Crucial Tips for Lawn Care Around Florida
Turfgrass isn’t native to any particular place; it has been bred to grow in lawns, and thus it requires extra-special care to grow healthily and attractively. In Florida, you need to choose the right type of grass and care for it slightly differently than you would in other regions, due to the abundant moisture and high heat. If you are struggling to establish a lush, green lawn outside your Florida home, read on for some crucial tips.
Choosing the Right Grass
Many people who move to Florida grow up with cool-season grasses, like ryegrass, bluegrass or various fescues, but as soon as you step foot into Florida’s subtropical and tropical climates, you should know that anything with the name “cool” in the title probably won’t flourish. In truth, warm-season grass varieties should be your only option when installing a new lawn on a Florida property, but even in this broad category, there are a few types that will grow better than others:
When I moved into my Florida residence, there was already a lawn in place, so I used a lawn service near me to help identify the variety in place — zoysiagrass. The lawn pros also helped me learn how to properly care for that exact variety rather than grass in general. This is important because each grass variety has unique requirements, like mowing height and watering frequency. You should consider relying on expert assistance as you gain more proficiency with your lawn.
For most of my life, I thought we mowed lawns to make them look good for human taste. Thus, when my lawn got too tall, I didn’t worry much about it; I figured the plant itself was fine with me being lazy. However, that is not the case.
All grasses have a desired height range and going outside that range is disastrous for the plant’s health. Allowing your lawn to grow tall and then cutting it too short might feel more convenient for you — it means you don’t have to mow as frequently — but it is wreaking havoc on your lawn. Grass at improper height, both too short and too long, suffers the same problems: failure to retain moisture properly and the swift and wasteful depletion of energy reserves. Grass that is too tall puts too much energy into maintaining the over-long blades instead of filling in with denser growth; meanwhile, grass that is too short races to grow up to is preferred height, which again results in patchiness and sparse growth.
Now that I understand that mowing is for the grass, not just for me, I have a strict mowing schedule during my lawn’s high growth season, which is summer for all warm-season grass varieties. You should mow about every week during summertime and about every other week during the spring and fall.
Fertilizing More Than You Expect
Finally, I always thought that Florida soil was rich in nutrients, meaning I would never need to add fertilizer to the soil. However, I underestimated how quickly grass strips the soil of nutrients. Even in areas of the world that have exceedingly nutrient-rich soil, grass needs to be fed at least once per year. In Florida, most experts recommend fertilizing twice per year: once in the spring and once in the fall. This will give your grass extra strength to survive and thrive during the hottest months of the year, and it will help your lawn recover after the summer is through.
Florida lawn care isn’t that much different than lawn care elsewhere — you still need to water, mow, weed, feed and protect against pests. However, because the weather is so pleasant, it’s common for Florida homeowners to skip lawn care in favor of more relaxing and fun outdoor activities.