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Now is the best time to start preparing your lawn to be the greenest on the block! During the spring and summer months, Florida lawns can experience high traffic, excessive rain, hot temperatures, and more. Putting a lawn care plan together beforehand can help minimize the effects these factors have on your grass. Check out our top lawn care tips for South Florida residents to utilize to maintain a healthy turf year-round.
In our hot and humid climate, watering your lawn regularly is essential. Look to water your grass at least once a week, avoiding shallow watering as it can promote the growth of shallow roots. Consider watering your yard early in the morning or late in the evening to avoid evaporation during the hottest parts of the day.
Regular fertilization will help your lawn grow lush and healthy. The type of turf you have will determine the appropriate fertilizer to utilize. Whichever fertilizer you choose, look to apply it in the early spring and fall when your grass is actively growing. It’s recommended to consult with your lawn care professional on a fertilizer schedule and the type of fertilizer to use for a healthy lawn.
Not only does mowing your lawn keep it tidy, but it’s also a health benefit to your grass. When you mow your lawn, set your mower at a high setting, ensuring that you don’t cut off more than a third of the grass blade. Utilizing this setting helps to promote deep roots and reduces the chance of damage and disease. Always keep your mower blades sharp for a clean cut. As for a mowing schedule, it’s best to base it on when you fertilize, current weather patterns, and the grass type, but you should always look to mow year-round.
The aeration of your lawn will help relieve soil compaction, allowing air, water, and nutrients to reach the grassroots. Yearly aerating will help distribute nutrients from thatch, ensuring a healthy turf. Look to aerate in the spring or fall when the grass is actively growing.
There are several insects and diseases that will quickly damage your lawn if not addressed promptly. Always look for signs of damage, including yellowing or browning of the grass. If you notice these spots, act as soon as possible with appropriate treatment. Likewise, lawn pests can be extremely damaging, ruining your grass’s health and overall look. Common lawn pests include ants, chinch bugs, mole crickets, sod webworms, and more! If you notice these pests are taking over your yard, consider reaching out to your lawn care professional.
While these steps will help you keep a healthy lawn, sometimes it’s best to contact your local lawn care company for help. These lawn professionals will provide you with a green lawn care analysis and a comprehensive treatment plan, customized to fit your lawn care needs.
The goal for most homeowners is producing and maintaining a lush, green lawn to show off! Unfortunately, Florida weather sometimes has other things in mind that can impact our lawns, such as droughts, heavy rains, and unbearably hot temperatures. Maintaining your Fort Myers lawn can take some work, but it is possible to obtain. Check out our lawn care tips and tricks to get you started on your lawn goals.
To produce new grass over your existing turf, consider reseeding! Grass seeds are a great, easy option to help your lawn grow even more. Purchase grass seeds and utilize a spreader to disperse seeds throughout. For the best reseeding result, prep your lawn beforehand, including removing thatch buildup by aerating the soil. Water regularly to allow the seeds to sprout the new grass.
Chinch bugs, ants, millipedes, and other lawn pests can cause major damage. These pests cause dead patches, discoloration, and dirt mounds throughout your lawn. It’s important to eliminate turf pests in the soil and around your plants. While insecticides can be used to remove pests, it’s not always the best option if you’re looking for an environmentally friendly option. A local lawn care company will be able to inspect your lawn, identify the pests, and provide the best treatment plan to remove them.
For a healthy lawn year-round, it’s important to establish a routine lawn care maintenance plan. Without a maintenance schedule, your lawn could suffer during every season. Dedicate at least 30 minutes on the weekend to removing debris, weed control, and watering. Consider investing in a sprinkler system to help prevent dry grass. If the problem becomes bigger than you can handle, contact your local Fort Myers lawn care company to provide a free lawn analysis and determine the best maintenance plan for your lawn.
The last thing any homeowner wants is to invest time and money into getting their landscaping exactly how they want it only to have it destroyed by lawn pests. Lawn care is difficult – finding the perfect balance between overwatering and underwatering, fertilizing and aerating, mowing and maintenance. Pest control for your lawn is just another step in your lawn care plan. Here are 5 pests that can destroy your lawn, along with options to treat and prevent them.
