How To Identify Common Lawn Care Problems in Austin, TX

Summer brings a variety of threats to lawns in the Austin, Texas area. Homeowners should know to prevent and combat these threats to keep their lawn healthy and lush. From scorching temperatures to pests, paying attention to the state of your lawn will help catch any problems before it gets too bad.

Southern Texas experiences extreme heat, humidity, and little rainfall, which creates an environment for fungal lawn diseases. Identifying the disease or pests, you are dealing with is crucial to creating a plan of action.

1. Lawn Diseases

Summer Patch

summer-patch-lawn-disease

Photo: turfdiseases.org

Summer patch creates brown-yellow circles in sunny or hot lawns. This disease rots the roots of the grass in May, but the signs don’t begin until June or July. Prevention is key. Make sure that you keep your lawn watered to prevent dehydration. Make sure you don’t over-fertilize. You can apply a fungicide to the spots to keep your lawn healthy.

Dollar Spot Disease

dollar-spot-lawn-disease

Photo: ncsu.edu

If you notice small, silver dollar-sized circles in your lawn, you might have dollar spot disease. At first, the spots seem harmless, but this disease can destroy your entire lawn. This disease starts in lawns that have low moisture and fertility. Lawns need hydration and not mowed too often.

To treat dollar spot disease, make sure you irrigate your lawn and fertilize. In some cases, applying a fungicide can help.

Red Thread

Photo: turfdiseases.org

The last lawn disease to worry about is the red thread that causes pink or red thread-like blades in your grass. It appears during cool but humid springs, and develop into larger patches in the summer.

Deep, infrequent watering is the best way to fix red thread. You don’t want moisture to build up in the large. Also, proper fertilizing helps the lawn recover after red thread attacks.

Iron Chlorosis

A common problem in Austin lawns is leaf blades turning yellow no matter how much rain or fertilizer received. This condition is called Iron Chlorosis that results when green chlorophyll in the leaf tissue fails to develop. The blades turn yellowish-green, appearing like stripes.

To control Iron Chlorosis, one of the best treatments is to use kelated iron. Treating two times per week for four to five weeks can bring your lawn back to its green state.

2. Fungal Diseases

Brown Patch

Brown patch starts off as greenish-purple patches in your lawn with a dark ring. It begins during humid, moist weather. While it does affect all grass types, brown patch is most common in St. Augustine grass.

To prevent, water in the early morning so the blades can dry. Don’t overwater, overfertilize or overwater. Aerating your lawn also helps to prevent brown patch.

Take-All Patch

Take-all patch appears as a yellowing of the grass. You’ll notice thinning in irregular shapes as the roots rot. You will be able to pull up the grass. It is most common in Zoysia, Bermuda, and St. Augustine grass. Take-all patch can be so damaging that it can kill your entire lawn.

Make sure your lawn drains well and avoid overfertilization because too much nitrogen encourages take-all patch. Remember to mow high to give your roots a fighting chance.

3. Extreme Drought

Drought periods can be rough on lawns. Your lawn will need extra water during a drought, but even then you still might have damage after the drought ends.

To combat drought damage, make sure you aren’t mowing too frequently. Grass should always be 2.5 to 3 inches high during the summer, which allows the roots time to grow longer. Longer roots reach water down deep in the dirt. Also, make sure you plant the right grasses.

Try these grasses for Austin, Texas lawns:

  • Bermuda Grass
  • Augustine
  • Zoysia
  • Bahia
  • Centipede

4. Pests

Chinch Bug

Photo: bugsnomoretx.com

The southern chinch bug is the most common lawn pest in Austin, Texas. These pests are a problem in lawns with St. Augustine grass, and they prefer hot, dry environments. It prefers drought-stressed lawns; the dry weather encourages the survival of the eggs. Even though they prefer St. Augustine grass, it will feed on all grass types in Austin, Texas, like Zoysia, Bahia, or Bermuda.

To control chinch bugs, insecticide use is the best choice to prevent more damage to your lawn.

Grubs

grub-worms-lawn

Photo: extension.org

Grubs are a creamy white, C-shaped pest with little legs. They are the May and June Beetle larvae. These pests love to eat the roots of your grass and other plants, causing damaged lawns. Your lawn will turn brown, and you will be able to lift up patches of grass easily.

To determine if grubs are the problem, cut an area of turf and look for grubs under the grass. Put the turf back in place and water. Grubs particularly love St. Augustine, Bermuda, Zoysia, and Buffalo grass. Make sure that you are mowing high and watering deeply but infrequently. If you find multiple grubs in one square foot, use nematodes as an organic treatment.

5. Weeds

Austin, TX has two common weeds that cause lawn issues. Weeds develop because of the poor-quality surf. These weeds are aggressive and grow fast, so they love weak turf. If your grass isn’t healthy for whatever reason, you are more likely to notice weeds growing rapidly.

  • Grassy: This weed has jointed, hollow stems with veins parallel to the margins. They are much longer than they are wide.
  • Broadleaf: These weeds have showy flowers, and their leaves have multiple veins in different directions. The stems are pithy with a taproot.

The best thing to do is practice proper lawn management during summer. Fertilize in the fall, water deeply and infrequently, mow at a higher height and treat weeds before they overtake your lawn. If you do notice a problem, use the characteristics to identify and treat the problem quickly.

Have more questions about summer lawn care in Austin, TX? Visit our Austin, TX lawn care page or read what’s going on in your state.

author avatar

Written by Wikilawn

About Wikilawn

Wikilawn’s mission is to provide the best resources and information to help you enjoy your outdoor spaces the way you want. Whether you are a DIY, lawn-loving, gardening guru, or someone who wants help in picking a local lawn care professional, we can smooth your path to a beautiful backyard!

About Wikilawn

Wikilawn’s mission is to provide the best resources and information to help you enjoy your outdoor spaces the way you want. Whether you are a DIY, lawn-loving, gardening guru, or someone who wants help in picking a local lawn care professional, we can smooth your path to a beautiful backyard!

More Resources