What Do I Need to Know About Lawn Care in Florida
At last, winter is on its way out, and spring is finally here.This pest control blog post will explain why spring is the best time for a lawn spray service, The spring means the days will get longer, and lawns and plants will grow. This is the time of year that everyone wants to know how to ensure a kid and pet friendly lawn. The longer, hotter days, now will also include those weeds you don’t want, such as dollar weed and crabgrass.
Knowing how to groom for a healthy lawn, is extremely important in helping to assist a lawn care program. During the spring, it is crucial to apply pre-emergent herbicides to control weeds and also to consider lawn fertilization. At Imperial Pest Prevention, we offer a fully comprehensive lawn care program. As a Lawn Spray Company, we specially design custom lawn care for lawns in Flagler and Volusia counties.
In addition to weed control, lawn aeration services, and lawn fertilization, we offer disease and insect control, including the solution of how to get rid of ants in a lawn. Leave your lawn in our hands, and you can look forward to a healthy, weed-free property all year round.
Billions of dollars are spent annually in the US. Nearly every house and business spend money on some type of lawn care. Thousands of hours are spent caring for and mowing lawns.
This is a very competitive industry, and millions of people work hard to ensure lawns are green, healthy, and lush. It’s warm all the time in Florida, so lawn care is a thriving industry. We have trained and experienced technicians in Flagler and Volusia counties who can make your lawn look perfect again. Let us discuss some of the areas of concern you might have about your lawn.
How to Recognize and Deal with Dollar Weed
Dollar weed? NOOOOO! Not that kind of dollar weed, but the kind known as pennywort, is a weed that loves warm, humid conditions as we have here. This perennial weed spreads underground with rhizomes and above ground with seeds. No one likes weeds in a lawn?
Rhizomes are root-like, fleshy, and typically horizontal stems. They make shoots both
Dollar weed, the real ones, located in the image to thee right, grows in small-sized bunches low to the ground. The dollar weed leaves are around the size of a half-dollar coin, 1 or 2 inches across.
Dichondra is often mistaken for dollar weed. This low-growing weed has a cusp where the leaves meet the stem, making them kidney-shaped, while dollar weed has round leaves.
Both these weeds prefer shaded, moist areas of the lawn and can spread to thinner grass areas and take over, robbing Saint Augustine grass of necessary nutrients. The treatment for both these weeds is a pre-emergent herbicide created for warm climate lawns such as Bermuda, centipede, and Saint Augustine.
How to Recognize and Deal with Crabgrass
Crabgrass? Okay, Okay, I will stop with the jokes, I promise! Crabgrass is a broad-leaf weed and one of the main problem weeds in Flagler and Volusia counties. Technically crabgrass is a grass rather than weed, but it’s not one you want to have in your lawn.
Crabgrass was introduced to the US in the early 1900s for sheep, cows, and goats to graze on. It can adapt to nearly any environment, including cracks in concrete and asphalt sidewalks.
This invasive plant, crabgrass, the real one pictured below, can produce more than 150,000 seeds every year, many of which will
A pre-emergent herbicide is a key to preventing crabgrass. Having a lush, healthy lawn also chokes out this weed and stops them from ever taking root. Crabgrass requires sunlight to grow, which is why you can find it along the edges of sidewalks and roads where there is plenty of sunlight and heat.
Grass grows by photosynthesis, which means using the energy of the sun. The carbon and water inside the plant are converted into glucose by trapping the sun’s energy. A pre-emergent herbicide works by disrupting cell development. If crabgrass can’t use photosynthesis, it will become stressed and die.
This plant has three seed pods growing out of the center, and it’s usually found in thin lawn areas in full sunlight. If you mow over crabgrass, you will spray thousands of seeds into the air. For this reason, use a mower bag to catch clippings if you have some crabgrass around.
Pre-emergent herbicides are applied during the winter or shortly before spring. The application leaves a thin protective layer that stops crabgrass seeds from growing. Unfortunately, sunlight can break down this protective barrier in bare or thinly covered grass areas.
How to Grow Healthy Plants
Plants need water, air, nutrients, and sunlight to grow. If they don’t have access to any of these, they won’t grow well, and diseases or insects can take them over.
