Although some may argue that our Florida temperatures in January are already spring-like, spring is still a few short months away.
No matter how you look at it, spring lawn care is imperative to having a lusciously green lawn and to set your lawn up for a productive, healthy growing season.
What are the differences in caring for your lawn in the spring in Florida compared to other states?
In contrast to our neighbors up north, who have cool season grasses, here in Florida, specifically the central and southern portions, we have warm season grass. Warm season grasses thrive when the weather is warm and turn brown when the weather gets cold. These grasses include St. Augustine, Bahia, Empire Zoysia, Centipede, and Bermuda.
Florida’s temperatures get hotter much quicker than other states. Therefore some of the general spring lawn care advice you may read out there will not be relevant to Florida lawns. Depending on your lawn and the weather condition, you may need to perform traditional spring lawn care steps during a different time of year. A professional can tell you what your lawn needs so that it stays green and luscious all year long.
Green 365 Lawn & Pest Solutions, LLC has experts who can diagnose your lawn issues (in Spring Hill, FL and surrounding Florida locations.) We can provide you with friendly, professional lawn care service and maintenance. Contact us today for a free quote.
This spring, you can care for and maintain a healthy lawn by following these tips.
Rake your lawn thoroughly to ensure a healthy lawn this spring and beyond. Even though fall is over and you probably don’t see many (or any) leaves in your yard right now, you should still give your lawn a thorough spring raking to keep it looking great and to prevent problems.
One reason to rake your lawn during spring is to remove matted patches of grass. In addition to appearing unsightly, these patches can contain diseases that can damage your lawn. Raking your grass can solve this problem.
Another reason to rake deeply during spring is that dead grass blades can become thatch if not raked properly.
What is lawn thatch?
Thatch is a tightly interwoven layer of living and dead tissue between the green vegetation and soil surface. It primarily consists of stems, leaf sheaths, crowns, and roots that are resistant to decay.
While a slight thatch layer is beneficial to wear tolerance, excessive thatch (½ inch or more) harbors pathogens and insects, leaving your lawn more susceptible to disease and drought. (Source: How to control thatch in your lawn)
Service your lawnmower
You should give your lawnmower a tune-up once a year. And the ideal time to do it is in spring, right before the growing season begins.
It’s important to keep your mower blades sharp. Dull blades will tear your grass, making your lawn look unsightly and susceptible to insects and diseases.
Mow your lawn to the correct height
You should never remove more than ⅓ grass blade height at one time. If you cut your grass too much at once, it will turn brown and invite several weeds and lawn pests.
You should also mow your lawn at the highest possible height for the species of grass you have. Keeping your lawn at the correct height keeps lawn weeds from growing, prevents diseases, and prevents a shallow root system.
Water your lawn more frequently
As the weather warms, so should the frequency of watering your lawn. A good rule of thumb is that you should water it 1 – 2 times a week in the spring. However, the temperature, the amount of rain we’ve had, and other factors can affect your watering schedule.
A professional will be able to identify how much water your lawn requires and can set your watering schedule properly, so it’s not over or under watered.
Determine the condition of your soil
Besides regularly mowing, raking, and watering your lawn, you should also assess the condition of your soil so that you know what else your lawn needs to stay healthy and green.
One of the easiest soil problems to identify is soil compaction. Compacted soil has fewer small pores, less total pore volume, and is, therefore, denser. Compacted soil is less efficient at infiltration and drainage.
Symptoms of compacted soil include finding puddles of water in low areas, water draining from high areas, bare patches where not even weeds grow, and places that are difficult to push a shovel through.
Soil tests can be conducted to identify your soil’s alkalinity or acidity and nutrient levels. You can ask your county extension office about a soil test or contact a lawn care service.
Aerate your lawn if needed
Aerating your lawn can help with thatch and compacted soil problems. Your grass type will determine whether you should aerate your lawn in early spring, late spring, or early summer.
Different tools and methods are used for aeration, depending on your soil’s needs.
It is recommended to aerate before applying herbicide, fertilizer, and watering more frequently.
A lawn expert should handle aeration since they are experienced in this field.
Fertilize your lawn
Fertilizing your lawn will not automatically fix all of your underlying lawn problems. Using the wrong products or over-fertilizing can cause more issues, including environmental and health issues. That is why we recommend that you hire a professional to fertilize your lawn.
People tend to go into their local store and purchase whatever fertilizer they think is best. But, to choose the right fertilizer for your lawn, you’ll need to know the soil condition, the type of soil, the type of grass, and the health or state of your lawn.
You should also be aware of what’s in the fertilizer you’re using, as it can run off into our waterways, and it can be toxic to you and your pets. We use eco-friendly lawn products that are safe for our waterways, your family, and your pets at Green 365 Lawn & Pest Solutions, LLC.
Fertilizing should take place only when the grass is growing. Otherwise, you waste your time and money. In Florida, that usually means you can fertilize from April to October, depending on the climate conditions that year. However, it is best to have a trained professional fertilize your lawn.