By Dr. Ben Wherley, Texas A&M University
Here's a Texas guarantee: Come May through October, temperatures will be hot, so your lawn and landscape will need a little help surviving the sizzling summer months.
One of the most important things you can do to prepare your lawn for summer's brutal conditions is to feed it with a high-quality lawn food.
A good feeding ensures your lawn has the essential nutrients it needs to develop deep, healthy roots; the kind that are more efficient at finding water deep within the soil. Plus a deep root system can help your lawn stay greener longer and aid in the recovery from summer stress.
Because summertime is when root growth of Southern turfgrasses is at its peak, feeding now with a quality lawn food is a really good idea. That's because fertilizing now works with the natural growth cycle of the plants to encourage important root growth.
Feeding your lawn also helps develop a denser canopy of leaves, which reduces soil evaporation to help the plants take up more of the precious water you put on your lawn.
Plus, feeding your lawn helps it fight pest infestations. Common lawn pests of all shapes and sizes can make your lawn unsightly and unhealthy, leaving you and your lawn feeling beaten. A well-nourished lawn is better able to withstand a number of weed, disease and insect pests.
So feed your lawn in early summer.
It's one of the best, most simple things you can do to prevent lawn problems?and keep it looking great no matter what the temperature.
For more in-depth guidance on fertilizing your Texas lawn, refer to this Texas A&M AgriLife Extension bulletin.
Ben Wherley, PhD, is assistant professor for turfgrass science/ecology with joint appointments to Texas AgriLife Research and the Texas A&M University College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.