Given that we are heading into the heat of summer it’s time to prepare our lawns for what lies ahead. The first step is to feed the lawn. Grass grows rather quickly in the heat of summer and it needs food during this period. If you haven’t applied fertilizer in the past sixty to ninety days you might want to feed the grass again. A well fed and properly watered lawn is your best defense against pests and weeds. Applying the correct amount of water on your lawn is critical to keeping the yard looking good. Too much water and Dollar Weed shows up. It’s difficult because this time of year we have periods of high precipitation (like now with Tropical Depression Debbie affecting our weather) to periods of drought. An irrigation system with a properly working rain sensor like the ones offered by Maronda Homes, makes it a lot easier but if your system is ignored and not maintained, it can lead to not only Dollar Weed but several types of fungus and other diseases. Whether you have an automatic sprinkler system or not you want to have one to two deep waterings per week depending on what is allowed by the Water Management District in your area. You’re looking for one inch of water per week so if you water twice you should apply no more than 1/2 inch each time. If you are in an area that limits you to once a week watering putting down up to one inch (when is hasn’t rained) is a good idea.
Mowing height is another consideration and is dependent of the type of grass you have. Bahia and many St Augustine turfs for example should be cut at a height between 3 1/2 and 4 1/2 inches this time of year. The Florida Extension Office has a web page listing the optimum mowing heights for several types of grass used in Florida.
Hopefully your lawn is healthy and free of pests and weeds through proper feeding, watering and mowing. If that is not the case and stronger measures are called for you might want to refer to the recommendations of Will Hudson, Extension Entomologist. He provides a great chart listing the various pests and the recommended treatment for them.
Maintaining a good looking lawn can be a great asset to your home. It sets off the front elevation and makes a great statement about how well kept the rest of the home is.