Every homeowner wants a beautiful lawn that will thrive through most of the year, and bounce back quickly after the winter season ends. The thing is, there are several things to consider when it comes to choosing the right turf grass for your yard.
What is the soil type in your region? How much rainfall do you get? How much shade coverage does your yard have, and is it consistent from one area to the next? What about the mowing and fertilizing schedules?
These are all good questions to ask yourself, and your local lawn care experts, in order to guarantee that you make the right decision.
The characteristics of your topsoil have everything to do with where you live, and what that land was like before it got settled. In a state as large as Texas, we’ve got deserts, plains, beaches, forests, and even the limestone-rich hill country.
Based on where you are, your soil could have an abundance of clay, sand, or various other minerals. This directly affects what can or cannot grow naturally in the region. Here in North Texas, our soil is naturally rich in clay, which isn’t always ideal for healthy grass.
Many landscaping companies will offer soil amendments and topdressings to enrich the earth before planting seeds or laying sod. Get a professional to perform a soil test, so you know whether your lot will need any special preparations.
Most Texas grasses require about 1 inch per week of watering, but there is some variation between popular breeds. Check the watering guidelines by grass type.
The rainfall your area receives should certainly be counted toward this measurement, especially in regions where watering restrictions are common. If you’re not sure how much rain your area gets on a monthly or seasonal basis, purchase a rain gauge and check your almanac for annual trends.
The most commonly used sod grasses in Texas are relatively drought tolerant, but some are more so than others. If you want to be mindful of your monthly water bill, be sure you choose a turf that can go awhile without irrigation. Best Grass For North Texas has some helpful information on this topic.
Some grass types will only thrive in full sun, while others languish if they don’t get a moderate amount of shade. Of course any yard will receive some shade, during the times when the house itself casts a shadow due to the position of the sun. But yards and neighborhoods with mature trees, and with homes built close to each other, are more likely to have shadier yards.
“Full sun” refers to at least 6 hours per day of direct sun exposure. “Partial shade” is when the ground receives 3 to 6 hours of direct sunlight. “Dappled shade” is when the sun is shining through a solid object in a speckled or indirect fashion, such as it would through a trellis or through the leaves of a tree. Finally, “full shade” is when there is little to no direct sunlight at any point in the day.
Survey your yard, and determine which of these is the most accurate description for the majority of the ground. This information will help you choose a grass type that will best tolerate your lot’s shade coverage.
Mowing and Fertilizing
Most Texas grasses do well at about 2 inches in height, with an occasional application of nitrogen-rich fertilizer. However, some grasses need more nitrogen than others, which can potentially increase the cost of maintaining your yard. Likewise, some grasses grow more quickly, or do better at a shorter length.
With these, you may find yourself needing to mow and/or fertilize more often. If you are a lawn enthusiast who doesn’t mind the extra work, these factors won’t be an issue. But if you need a low-maintenance lawn that’s mostly self-sufficient, this will influence the type of sod grass you choose for your property.