Fertilizing and Weeding Florida Fall Lawns

A Florida fall is unlike most parts of the country. Our temperatures remain summer-like, and weather conditions generally continue that way until the cooler winter months arrive.

Although you may not discern much of a difference, your lawn is beginning to react to shorter days and less intense sunshine. The grass is growing well and storing nutrients for the coming months. The soil is warm and there is still ample rain.

Therefore, fall is the perfect time to prepare a Tampa lawn for the months to come, when cold snaps and freezes are possible. By preparing your lawn now, you can ensure that it stays healthy and returns to full vibrancy next spring.

Fertilizing Your Lawn

Even if the weather belies it, you should apply your last fertilizer treatment by November at the very latest. If you fertilize too late, grass may still be growing when an unexpected cold front arrives, making it more cold-sensitive. A high potassium, nitrogen rich fertilizer is recommended for best results at this time of the year.

Of course, there is always the possibility of a warm winter with very little cold, allowing your grass to continue to grow all winter. Therefore, if you do not fertilize in the fall, it is not the end of the world. You will be able to revitalize your lawn in the spring.

Here are some specifics regarding fertilizing some of our more popular grasses.

St Augustine Grass: Fertilize by September, using 6 lbs. for every 1,000 square feet of lawn. Keep your grass at a height of 3-4 inches throughout these seasons.

Bahia Grasses: Same protocols as St. Augustine grasses.

Zoysia Grasses: Fertilize in September and November, and look for nematodes, which often attack this grass.

Bermuda Grasses: Bermuda is fertilized often throughout the year. Fall fertilization should take place in both September and October.

Weeding Your Lawn

Weeds never take a season off, but the best times to actively prevent them is in the fall and early spring. If your lawn is plagued by weeds, it is likely due to a nutrient imbalance in the soil. The first thing you should do is work to get your soil and grass healthy, by amending your soil and putting down new grass seed in the early fall, giving it time to grow.

If there are only small patches of weeds, you can generally fix the problem by digging them out. But you may also wish to consider an herbicide to take care of the weeds before they gain any more traction in your yard.

Keeping it Green and Healthy

As you move into the fall months, your emphasis on your lawn should be maintaining the color, not encouraging growth that will require too-frequent mowing. Iron sulfate can be applied twice during a hot month with heavy rain, such as August or September.

Overall, the key for the fall is to fertilize with the goal of a greener, healthier, weed-free lawn. This will allow your lawn to fight off weeds and fungus, and last through the drier months of a Florida winter. Do you need more advice as to the best fertilizers and herbicides for your particular lawn?

Come speak to the experts a Big Earth Landscape Supply. With 4 locations from Tampa to Sarasota, we’re here to help!