Western Lawn Care Guide

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Beautiful Western State Lawn

on August 24, 2017 by TruGreen

We love to live life outside, but when you live in the West, living life outside in the summer can be tough. If it’s not the hot weather, it’s the mosquitoes, weeds or other lawn nuisances. Thankfully, TruGreen is here to be your partner in the quest for a healthy and pest-free lawn. 

If you reside in California, Nevada, or New Mexico, read below for tips and details on what to expect from your Western lawn each season. We include some of the nuisances that you may encounter, with links to programs we offer to help prevent or fix the lawn problems.

Types of grass in the West

The first step to a great-looking lawn in the West is knowing what kind of grass you’re growing and its characteristics. Common grasses found in Western lawns include bermuda, St. Augustine, fine fescue and fescue mixes; each grass type comes with its own set of pros and cons.

Bermuda

Pros

  • Dense, medium-fine texture
  • Excellent heat and drought tolerance
  • Rapid establishment and growth rate

Cons

  • Poor low temperature and shade tolerance
  • Becomes dormant and browns during winter months

St. Augustine 

Pros

  • Coarse-textured turf
  • Shade-tolerant

Cons

  • Poor low-temperature tolerance
  • Can enter dormancy and discolor in winter months
  • Produces heavy thatch

Tall fescue and fescue mixes

Pros

  • Drought and heat tolerance
  • Deep root system

Cons

  • In areas of shade, fescue can thin out and require overseeding
  • Can be slow to recover from injury

We’d love to help you get the best-looking lawn on the block. But we need your help, too. You as the homeowner and your dedicated TruGreen specialist will need to team up to prevent and fix potential lawn problems. The following weeds, pests and seasonal needs should be kept in mind as you plan out your yardwork.

Types of Weeds in the West   

Weeds: They are frustrating. If weeds are beginning to or fully invading your lawn, give us a call and you can begin to notice visible results within days or weeks of your first service. The visible results may mean changing colors or the development of bare spots; don’t be alarmed, though. Changing colors and bare spots are a normal sign that those pesky weeds are dying out, which means your grass will have more space and nutrients. As your dedicated specialist continues working over the following weeks and months, your lawn’s appearance will continue to improve. Keep a watchful eye for the following weeds that are commonly found in California, Nevada, and New Mexico.

Clover

Clover is a perennial weed that can vary in leaf shape and flower color, and grows well in moist areas. While it may have been fun to pick as a kid, as an adult you may feel more anger than enjoyment at this notoriously creeping, broadleaf weed. Clover is known for being tough to banish once it’s settled into your lawn. 

Dandelion

When you think of a classic weed, dandelion probably comes to mind. The yellow-flowered weed is a perennial that produces many seeds. The broadleaf weed radiates from one central point on a very short stem that barely rises above soil level, making it extremely difficult to pull cleanly from the ground.

Dallisgrass

Dallisgrass is a perennial weed that has a yellow-green shade to it. It produces many seeds which can spread via waterings, lawn mowers, humans, and pets. Signing up for a plan with pre-emergent weed control can help to control this weed before it becomes a problem.

Spotted spurge

Spotted spurge is an annual weed that comes from the spurge family. If you reside in California, be aware that this is the most common species of the spurge family you’ll encounter. Spotted spurge can invade your lawn, vegetable garden, trees, and sidewalk cracks. This weed spreads quickly through weak areas in your grass, so keeping a healthy, thick lawn is important. 

Oxalis

Also known as yellow wood sorrel, Oxalis is identified by its pale green, heart-shaped leaflets, which can be similar to clover in appearance. To prevent the spread of this weed, sign up for regular fertilization applications to ensure your grass is healthy and lush.

Common lawn diseases in the West include brown patch, dollar spot, fairy ring, leaf spot, and rust.

For fighting common lawn diseases in Western states, consider TruGreen’s TruHealth Lawn Plan, which provides protection, essential nutrients, and balanced soil to your lawn.

Common lawn pests found in Western lawns include armyworms, chinch bugs, white grubs, and billbugs. 

For fighting common lawn pests in the West, consider TruGreen’s TruShield Lawn Pest Control, which can significantly reduce the number of pests in your yard, or Mosquito Defense, which can eradicate biting mosquitoes from your property.

How to care for your Western lawn each season

Even if you’re a new homeowner, it should come as no surprise that what your lawn needs changes season by season. As the weather changes, so do your yardwork responsibilities to help maintain a happy lawn. Your TruGreen specialist will be ready with tips and advice as seasonal changes affect your grass. The tips below can help you stay on track for a lush, healthy yard.

Summer

  • White grubs commonly become active during the hot months. If you start to see any signs of damage, give your TruGreen specialist a call.
  • If you use a sprinkler system, ask your specialist about TruGreen’s Sprinkler Repair and Maintenance program to help keep your system in tip-top shape.
  • Keep up with watering, but be sure to follow any local watering restrictions. If drought conditions become severe, your specialist can provide additional information and watering tips.
  • Drought conditions can leave your lawn susceptible to insects. If you begin to notice bare spots or discoloration on your lawn between visits, contact your specialist.
  • Sign up for TruGreen’s Mosquito Defense to eradicate biting mosquitoes from your yard.

Fall

  • Summer activities can cause compacted soil, which in turn can hurt your yard’s health. Ask your TruGreen specialist if an aeration service could benefit your grass.
  • Though the days are shorter, continue a regular watering schedule.
  • Mow as necessary, but do not lower the mower height.

Winter

  • If you have a sprinkler system, reprogram your timers so that watering is decreased during the winter.
  • Our climate keeps lawns active year-round. Mow and water as necessary.
  • If you notice any weeds in between your treatments, call your TruGreen specialist for treatment.

Spring

  • As warmer spring weather moves in, expect an increase in growth for warm-climate grasses like fescue. Make sure your mower is prepped and ready for regular mowing.
  • We recommend that mowers be set to remove 1/3 of the grass blade at each mowing to prevent weed growth. If you want to get fancy with your mowing techniques, consider trying a striping pattern, detailed in our video below.
  • If weeds begin to appear between scheduled treatments, give your TruGreen specialist a call.
  • If spring showers aren’t showing up, make sure your yard gets about an inch of water each week.

Together, we can make a lawn you’ll love

In Western states, your yard often has to battle hot summer temperatures and drought conditions. We can team up to apply seasonally appropriate pre- and post-emergent weed treatments, as well as fertilizer to stimulate your lawn’s color and growth and to help fortify it against changing weather. To achieve a healthy lawn, we ask that you receive regular service visits, and follow the guidelines outlined above to help you achieve the best results possible. If you’re not signed up yet for regular services, click here to find a local branch near you or fill out the green box on the left to get a personal quote today.

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