Lawn care tips from the Dallas County Master Gardener's Association.
What Type of Grass is Best?
In DFW, you are likely to see one of two types of grass: Bermuda or St. Augustine. Which one is best for your yard? The primary factor is sun. Bermuda needs at least 6 hours of direct sunlight to thrive. St. Augustine grows well in shade, but requires more watering and is prone to disease. Less common grasses Fescue and Rye do well in cool seasons, if you want your yard to be green year-round. Zoysia makes for excellent turf, but grows slowly, and requires more watering and care than the hardy Bermuda.
Mowing, Watering, Fertilizing
Mow at the right height - no more than 1/3 of the leaf blade should be removed. Don't bag those clippings! Leaving clippings on the lawn returns nutrients to the soil. If you're trying to control weeds, mow frequently.
Water early in the morning, as close to sunrise as possible. Grass in full sun needs about one inch of water per week. Water deeply, rather than frequently. Our clay soils take a long time to absorb water, so multiple short bursts of watering are more productive than a long soak. If you water for a long time in one session, you'll see water pooling on the surface rather than soaking in.
Fertilizing needs are based on the chemical composition of your soil. Turfgrasses need nitrogen, phosphorus. Get a soil test, if you can, to see what nutrients your lawn needs. Slow release fertilizers are best. If you want to go organic, well decomposed compost makes a good (if pungent) fertilizer too.