A plant’s root system draws mineral nutrients as well as water out of the ground. These nutrients include nitrogen, potassium, zinc, manganese, and phosphorus. The most important ones are nitrogen (N), potassium (K), and phosphorus (P) which are found in fertilizer bags.
Other nutrients such as lime will help balance the soil’s pH level, making it more alkaline (less acidic), allowing lawns to access nutrients. Lime is made from ground limestone, and it has magnesium carbonate and calcium carbonate in it naturally.
Iron is essential for healthy grass as well. A spotty or yellow lawn might have an iron deficiency. Iron is used to make chlorophyll, a green pigment required for photosynthesis.
It can be hard to keep your lawn green, healthy, and free from weeds, but you can overcome many lawn problems armed with some basic gardening knowledge and perhaps some help from a professional.
Different Types of Grass
In Flagler and Volusia counties, Saint Augustine is the dominant grass type used. Some homeowners also opt to have Zoysia Lawns In Florida, or Bermuda. St. Augustine grass spreads by ‘stolon’, a horizontal, creeping runner or plant stem that takes roots at various points to create new plants. Stolon will extend just above the surface of the soil and root several feet away. The new plant will grow and make its stolon. A prominent San Augustine grass area can be made up of a lot of interconnected plants.
St. Augustine grass has big, wide blades and is quite drought-tolerant. It’s coarse and thick and good for keeping out weeds. When fertilized and watered well, it is an attractive green color.
Another common type of grass in Florida lawns is Zoysia grass, which is also thick and coarse. Zoysia thrives in the hot climate of Florida. Many homes locally have more than one grass type, including Bahia, Bermuda, and centipede grass.
Some diseases are prevalent in Saint Augustine grass. A plant needs what is known as a ‘disease triangle’ to get a condition. The triangle is a host, a pathogen, and the environment.
Many times we are confronted with clients asking "What are these brown spots in my yard?" Most times it is a result of Brown patch fungus, a common disease often found in St Augustine grass. It’s caused by a fungus named Rhizoctonia and produces large areas of dead grass. Dark brown or black patches can be seen where the stolon is attached to the grass blades. As this pathogen spreads, you will see more and more dead, brown areas in the turf.
It is sometimes possible to reduce brown patch fungus’s severity by changing how you mow and water the lawn. You can increase air circulation by cutting at a lower height. Also, reduce how moist the grass is since moisture can promote fungi.
Another issue with Saint Augustine grass is the chinch bug. What are chinch bugs? great question, this tiny insect has a sucking mouth part and will extract nutrients out of the grass. This results in stunted lawn growth, and you will see extensive, dead, brown areas in the turf with chinch bugs.
Here at Imperial Pest Prevention, our highly trained technicians can tell the difference between chinch bugs, brown patches, and many other diseases and insects.
How Much Should You Water the Lawn?
It’s essential to water the lawn, especially when there isn’t much or any rainfall. However, it’s just as important not to over water it. There is lawn watering tips that every homeowner should know and follow.
Ensure your irrigation system (if you have one) goes off during the early morning, so the plant’s root system can draw water from the ground, along with mineral nutrients such as zinc, manganese, potassium, nitrogen, and phosphorus.
The grass also needs time to dry before nightfall fully. If you are over watering it, this can lead to diseases. Switch off the irrigation sensor (or use the rain sensor) when wet weather is forecasted. There not a need reason to water the lawn when it’s raining. It’s also an expensive mistake.
Most of Florida’s towns have watering restrictions, dictating which days of the week and what time of the day you may water, as well as the duration of watering. Ensure you know and comply with these.
If you want to measure how much irrigation water your lawn receives, put some small cups or empty tuna cans in different areas of the property. When the cup or can is complete, this means you’ve watered enough. A 30-minute watering session should give about half an inch of water. This is an excellent way to ensure you’re using the right amount of water, and you can also see which areas of the lawn are getting too little or too much water.
We are committed to excellence at Imperial Pest Prevention and will be delighted to help you maintain your lawn. We’re just a phone call away. Contact us at 386-956-9506, and our friendly staff is here to help with any questions you have.