Lawn care is tough for real estate investors. It’s hard to get tenants to properly care for a lawn (even when that’s in the contract), and handling lawn care on your own cuts into monthly cash flow.
But a healthy lawn is an asset, both when it’s time to lease a property and when it’s time for resale. Spring is also a huge opportunity to set your lawn up for success through the hot Texas summer.
At HUNTAHOME, we are the leading provider of DFW property management. We can provide support at every step of a property’s life cycle, from marketing, leasing and background checks to ongoing repairs and maintenance — lawn care included.
If you’re searching for property management in Dallas or Fort Worth, we can help. If you’re going it alone, here’s a look at 5 spring lawn care tips that will keep your property’s yard looking healthy.
1. Set a Watering Schedule
If your property includes a sprinkler system, it’s time to establish a watering schedule. This is more complicated than it sounds. The right amount of watering depends on the month, the type of grass you have, the amount of shade your yard gets and more.
The Texas Water Development Board offers this handy guide with in-depth details on how much you need to be watering given the month and your unique circumstances. Set a watering schedule now, and then set calendar reminders to update the schedule each month during summer.
If you do not have a sprinkler system, set expectations with your tenants. Depending on the wording in your lease agreement, you may be able to ask them to use a hose-end sprinkler at regular intervals. If you don’t have the right lawn care wording in your lease agreement, consider adding it.
2. Seed or Sod Patches
Most yards have a few patches. Spring is the best time to address those patches.
You have two good options: seed and sod. Seed is the more economical option, and it tends to be more tolerant of shade-heavy yards. The drawback to seed is that it takes a much longer time to establish deep roots. Sod is a lot more expensive, but it’s faster to take root and spread. The drawback to sod is that it often struggles in shade.
What’s the right solution for you? It depends on your property and its lawn. But make sure to seed or sod your patches before July. In April, May and June, we get more rain than usual, and the temperatures are prime for growth.
3. Zap Your Weeds
Southern lawns always do battle with one enemy: weeds. A variety of weeds start to pop up in early spring, and they can completely takeover a lawn if left unaddressed.
A lack of weeds is a sign of a healthy lawn. An abundance of weeds is a sign that a lawn is losing the battle.
You can spend time and energy pulling weeds up by the root, or you can apply weed killer in spots where they are most prominent. But you have a better option in the Dallas-Fort Worth area (see No. 4 below).
When you fertilize, you give your lawn an injection of nitrogen, potassium and phosphorous. And, in essence, you tell it to “wake up” and start growing.
Consider giving your lawn a double shot of fertilizer in spring. You can do one in early spring and one in late spring or early summer. After the double shot, you won’t need to fertilize again until fall (using a special fertilizer that helps protect your lawn during the colder months).
In Texas, the best option is to use a fertilizer that includes a targeted weed killer. For example, Scott’s Bonus S is a southern weed and feed product that is designed to kill dollarweed and clover. Use a fertilizer like Bonus S before you start pulling weeds, and you’ll have a lot fewer to worry about.
5. Map Out the Summer
It’s important that you continue to maintain your lawn through the harsh summer months. Your grass may look healthy in April, May and June, but it will start to dry up and die if left unattended in July and August.
Remember to set your watering schedule and adjust it intermittently through the summer. Also, make sure you and your tenants are on the same page. Tell them what you’re going to do for the lawn, and make sure they understand their obligations (in accordance with the lease agreement).
It’s work to maintain a lawn through summer, especially when you’re an owner worrying about many other things. But good lawn care will pay off in the rent amounts you’re able to command and in the resale value of the property.
Let Us Worry About Your Lawn
At HUNTAHOME, we provide property management in Fort Worth and Dallas, taking care of day-to-day operations so that busy owners don’t have to. We can provide comprehensive DFW property management services, or we can provide a la carte services where needed — like with property maintenance and lawn care, for example.
Contact us today to learn more about our services as the leading provider of property management in Dallas and Fort Worth.