Lawn care can be daunting. There are so many variables to take into consideration including determining what type of grass you have, the soil conditions, environmental stress factors, and how much maintenance is required. It’s worth the effort, however, because when your lawn looks good, it enhances your entire home.
First you must determine the type of grass you have because different types of grasses require different types of care. There are several types of grasses used in South Florida, but St. Augustine grass, specifically “Floratam,” is the most widely produced and used lawn grass in Florida. Most likely, that is the type of grass you have.
St. Augustine grass grows vigorously in warm weather and requires at least 6 hours of sunshine per day. It has a high tolerance to salt and establishment of a lawn through sodding is quick and easy.
The first thing you should do before you begin caring for your lawn is to go out and take a look at it. Do an inspection. If your St. Augustine grass has areas that look sparse, it could be due to too much shade or too much foot traffic (usually near a gate). If it has brown places that are round, it may have brown patch fungus and you may have to apply a fungicide. If you see a large brown area suddenly appear that seems to spread quickly, especially in warm weather, you may have chinch bugs and you may have to do a pesticide application.
If your grass has a brown cast or looks ragged it may be caused by improper mowing. St. Augustine grass should not be mowed often because it will not develop a deep root system. Your lawn should be mowed at a height of 3.5 to 4” and sharp mower blades are a must. Dull mower blades rip the grass leaf apart, rupturing the structure of the blade.
If you walk around your yard and areas of the yard are crunchy to step on and brown, it may not be getting enough water. Go outside next time the sprinklers are on and see if they are hitting all of the areas of the lawn. If not, you will need to adjust them.
If you see brown areas in low lying areas of the yard, it may be from overwatering. Too much water can saturate your soil and drown your roots. A root system that cannot breathe will die, causing dead grass patches in your lawn. Excessive water also promotes rapid growth of weeds such as sedge, dollar weed, fungus, and root rot.
If you see weeds in your yard beginning to grow, you may need use a weed and feed product on your lawn but remember that weed control cannot be done to Floratam St. Augustine grass unless the temperatures are below 85°F. If weed control is done at higher temperatures, it may burn the grass.
If you kill the weeds in the grass and you leave bare places in the turf, you can always purchase sod in 1 foot squares, sprigs or plugs to fill them in.
Of course, to make it easy, just call Hometown Pest Control. We provide lawn care services. We would be happy to do a free inspection of your lawn, shrubs and trees. For more information go to hometownpest.com or call us at 561-483-4333.