4 Types Of Grass For Louisiana And Their Proper Care
A lawn provides plenty of health benefits, but it has more perks than that. Aside from letting you breathe fresher air, lush and verdant lawns also provide a much-needed reprieve from the summer sun’s sweltering heat. Plus, it helps increase the value of your property and boosts its curb appeal with different types of grass to grow.
To make sure you get these benefits and more, you must choose the right grass for your lawn. You see, different types of grasses thrive in various parts of the country.
1. St. Augustine Grass
Also called buffalo grass in South Africa and buffalo turf in Australia, this species of grass can survive in the Louisiana heat. It offers a thick and coarse carpet of greenery with relatively low upkeep. However, St. Augustine species struggle with high foot traffic.
- Drought and Weeds
St. Augustine grass has a low tolerance for drought, so it needs to be watered at least once every week.
The good thing about it is that it has the capability to crowd out weeds. So, if you find a sizable amount of weed in a mature lawn, it is an abnormality caused by a certain type of weakness. This can be pests or disease, or the result of improper fertilizing.
- Disease and Pests
St. Augustine grasses have a weakness against diseases. Once it has become diseased, the grass will have a difficult time overcoming it.
To avoid the emergence of disease-causing fungus, don’t water the grass too late in the day. Instead, schedule irrigation in the morning and drench the lawn enough to keep the root system wet throughout the day (just don’t flood it). If water it a second time, make sure to do it before the lawn becomes arid (before nightfall).
Aside from disease, pests also pose a threat to St. Augustine grasses. Among the insects you should watch out for are roaches, fire ants, grubs, and chinch bugs.
You probably have a pest problem on your hands if you notice irregularly shaped areas and patches that turn yellow or brown despite sufficient water and correct fertilizer application.
While pre-emergent herbicides are not directly designed to control pests, their use can indirectly help prevent pest infestations in gardens. They work by establishing a chemical barrier within the soil, hindering the development of newly sprouted weed roots.
Knowing when to apply pre-emergent herbicides is important. Weeds can serve as hosts or provide shelter for various pests, including insects and rodents. By preventing their proliferation, these herbicide solutions eliminate potential habitats and food sources for damaging organisms.
While moles and armadillos may help rid your lawn of such insects, they also pose a threat to your turf. You see, these critters create small piles of dirt and leave hollow areas for their tunnels that collapse when stepped on. Plus, the digging tends to disrupt the grass’s root system.
To control these animals, consider spraying animal repellent. Then, eradicate their food by killing off the insects with granular insecticide.
2. Centipede Grass
Another popular Louisiana grass is the centipede. Locals adore this type of grass because of its ability to survive the heat and a fair tolerance of shade. It also has low maintenance requirements and prefers acidic soil, something that can be difficult for many other varieties.
- Foot Traffic
While centipede grass does well under the warm southern sun, it doesn’t tolerate heavy foot traffic well. Like St. Augustine, it may easily show signs of damage under constant walking, so it’s best to keep off the grass.
Like St. Augustine, the centipede is also vulnerable to diseases. Once it’s infected, it doesn’t green-up during spring, which is then followed by a quick deterioration of the lawn.
- When and What to Fertilize it With
To make sure centipede grass thrives in your lawn, fertilize it around mid-April and no later than Halloween.
You mustn’t use too much nitrogen or phosphorus, either. Forcing a naturally yellow-green grass such as the centipede to green up too much with nitrogen can damage it. As for phosphorus, it has virtually no significant value to the grass, so you might as well not apply it.
Instead, go with a potassium-based fertilizer that promotes centipede grass’s vitality and general health.
Centipede grass can face various stressors, such as heat, drought, and disease. Potassium helps enhance its ability to withstand them by regulating water movement within the plant and strengthening cell walls. This leads to improved tolerance to environmental challenges.
When selecting a potassium-based fertilizer, look for a formulation specifically designed for centipede grass or one suitable for general turfgrass. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions regarding application rates and timing for the best results.
Avoid mowing this grass too low, as it grows more slowly than other grass varieties. Plus, centipedes tend to succumb to shock easily, especially when mowed too often and cut shorter than one and a half to two inches.
Avoid removing more than one-third of the grass height in a single mowing session. Doing this all at once can shock the grass and impede its growth.
Also, it’s best to mow centipede grass when it’s dry. Wet grass can stick to the mower blades, resulting in an uneven cut and potential damage to the rest of the grass. Wait until it has dried after rainfall or irrigation.
3. Bermuda Grass
Bermuda grass is easy to seed and install, not to mention it grows green quickly. Thus, giving Louisiana lawns a dense and lush texture.
The brilliant thing about this grass is that it can withstand heavy traffic and has a hardy constitution that makes it resilient to pests, diseases, and changes in the temperature.
- Watering and Fertilizing
Remember to irrigate Bermuda grass-filled lawns only as needed. Once a week should be enough, so long as you saturate the soil to six inches deep.
When fertilizing, use half to one whole pound of nitrogen fertilizer for every thousand square feet of grass. Just remember to read the label and follow precise measurements and instructions.
The ideal mowing height for Bermuda grass is one-half to two-and-a-half inches tall. Make sure to mow it in spring when the grass turns green. Do so frequently enough with only a third of the grass’s total height removed at a time.
Remember to use sharp-bladed mowers and don’t bag the grass unless you’re scalping for the first mow of spring. Also, read about the origins of the bungalow house.
4. Zoysia Grass
Zoysia grass is great for Louisiana properties because of its capacity to withstand drought and heat. Like Bermuda, it is a warm-season grass that can also tolerate the cold and stay green even with heavy foot traffic.
It also requires little watering and maintenance, though it may take a bit longer to establish than other varieties. But once it does, it develops a deep root system that can thwart threats like insects and diseases.
- Seeding and Sodding
Zoysia lawns are often established with sods or plugs. It is ideally pre-grown before installation because of its slow growth. While you can choose to seed, it may take a minimum of three weeks to germinate and as long as an entire year to mature.
Since it grows in rhizomes and stolons, any bare spots you might find will fill in overtime, even without the need to reseed.
Remember to keep zoysia grass one to three inches tall. While it may have slow growth, it speeds up slightly under the summer sun. This means that the timing between mowing may vary.
Zoysia can grow thick and dense, making it difficult to cut with dull blades, so keep your mower sharp to avoid uneven clippings and irregular mowing patterns.
Want a Healthy Lawn? Choose the Right Type of Grass
When establishing a lawn, the grass you choose has a significant effect on your success. While four types of grasses can thrive in Louisiana, how well you take care of your lawn can still make a difference.
Looking for an easier way to keep your lawn healthy? Seek expert help from lawn care professionals in Bossier City, LA.
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