This may be jumping the gun a little, but it usually takes me a month or so to I know, I’m obsessed with lawn care. Please bear with me.
Before 2021, I always believed here in Texas we didn’t have to worry quite so much about preparing our lawns for winter. Now I realize we need to fortify them as much almost as much as the northern states, because we’re just one massive freeze away from years of progress being destroyed.
1) Continue Usual Maintenance – Don’t stop mowing and weeding, and keep raking leaves up through the fall. It will allow the waning sunlight to reach the grass, and there will be less leaf to turn brown during the winter. And for God’s sake, don’t stop watering, even in the winter.
2) Ready the Pre-Emergent Herbicide – The early fall (now) is the perfect time to apply an herbicide to stop the spread of weeds and dandelions. Recent EPA regulations have outlawed weed killers that kill man stubborn weeds in North Texas (don’t get me started on why…). A preemergent herbicide will sterilize the weeds so they won’t grow back in the spring… provided we have a nice, cold winter.
3) Additional Fertilizing – When mid-late October approaches, it’ll be a good time to apply additional high-nitrogen lawn fertilizer to your lawn. It’s about to experience what could be an extended period of dormancy, but you need to make sure the roots are strong and run deep. I use Scott’s Bonus-S at the advice of my local Home Depot guru, but I can’t say that’s the best.
4) Know What’s Best for Your Lawn – Without going into details, there are pre-emergents and fertilizers that work great for bermuda grass, but kill St. Augustine on contact, and conversely. Also be mindful of the forecast. Some treatments do not work properly above certain temperatures, and if there is a heavy rain in the forecast it’s pointless to sprinkle anything on your lawn.