests and diseases, holds its greenness through periods of drought, supports biodiversity, stores carbon and purifies water. An organic lawn is completely safe for children and wildlife.

Coastal Grass  |  2134 Saratoga Blvd. Unit H  |  Corpus Christi, Texas 78417  | 361-852-9606