Thursday, May 3, 2007

The Southern Lawn

OK, so I’m going to try to blog about something other than the market conditions, etc. I know that sometimes it may seem somewhat depressing to you. I still wanted to give you helpful information, nevertheless.

Well, it’s May, the A/C is on, we haven’t had enough rain, it’s already in the 90’s almost every day. You got to love, but ‘oy’ how does your lawn feel about it?

Firstly, you should have already fed your lawn. This should be done at least twice a year. I usually do mine in March, July & again in October. There are some that also feel that you can do a late spring feeding in May – June and also a late fall feeding in November – December.

Now, to watering. I see too many people water incorrectly & this does not help you lawn in the long-term. As a general rule, most lawns require about one inch of water per week. The best time to water a lawn is early in the day. You don’t want to water during the heat of the day, because you will lose a lot of that watering due to evaporation. Secondly, it is illegal to water from 10am to 4pm in most parts of Florida due to our drought restrictions. You also don’t want to water in the late evening, because then you may be putting your lawn at risk for developing mildew and fungus disease.

Don’t water more often than twice a week. This actually hinders your lawn more than help it. And, surely, don’t give your lawn light sprinklings. This will only promote shallow roots.

Two types of weeds show up in lawns: broadleaf weeds and grassy weeds. Basically, any plant growing in the lawn that does not resemble grass is a broadleaf weed. If your lawn is full of weeds, the best solution is to use a broadcast herbicide to kill them. A few weeds can be pulled up by hand, but many will grow right back because of their deep tap root. It may appear that the entire weed was pulled out, but the tap root simply breaks and what is left in the soil sprouts new weed growth above the soil.

Grassy weeds are a bit tougher to control. Typically, grassy weeds like crabgrass die in the fall and drop thousands of seeds that germinate the following spring. This is why a crabgrass preventer is recommended in the spring.

The best defense against weeds is a thick lawn that is properly cared for and never scalped by mowing. A thick lawn will choke out weeds and never allow them a place to establish in the lawn.

Mowing your lawn once a week is sufficient and most Bahia & St. Augustine grasses should be 2 – 4” in height. Keep your mower blade sharp. A dull blade tears the ends of the grass & this will turn brown & possibly promote fungus.

Never cut off more than 1/3 of the length of the grass blades in a single mowing. Mow in different directions each time you mow & never mow a wet lawn. Again, this will not only give you an uneven cut but may encourage fungus growth.

Well that was fun. OK, happy lawn care to you!

Until next time – Marc It Sold!

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