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Grub Worm Alert

Grub worms are reeking havoc across Austin, destroying many lawns overnight. Do you have them? Contact us and we will check for free.







Drought Alert


Lawn care during droughts is tricky. It is very important that the lawn and landscape is irrigated properly, or you might find yourself spending thousands of dollars replacing them. Without proper irrigation, no weed control,  insect control or fertilization will work, because they all rely on a micro-encapsulation process that controls the release of product. Without the proper amount of water, the product will not release at the proper time or with the proper volume. Also, drought stressed grass cannot be treated properly with post emergent weed control products without damaging the desirable grass.

I have enclosed a pamphlet that will give you information to properly measure the output of your irrigation device and setup your irrigation system, whether you're irrigating by hand, with a hose, or have an underground sprinkler system.

You should modify your watering, mowing, and trimming habits for drought restrictions.

Soil profiles and available water are different in Central Texas when compared to that of any other area with warm season grasses. We have a heavy, rocky, clay soil. “Heavy clay” refers to the content of clay in the soil profile and the lack of sand and organic matter. Our soil is home to many microbes, insects (mostly beneficial), animals, plants and plant roots. "Heavy soil" refers to the high amount of clay contained in the soil, and the relative airspace between the clay particles. Air pores must be present for the soil to provide space for nutrients, water, organic matter, microbes, etc. In clay soils these air pores are tiny compared to that of sandy loam.

The way each of these soils is watered is completely different. Sandy soils drain quickly, and hold very little water. Water is absorbed quickly and it quickly filters through the top layers of soil becoming useless to the grass and roots above as it moves downward quickly past the root zone.

Clay soils have very small pore space so water has trouble being absorbed into the soil. There is also very little oxygen available for the roots, and once the water is in place inside the soil it has difficulty moving because there are no empty pore spaces for it to travel into and the pore size is restrictively small.

This works. It can save money on irrigation and your lawn.

In the Austin area we have heavy clay soil. This is why when you apply water faster than it can be absorbed; it ends up out on the sidewalk and street. This is especially evident on a slight slope or incline. Most of the information disseminated by TV, radio or print, was not meant for soils such as ours. Most recommend 1.5 inches of water per week, be applied on your lawn once a week, which doesn't match our soil's needs.

I am not recommending you water 1.5 inches per week, instead, I am recommending that you apply as much water as you’re particular lawn/soil will absorb in the amount of time allotted. In general, no more than ¾ to 1 inch can be applied before runoff occurs. In a perfect world watering with one day a week allowed as the ordinances require, I would recommend watering 1' twice in one day, separating each irrigation cycle by at least 4 hours. Once in the morning, once in the evening will do it. when tempratures are running over 100 degrees without water rationing, I recommend watering three times a week. Please download and read our watering guide and use our water wizard on this website to figure out how much and  how long to water your lawn.

What you should do

Mow high by setting your lawn mower to its highest setting. Mow once a week. Most people forget that grass is a plant and the blades are foliage. By mowing high, you will increase root mass, which will help the grass get water a little deeper. Secondly, the shade provided by longer blades will protect the stolons, rhizomes and the thatch from drying out. This will help keep the chinch bug populations at bay, and also keep the plant a lot stronger. If water rationing occurs, and you are only allowed to water once every week, water twice on your day that you are allowed. Water moves slowly through our soil. The object here is to fill the pores in the soil completely with water, to a depth equal to that of the root mass. In another words, normal grass roots extend down to an average depth of three inches. Gravity always pulls water in a downward direction. Watering deeper than the roots does absolutely nothing for your turf. To get the soil saturated to a depth of three inches, you will have to apply approximately one inch of water. Most people will find that this is impossible to do with an irrigation system because the volume of water applied is greater than the speed in which the water can soak into the soil. Manual sprinklers and gear type (oscillating) sprinkler heads do not share this problem. If you have a automated sprinkler system with pop up (fan) heads, you will have to water twice on your designated watering day. This will allow the water to slowly be absorbed into the ground without runoff.

What We Are Doing

With the lower levels of moisture, weeds and undesirable insects thrive. Therefore, we have added another round of pre-emergent weed control as well as surfactant to our lawn care program. This will be tank mixed with the already scheduled botanical pesticide. The pre-emergent will help reduce germinating weeds and the surfactant will help reduce surface tension of the water so that it can be absorbed more easily. The shaded sides of your house usually requires less water because it doesn’t receive direct sunlight all day. If this area looks significantly better than the sunny areas of your lawn, you most likely are under watering.

Please take a minute a read the enclosed brochure on proper irrigation. More information and other tips on lawn and garden care can be found on our website at: http://www.realgreenlawn.com/water_wise.htm 

Note: Only drought stressed lawns have chinch bug damage. If you need help setting up your sprinkler, call us.

Free 16 point, lawn, tree and shrub analysis, including soil fertility and PH, with specific recommendations and pricing and get a free plant health care book.