You might think that in the land of sunshine that is Florida you don’t need to prepare your lawn for cooler weather. Even though our temperatures are fairly mild all year, you still need to prepare for the coming winter. Steps to take include:
Fertilize — Many of the grasses used in Florida turf naturally go dormant in the winter, decreasing the growth rate. With fall approaching, you might want to get in another round of fertilizing; however, in our area of Florida, it is best if you do it no later than October. Any later, and you run the risk of causing your grass to continue to grow in cooler weather when it would be more cold-sensitive. Fertilizing helps keep the lawn healthy, so it is better able to take the coming cooler weather.
Overseed — This part of Florida is well-suited for overseeding to promote a green lawn through the winter. Ryegrass is a popular choice because it grows fast and is less expensive than some alternatives. It’s best sown when daytime highs have dropped to the mid 70s. You’ll need to water your lawn often until it has germinated. Once it is established, it will need the normal watering, mowing, and fertilizing a lawn requires. With the arrival of warmer temperatures in the spring, the overseeded grass will die out and leave room for your normal lawn to flourish.
Coloring — If the maintenance that comes with overseeding doesn’t appeal to you, but you still want a green lawn, coloring is an option to explore. Please don’t just paint the lawn with green paint! There are turf colorants that are specially made to be safe for the grass and the environment.
Continue to irrigate — You may not think you need to irrigate since the sun isn’t as hot. While you may not need to water as much or as deeply, you still need to keep the lawn moist during the day. A rule of thumb for when to water: If you see footprints when you walk across the lawn, it’s time to water.
Mow high and rake — Keeping the grass longer protects its roots from the colder weather. When the leaves start falling, you may be tempted to leave them as protection for your lawn. Don’t do it. A covering of leaves will smother your grass and prevent it from photosynthesizing.
Take proper care of your lawn and it will remain healthy and be ready for you to enjoy when warmer weather arrives again. We service Hernando, Pasco, Pinellas, and Citrus counties with new irrigation system installation, or repair for existing systems. We can make sure your irrigation system does its intended purpose of keeping your lawn healthy all year round. Call us to set up an appointment today!