November is a special time of year for Central Floridians. Not only are we giving thanks for all we have, but we’re saying good-bye to hurricane season and hello to cooler, drier days dominated by sunshine. Don’t make the mistake of wasting this gorgeous weather toiling away over your lawn!
We all want strong healthy lawns come springtime. Thankfully, this is possible without exerting much effort during the winter months.
Keeping your winter lawn healthy is easier than you think!
Mild winters are one of the main reasons we live in Central Florida. However, cooler temperatures cause our lawns to grow more slowly, so they need slightly different care this time of year.
The following are simple guidelines that will keep your lawn healthy and prepped to survive frost conditions, so you can avoid the heartache and hassle of a replacing it come springtime.
Forget about adjusting your mower blade. Central Florida grasses go dormant in the winter, which means lawn care is a breeze since we don’t have to mow as often. Nevertheless, your lawn can still become stressed if it’s cut too short, so keep the mower blades at the same level year-round.
- 4″ to 5″ for most St. Augustine grass cultivars
- 3” to 4” for Bahia grass
- 2” to 3” for Bermuda, Centipede, and Zoysia grasses
Cutting grass to its ideal height not only protects the roots from drought and Jack Frost’s icy fingers, but it also ensures a thick, lush lawn once warm weather returns.
Winter feedings are not required. Central Florida lawns should be fertilized no later than mid-September. This same rule applies to chemicals that control lawn weeds. Now that you know this, you can relax because you won’t have to break out your spreader until April!
Your irrigation system is still needed, just not as much. Thanks to cooler days and nights, you don’t have to water your lawn as much or as often because your grass has gone dormant, and evaporation is no longer an issue. Winter lawns in Central Florida require just one inch of water per week.
Be sure to adjust your irrigation system to reflect this new schedule. If you neglect this task, your lawn could develop root rot due to oversaturation. An efficient irrigation system never creates puddles or runoff because it only wets the root zone.
You should check your irrigation system periodically to make sure it’s working properly. If you’re not sure it’s running like it should, call us or complete our request service form and we’ll be happy to take a look.
Time to enjoy the fruits of your labor!
The time and energy you spent mowing, trimming, and keeping your lawn properly irrigated and fertilized throughout the spring and summer has paid off. You have healthy grass that will survive the winter months with minimal care. Now, you can break out the lawn chair and kick up your heels with a good book or play ball with your kids in the backyard. The sunny sky’s the limit!
Keep in mind that your lawn may turn brown as the temperature gets colder even though you’re tending to it properly. This is completely natural for Saint Augustine, Zoysia and Bermuda grasses. However, if this bothers you (or your HOA), keeping a green lawn is as easy as adding pigment to it by applying an environmentally friendly dye specifically designed for grass. You can hire a company to spray the colorant, or you can do it yourself. Either way, imitating a green lawn is a lot simpler than overseeding. Plus, it’s safe for animals and children.
If Central Florida does experience a hard frost this winter and you’re worried that your lawn is brown because it’s been damaged, dig up a clump of grass with the roots intact. Plant the plug in a pot and place it in a warm, sunny spot. Keep the soil moist, but not wet. If the grass begins to grow, your lawn is most likely unfazed by the frosty conditions.
Remember, if you ever need assistance with sprinkler repair or irrigation in the Orlando area, give us a ring! We are always happy to answer your questions and do everything necessary to keep your system in peak performance.