Ways to Beat Summer Lawn Stress in Williamsburg

What type of grass do I typically see in local landscapes? 
The most common lawn is a cool-season grass called fescue. “Cool-season” refers to the fact that these grasses grow best in cooler weather. In the Hertzler & George  Lawn Program, we use a fescue bluegrass blend which has been hybridized to improve heat and drought tolerance.

How much water does my lawn require? 
In order to grow throughout the summer your cool-season lawn needs about 1 to 1 ½ inches of water weekly.

What if I can’t or don’t want to water that much? 
One answer is to let your lawn go dormant, which your HG lawn will tolerate. You will have a brown lawn (likely with some green patches in shaded areas) for much of the summer but that’s not all bad. Dormant grass needs much less water than actively growing grass plus it’s less likely to be hit by disease and need extra chemical treatments. And you don’t have to mow dormant grass! Your dormant lawn will revive when the temperature and moisture favor growth again.

 Is there a type of grass that requires less water? 
Consider switching to a warm season grass such as zoysia or one of the hybrid Bermudas. These grasses are the ones that go dormant in the winter months. They do well through our summers with as little as half as much water as their cool season counterparts. Warm season grasses spread and fill in thin areas better than fescues, which makes them tolerant to traffic and good at crowding out weeds.

I thought Bermuda grass was a weed that should be removed from my lawn!
Hybrid Bermuda is different. It is not the invasive pest that common Bermuda a.k.a. wiregrass is.

When I do water, how can I make it most effective? 
It is better to give the week’s supply of water in one or two days as opposed to three or more waterings per week. Less frequent /deeper watering soaks further into the soil which makes a better reserve for plants to draw from than a shallow surface layer of moisture. Why do you tell me to water 1 to 1½ inches instead of telling me how long to set my irrigation timers? Because each system as well as each zone of a system waters at different rates there is no answer by timing.

 How do I know when my system has watered one inch? 
You have to measure it. While rain gauges will work, a better method is to set out shallow straight-sided containers throughout your lawn. Something like tuna cans work well as they sample a larger area than most rain gauges. After your system has watered, check each can to get an average of how much your system just put out. Be sure to check soon after watering to get the best results, and you should do this for at least two waterings for a more reliable average. If runoff is a problem try setting your irrigation system to water each zone for a short spell.


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Always Helpful

Brian came out last week to try to assess a problem we are having in our yard.  He arrived on time, was extremely courteous and took a considerable amount of time analyzing our situation.  While he was unable to reach a solution, he did take the time to research and recommend another business that might be able to help us.  That kind of customer service will make us more likely to call on Hertzler & George if other issues arise.  Thanks, Brian!


Five Stars All Around

We hired H&G to help us re-do our landscaping after a different local landscaping company did a sub par job with plant selections and installations. That company also was very hard to deal with. H&G stepped right up with Jennifer creating a new planting scheme comprising of native plants with some we had never seen before and which we love! She is extremely knowledgeable and pleasant to work with – a true landscaping charm! Jon did the installations and also did a fantastic job. He was very meticulous on planting and finishing the job neatly with mulch. Unlike that other company’s installer, Jon left us extremely happy with the job done. Customer service on the phone – pleasant, patient and helpful. The only, and ever so minor aspect of their work, is they don’t offer a guarantee on the plants or install. I suppose that’s becoming industry standard. However, now looking over all the plantings with a bit of time passing, I am confident that there won’t need to be any replacements. Watering is of course the key element. Thank you H&G, the country cottage landscaping we’ve wanted is now ours – FIVE STARS!

Chris Dombrowski
Ford's Colony | Homeowner

True professionals

Had these guys build a surface-grade patio in May 2023. They looked at the project, sent me a proposed scope of work and contract via email, took a deposit of 1/2 the total via bank transfer. They set a date weeks later to start the job. They showed up on time, worked professionally and cleaned up at the end of the day. Whole job took 3 days, and they even replaced all the patio furniture on the last day. The final product was precisely what I asked for, done in a high-quality, workmanlike way.

H&G are not the cheapest guys out there, but for the extra money you get a professional product, professionally executed, on time, on budget. Honestly: I don’t think it gets any better than that.


Ken Blakely

Beyond Satisfied

We had an ugly uneven weedy patio and a driveway that needed reshaping and gravel. The transformation is stunning. Your representative Brian was patient and helpful in designing repairs to our satisfaction and your work crew was exceptional. Edwardo the work site foreman was extremely knowledgeable and professional and created a beautiful patio. His crew was superior.

Tim & Cynthia Porter

Joe Hertzler goes the extra mile

Hertzler and George were contracted to perform some landscaping for a seller of mine to get the home ready to show. They had just finished an extensive re-landscaping of the next door neighbors entire yard. I was very impressed by their attention to detail and their desire to satisfy their client. Joe Hertzler goes the extra mile to achieve complete client satisfaction. They provide a complete mix of landscaping design services and maintenance of existing landscaping

Tim Parker
Liz Moore Real Estate