Huntsville, Alabama has a warm climate but also experiences bouts of cold weather. So, you need to make an informed choice on what grass you choose to grow. By choosing the correct grass, it will make winterizing your lawn easier.
Because Alabama is in Hardiness Zone 7b-7a, growing grass can be a little tricky. By knowing what type of grass to grow in your area, it will save time spent on maintenance and money.
Winterizing your lawn is important because the needs of your lawn change with cold weather regardless of the grass planted. The fertilizers you use for winterizing will have a high potassium content also which is important for your lawn's health. It strengthens and hardens your grass from the top of the blades to the bottom of the roots. This makes the grass more tolerant of the cold of winter and the stress it puts on the grass to survive. Potassium is an important part of a balanced feeding for your lawn also because it helps your lawn to absorb other needed nutrients.
Centipede grass is very low maintenance and has excellent tolerance to heat. It doesn't require much attention when growing it and it has moderate tolerance for shade. Centipede will need to be watered more when there's less rain.
Centipede grass has a slow growth rate, slower than the other warm season grasses and it will form a thick cover lawn. But, it's not overly tolerant of salt and doesn't hold up well under heavy traffic.
St. Augustine Grass will grow in an assortment of soils depending on how well they are drained. It's salt tolerant and retains the blue-green color even under high temperature and low moisture. Plus, St. Augustine grass has few weed problems because of the healthy compact way it grows, it crowds the weeds out.
There are over 11 different types of St. Augustine cultivars. If you want to plant in the shade, the types to use are Classic and Delta Shade. Also, all these selections are bred for insect and disease resistance, a better texture and color, and reduced cold sensitivity.
Perform a soil pH test - if the tests show that there is already an adequate amount of potassium in the soil, then you don't need to winterize either. If you've been giving your lawn the balanced nutrients it needs all season; then there should be plenty of the potassium still in the soil to carry the grass through the winter.
According to LawnStarter, the frequency of lawn mowing in Huntsville slows down at this time of the year to approximately 11% of residents mowing the lawn on a weekly basis. A moderate amount of care is still needed, but not nearly as frequent as lawn mowing in the southern growth season. Make sure to keep the height of the lawn mower blade at a 2-inch height for those few winter months.
- Guest post by LawnStarter