Keeping your grass green in Houston...in the summer...with no rain...or too much rain...and it's 100 degrees...can be DIFFICULT. There are plenty factors to keep in mind when maintaining your lawn, such as type of grass, watering patterns, irrigation systems, and how to mow your grass. We get it, it's a pain and sometimes you want to throw in the towel and have a rock lawn. But before we go to drastic measures, let's review the best grass for Houston and how to maintain your lawn when the heat hits.
Types of Grass
Probably the most common type of grass and you probably have it in your yard! Bermuda is designed for Houston, it thrives in hot and humid temperatures and doesn't need much water to survive (water maybe once or twice a week). Bermuda is ALWAYS green in the summer, but turns brown in the winter. Additionally, Bermuda grass can be difficult to get rid of when you are ready to break up and move on with a different grass. When cutting Bermuda grass, you should probably stick to one of one-and-a-half inches, anything less will injure the grass itself and will create unwanted brown spots.
I LOVE RYEGRASS. It is my personal favorite due to the texture and keeping your lawn green the WHOLE YEAR. Ryegrass can withstand the heat and our annual Houston freeze that happens in January. The major key to keeping your annual ryegrass healthy and green all year is overseeding. You should only overseed your ryegrass if your lawn is in full sun and overseed when the weather hovers around 70 degrees and 50 degrees at night.
A few considerations before you commit to ryegrass:
You will have to mow regularly to maintain your lawn and remove any weeds before they spread
More watering to allow for germination for the first week (i.e. 3-6 times a week)
Watering your ryegrass roughly 3 times a week to keep your lawn healthy after germination
In my opinion, ryegrass is the way to go if you are looking for the BEST lawn come winter.
Probably one of the most popular grasses for the gulf coast. St. Augustine grows well in the sun and can handle some shade and is dense enough for normal foot traffic. While the grass is blue-green in the spring and summer, you need to make sure you are okay with a brown lawn in the winter. Additionally, you should probably fertilize your lawn regularly during the growing season. From a mowing standpoint, you should mow your lawn roughly 4 to 5 times a week in the spring and summer. During the winter you can cut down on mowing to almost 3 times a month.
This section is for anyone who is in the following scenarios:
Wants to do near to nothing with their lawn
Lives in an area with watering restrictions
Lives in a drought area (i.e. California)
When you hear the words artificial grass, a few pros probably pop into your mind such as, no more mowing EVER, decrease in water bill, and no need for fertilizer or pesticides. While you may be asking where can I buy this and how quickly can it be installed, you need to listen to a few cons.
Artificial grass can range from $8 to $14 per square foot and that doesn't include installation or the option of drainage and irrigation to control the temperature of the grass. So this can become an expensive transition. Also, BRING THE HEAT IN. Y'all, artificial grass gets HOT. I mean very hot. An option to combat this is installing irrigation to control the temperature of the grass down which in turn cools the surrounding air. Lastly, there is some maintenance. You will have to spray the grass to remove any debris and or any presents from your furry friend regularly.