Home Classifieds Work For Us Rack Locations Order Photos Contact Us Advertising Info Featured Advertisers

Click here to read
the latest issue

Browse Sections:

News
Forever Young
Classifieds
Community
Advertisers
Election
Rants & Raves
Sports
Crime Report
Opinion
Calendar of Events
Entertainment
Dining Guide
Special Section Publications
Business & Finance
Business Columns
Star Scopes
Computer/Technology
Cooking/Food
Counseling/Advice
Family Issues
Fishing
Gardening
Travel
Golf
Pets
Religion
Columnist Archives
Crossword Puzzle
Jail Court Live Web Cams

Weather Cams:

Now browsing: Hometown News > Gardening > Garden Nook


Winter lawn maintenance
Rating: 2.68 / 5 (28 votes)  
Posted: 2013 Jan 18 - 08:54

For a homeowner, one of the greatest thrills is to have a lush, green lawn all year long.

Unfortunately, during the winter months in Florida, this can be a real challenge. In our area there are two types of lawns that the majority of Floridians share, St. Augustine and Bahia. Most people have the Floratam variety of St. Augustine grass.

Before I get into winter lawn maintenance, I would like to talk a little about Floratam grass. The Floratam variety of St. Augustine grass was introduced to Florida in 1973 and is used almost exclusively to other grasses.

Floratam grass has many advantages to other types of grass. It is very adaptable and can thrive in a wide range of soils and environmental conditions. It does well in Florida's intense sunlight. This type of lawn is also relatively chinch-bug resistant. This is a good point, since many of the insecticides that were effective for chinch-bug control such as Dursban and Diazinon were removed from the market.

Floratam is also a fast grower that can fill in empty areas of your lawn fairly quickly. The thickness of the lawn also helps to control weeds.

Bahia grass, on the other hand, offers some disadvantages over its rival.

During the growing season, it produces large seed heads and over time, the lawn can thin out, which will allow weeds and other wild grasses to take over. It also needs a large amount of iron or the grass will yellow during the spring and fall. It also has a very course texture.

Now let's talk about keeping it green. During the winter months, all lawns can have times when they thin out or just do not grow as rapidly as they do during the remaining times of the year. This can cause bare spots and browning. This can be especially problematic after a freeze or heavy frost.

One way to ensure your lawn stays green and limits the intrusion of weeds is to over seed with rye grass. When you over seed your lawn with ryegrass, you help keep that green look all winter long. When the warmer weather arrives, the ryegrass will die out and your lawn will again fill in very nicely for the remainder of the growing season.

As the ryegrass dies off, it acts as a natural fertilizer as it decomposes in the soil. If you have a Bahia lawn, you may have to over seed with Bahia grass seed in the spring. If you have a Floratam lawn, you can fill in patches with grass plugs. Remember, Floratam is not available in seed form.

Proper watering and fertilizer is also essential to a healthy lawn. Always keep your lawn evenly moist. Under watering as well as over watering can cause problems such as drying out or fungus, for example.

A regular fertilizer program is essential for a lush green lawn. You should apply a good-quality, slow- release lawn food about once every three months. February is an excellent time to apply a good quality weed and feed.

A weed and feed product has the advantage of both feeding your lawn and getting rid of annoying weeds. Care should be exercised when choosing weed-control products because you can only use certain herbicides on certain lawns.

If you have a Floratam lawn, be sure you choose a product that contains Atrazine. This is a safe herbicide for use in St. Augustine variety grasses.

If you have Bahia grass, choose a product with 2.4D or an equivalent. Use of the wrong herbicide can have very undesirable affects. Always apply your fertilizer according to the package directions and always use a spreader. Never try to apply lawn food by hand.

With a little care and some work, you too can have a green lawn year-round! I hope this information was useful as well as informative.

Joe Zelenak has more than 30 years experience in gardening and landscape. Send emails to hometowngarden@gmail.com or visit his website www.hometowngarden.com.




Comments powered by Disqus
Can't see the comments?
Make this site your Homepage e-mail us

Legal Notices




Join our Mailing List:


Crossword Puzzle:

Archives Calendar:

« Aug, 2014 »
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30
31

Search Stories:




.