It is hard to believe but fall officially arrives in North Texas in less than a week.
As we wrap up the busy summer season and head into autumn Village Green starts shifting our lawn care focus away from top growth and towards root growth.
Bermuda lawns get a nitrogen fertilizer and our St. Augustine and zoysia lawns have switched to a root feeding fertilizer.
We treat St. Augustine and zoysia differently for two reasons. One is the lawns have been stressed from the summer heat and we want to help the roots become stronger as we head into fall.
The second reason is St. Augustine and zoysia are both prone to a fungus called brown patch that occurs in the moderate, usually wetter weather we have in the fall. Applying a high nitrogen fertilizer to St. Augustine and zoysia lawns is bad, because brown patch thrives on nitrogen.
Later this fall we will begin the transition to a fall pre-emergent to reduce fall and winter weeds.
Ask Ken: Our Top Fall Related Questions
As the weather cools our phones heat up. In the past week I’ve had time in the office to answer many fall related questions that I think would benefit all our customers. I hope you find the answers to these common fall questions helpful!
How much should I water in the fall?
Download our Fall Green Talk Newsletter for our fall watering guidelines.
What should I do with the leaves on my lawn and landscape?
Short answer is that leaves left on your lawn are bad (they can lead to fungal problems in your lawn.) Leaves in your beds are good (think free mulch!)
Should I plant or install a landscape in the fall in North Texas?
I know it sounds backwards, but fall and even in the winter are actually better seasons to plant landscapes in than spring. If you choose the right plants, the weather in North Texas doesn’t stay cold long enough to damage new plants, plus planting at this time of year lets the plants develop roots deep enough to be mostly established before summer which is the most stressful time of the year for plants in North Texas. Deeper and stronger roots is vital because it makes the plant much hardier in extreme heat and they require less water to thrive.
What are the best plants to get fall color into your lawn?
If you are looking to refresh your lawn we recommend these hardy, late-blooming plants. The best part about planting at this time of year is that the plants will have ideal conditions to grow strong roots over winter, so they’ll be ready to sprint into bloom next spring.
Some of our favorites are…
Pansies: If you want colorful blooms over the winter your go-to flower for sunny areas in North Texas are pansies. Pansies are hardy with the ability to weather single digit temperatures and wintry precipitation. In fact, they often bounce back and bloom after a wintry patch of weather after a few sunny days. To maximize their blooms, use a high phosphorous fertilizer (5-30-5 ratio.) Like most flowers, they prefer a loose well-drained soil so they don’t stay wet after watering. An easy way to accomplish that is to add potting soil to the bed. Pansies are like candy to rabbits, so if you have a large population in your area, it may be challenge to grow them.
Violas: They have pansy-like blooms except the blooms are tiny. You can plant these in similar conditions to pansies.
Kale and/or Cabbage: Oddly enough, if you have rabbit problems, you are safe planting kale and/or cabbage. Rabbits would rather eat your pansies versus eating your vegetables! These aren’t as colorful as pansies but they’re easy to grow. To make them look nice later in the spring, trim off the blooms.
Mums: These are wonderful fall plants. Like azaleas, they only bloom a few weeks out of the year, but when they bloom they look great, especially with pumpkins.
Cyclamen: These are beautiful but delicate flowers. I recommend planting a few of them for a nice change of color in your lawn or landscape. Don’t get carried away, as you cold lose them to harsh wintry weather.
Pumpkins: Another tip to introduce a pop or color is to get some pumpkins and/or gourds to place in your lawn and landscape. Our area has many pumpkin patches during the fall season a few well placed add a festive fall element to your yard.
If you are looking for some extra help with your lawn or landscape this fall give us a call. Founded in 1980, Village Green is a family-owned and operated lawn and landscape company celebrating 40 years in North Texas.
Call us at 972-495-6990 or email me at [email protected] to learn more.