What does my lawn need in the winter?
We are now in the winter months and keeping your lawn maintained is just as important now as it is in the spring and summer. Even though your lawn growth has slowed during this season, the soil microbes are still busy at work. Whether you have concerns about watering, rooting, or weed control, we have a few tips to help you love your lawn even more in 2021.
- Properly managed water
Lawns in Florida need less water during winter than the rest of the year. A general rule of thumb is to give your lawn about an inch of water per week. For most lawns, you'll need to water about once a week during the winter, which is also the limit from the County's water management plan as well. Avoid watering your lawn during any temperatures below 40-degrees, as this water can freeze on the plants creating worse frost damage than a simple frost. Smart controllers are generally set up to not water below freezing automatically, but if you do not have a smart controller it is best to just set your system to run late in the morning after it has warmed up. Watering on the warmer days this season will strengthen the grass, enabling it to fight the damage potentially caused by cold weather and keep deep roots to bounce back quickly in spring. You can find more information about Smart Controllers here.
- Potassium application
Using potassium in the winter months is great for winter root development and prepares your grass for spring recovery. The main goal of winter lawn feedings is not just feeding the turf, it is for feeding the soil microbes so that they can compost. Potassium is not readily available in our sandy soils and needs to be replenished on a regular basis, even in the winter. Potassium ensures that your grass grows strong and is not stunted and retains a lush green and not a yellowed coloration.
- Winter Weed Control
Lawns are dormant at this time of the year, and the lawn grass tends to be brown. Winter weeds, however, are in active growth. They will appear as patches of green on the dormant, brown lawn. Winter is the best time for weed control as they're easier to spot and treat. Focus on the persistent perennial weeds like Dollar Weed, sedges, and Day Flower. There are other annual weeds that pop up - but they will melt away with the rising temperatures - so focus on the perennials. We suggest Manor and Sedgehammer as good herbicides to use on a St. Augustine lawn in the winter months for control of some of those pesky winter lawn weeds.
Most importantly, be patient with your lawn this winter. By following these 3 tips you will have a head start for loving your lawn this upcoming spring. If you need help with your Gainesville lawn this winter, give our team a call or text at (352) 378-5296. We're local and have been serving Gainesville for over 15 years. We look forward to working with you!