Armyworms are smooth skinned pests that range in size from 1 to 2 inches long. Armyworms turn into brown moths when they reach adulthood. Colors range anywhere from yellow and green to dark brown and black with stripes running down their sides. Armyworms feed on grass blades and stems and will also skeletonize leaves on other plants. They will seek shelter from the sun and heat during the day and emerge at night and early morning to feed heavily on your grass. They are known for creating circular bare spots in the lawn as they eat the grass. Signs of armyworms include clusters of eggs, caterpillar frass, and the presence of live worms. Armyworms can be treated with chemical insecticides, diatomaceous earth, or by removing them by hand and dropping them in soapy water. Armyworms can be prevented by aerating annually, fertilizing regularly, and checking for their presence monthly.
Grubs is a broad term for the larvae of most species of beetle including white grubs, masked chafers, june beetles, and japanese beetles. While looks vary among species, grubs are commonly c-shaped pests that are whitish to yellowish in color. Grubs usually feed in late spring, summer and into early fall. Once the weather cools, they burrow deep into the soil and go dormant for winter. Grubs will feed on the roots of grasses just under the surface of the soil, creating irregular patches of damaged turf. The damage usually begins with wilted grass blades and then progresses to brown colored patches and eventually death of the grass. While chemical insecticides will be effective in eliminating grubs, there are non-chemical treatment options, as well. Nematodes are microscopic parasites that can be added to your lawn which invade the grubs’ bodies and kill them. This process takes longer but is less harsh than typical insecticides. Grubs also require moisture to survive. Putting your lawn into drought by not watering for 3 to 4 weeks will make the environment inhospitable for grubs.
There are several different species of chinch bugs that feed on different types of grass. They are easy to recognize but hard to see. Chinch bugs are tiny, measuring about 1/5″. They have black bodies with white wings folded across their backs and a telltale white stripe across their bodies. Chinch bugs are usually active from June to September. These pests literally suck the life out of your lawn by sucking on grass blades and releasing an anticoagulant that makes the grass unable to absorb water, thus drying it out and killing it. Chinch bug damage causes irregular turf patches that start with a purple tinge and then subsequently wilt, yellow, and then turn brown. This damage is commonly mistaken for drought damage. Chinch bugs can be treated with insecticides.
Mole crickets are common lawn pests in the southeastern United States. These destructive pests are 1 to 2 inches long and grayish brown in color. They have spade-like front legs that they use to burrow through the soil along with beady eyes. They are not good at jumping like their cricket cousins. Mole crickets consume grass and roots while burrowing through the soil near the surface. Signs of mole crickets include small mounds of dirt, a spongy lawn, and brown or dead grass. They leave a path of destruction in their wake with raised burrows and brown patches on your turf. You can check for the presence of mole crickets by adding 2 tablespoons of dish soap to a gallon of water and pouring it over a 1 to 2 square foot section of your lawn. If mole crickets are present, they will come to the surface. Once you have identified them as a problem, you can treat with the appropriate insecticides.
Moles are small, burrowing mammals that are mostly blind but have a keen sense of smell. Moles range from 4 to 11 inches long with greyish-brown fur, long thin snouts, and large powerful front feet they use to burrow. Moles live underground and feed on earthworms, grubs, and insects. While these pests don’t eat plants, their burrowing can cause damage to roots and their tunnels allow other pests to access your turf. Moles leave visible trails in your yard and cause brown patches from subsequent root damage. Their tunnels can also cave in easily, putting you at risk for injury and leaving you with a spongy feeling yard. Moles can be trapped and baited. Eliminating their food sources (grubs, earthworms, etc.) can also make your lawn less attractive to them, helping to keep them away.
Whether you have an existing problem with lawn pests or you just want to get a head start on prevention, a local lawn care company can help! Contact them today for a free lawn analysis and an ongoing prevention and maintenance plan tailored to you.
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