Having a beautiful landscape is a source of pride, but it also takes a lot of work. While there are some things you can’t control – hardiness zone, weather events, a sudden insect infestation – there are a number of preventable landscaping issues that you do have control over. By taking a little time to invest in your lawn and garden, you can proactively avoid these common landscaping problems to create a healthy, gorgeous property.
Common Florida Landscaping Problems
Poor Planning: You should always plan before you plant. It’s helpful to have a schedule set so that you get seeds into the ground at the right time, can do any backyard renovations during the most convenient times, and don’t forget about important maintenance tasks like fertilizing. Make sure sun-loving plants will get the daylight time they need, and plant shade-loving short plants under tall leafy ones. If not planned properly, your garden will not be reaching its full potential.
Erosion: Water follows the path of least resistance. If you notice rainwater flowing along a specific route, erosion may not be far behind. To prevent the loss of grass or soil, consider creating terraced landscaping, or adding gravel in these areas. These methods help slow and redirect the flow of water so that erosion doesn’t occur.
Improper Mulching: When applying mulch around trees and shrubs, avoid piling the mulch directly against the plant. Mulch retains moisture and is excellent for insulation; however, when it is touching the trunk it causes rotting. Instead, lay the mulch around your plants in a doughnut shape, leaving a few inches between the mulch and the base of the trunk. This benefits the root system while preventing rotting.
Forgetting to Test Your Soil: Soil quality affects all the vegetative growth in your yard, from tiny annual flowers to towering trees. Each plant requires a balance of major nutrients like nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium as well as minerals including calcium, magnesium, and sulfur. Test your soil every couple years to make sure its nutrient levels are adequate for lush growth.
Pooling Water: Does one low-lying area of your lawn remain perpetually soggy? Pooling water can cause unhealthy patches of grass as well as frustration. Luckily, you have a few different options to fix this. Regrading your lawn is effective, but can cost a decent amount of money. If the pooling is being caused by compact soil, aerating your lawn will loosen the soil and allow for proper drainage.
Dead Grass: Everyone wants a thick, soft lawn, and we have many different turf options in South Florida. To properly care for it, ensure your grass has full sun–too much shade from overhead trees or wide shrubs will quickly kill your sod. Identify your shady areas and instead of attempting to plant grass there, fill it with plants that grow best in the shade. Pinwheel jasmine, butterfly iris, areca palm, begonia, and oakleaf hydrangea are beautiful shade-loving options for Florida lawns.
Unwanted Fungus: Fungus grows in moist conditions where there is lots of decaying organic matter. Fungicides work to address current growth, but the best way to deal with fungus is to prevent it growing in the first place. Make sure your lawn is draining properly and consistently, and remove debris such as logs or old mulch that may be rotting, as these items will attract mushrooms.
From sod to fertilizer, Big Earth Landscape Supply has everything you need to avoid common landscaping problems. Stop by one of our 4 area stores today, or shop online to ensure that you have all the right tools for a beautiful lawn.