Lawns in Southwest Florida are the pride and joy of homeowners. But those beautiful yards don’t come without effort – between hot sun, droughts, insects and disease, it is a constant battle to keep our lawns green. But what happens when your neighbor’s lawn has greener grass than yours? Here are some tactics to make yours just as beautiful as every other lawn on the block.
Tips to Achieve Greener Grass
The first thing to understand is that your journey to greener grass is not an overnight process. Achieving the best lawn on the block can take weeks (or months) of effort, so be patient and stay consistent. With regular care, proper irrigation and the best lawn and landscaping products, you can be sure that your property will look beautiful.
Proper Mowing: Because our grass grows so quickly, you may be tempted to cut it more closely to limit the number of times you have to mow. However, this strategy goes against the advice of most experts, who recommend mowing more often, allowing the mower to simply cut off the tops of the grass blades. Cutting too short actually stresses and weakens your grass, and the lawn is then more susceptible to weeds. Mowing too close to the ground also results in less root penetration, and necessitates more frequent watering to stay healthy. Finally, grass which is too short is a beacon for insects who prefer short grass blades to long ones. A general rule of thumb is to mow your grass at the second to the highest setting on your lawnmower, and to keep your blades sharp so they do not rip the grass blades. (Read more on proper mowing.)
Proper Watering: The key here is to provide adequate hydration for proper growth and greener grass, but not to overwater which can lead to fungus, insect infestation and root rot. During the hottest times of year, you should irrigate your lawn twice a week if there has been rain, and three times per week if it has been dry. You’ll want a deep, soaking watering so to encourage a strong root system. Morning is the optimal time for watering. Too much water overnight can cause fungus, and during the heat of the day, the water will evaporate before it can penetrate your roots. In the winter months, even though we don’t have a lot of rain, once per week should suffice. This is because the soil stays more moist when the sun is not so strong.
Proper Nutrition: When on the quest for greener grass, fertilizing is an important step. Landscape experts agree that South Florida residents should fertilize in the spring and fall, with the latter application taking place before mid-November. Your choice of the best fertilizer for your lawn will depend on the type of grass which makes up your lawn, as well as the amount of light and shade it receives. If you aren’t sure which fertilizer to utilize, stop by a local landscape supply store. These lawn care professionals can help you to choose the best product based upon your particular lawn.
Finally, if you see any signs of trouble – usually brown or dead patches – don’t just hope they will go away. Whether your roots are dying, insects are invading, or disease has taken hold, the situation can spread out of control quickly. If you aren’t sure what you are dealing with ,call in a professional to contain the problem and return your lawn to health.