6 Quick Tips for Gainesville Landscapes in Winter

As the seasons change, so should your Gainesville lawn maintenance action plan. We have compiled a few tips that will keep your lawn in great shape during the winter months. Feel free to share this with your neighbors as well! That way, the whole neighborhood can have beautiful landscapes this winter.

1. Procrastinate on your Winter Pruning 

Most every winter will cause some dieback on certain plants in North Florida. How low the temperatures get and what plants you have in your Gainesville yard determines how much winter pruning there is to do, but we all have some. Crape Myrtles, Muhly Grasses, Hydrangea, Flax Lilies, Ginger, and Hibiscus are just a few of the plants that may need to have the dead leaves and branches pruned back before spring. Those brown forst-damaged leaves and branches do serve a purpose though, as they protect the plant from future frosts causing more damage - even though they can be unsightly.

What's best for the plant...

5 Tips to Prepare for Tropical Storm Eta

As all eyes are turned towards Eta, a powerful storm already damaging the Caribbean and threatening our state. We pray that family and friends already affected are safe. As we look towards the future and try to predict the storm’s path we can take some steps today to help protect ourselves proactively. Here are 5 things you can do today to help protect your home and property.

5 Quick Tips for Gainesville Lawn Success in Fall

Although Gainesville landscapes have a very short fall season that transitions from Summer to Winter, we do still have a few areas we can focus our attention on in late October and early November to keep our Gainesville landscape growing more appealing..

Tip #1 : Fall is the best time of year to install new plants, trees, and sod in your landscape (even better than spring!)

Many people think Spring is the season to re-landscape, but that is typically a northern habit where the spring is best due to their harsh winters. Our winters are very mild, and our extreme season is the heat and humidity summer, and fall planting gives them 3 full seasons to prepare for it.

You will want to get the plants rooted in before the next harsh Florida summer. The climate in Florida allows its gardeners to enjoy blooms all year long. Planting in the fall will give them enough time to establish throughout fall, winter, and spring before the triple-digit...

Quick Tip: Why is Landscape Fabric not Recommended under Mulch?

For many homeowners, spreading mulch is part of the ritual of tidying up their landscape beds and increasing their curb appeal. Some will use landscape fabric under the mulch, in the hope that it will help prevent weeds from growing in their Gainesville Landscape beds.

“There are various types of landscape fabric, and some work better than others, but unless they're under rock they all will be useless after several years ” said Rusty, founder of The Master's Lawn Care. One common type is a nonwoven textile made of plastic fibers, often black, that may be perforated with small holes.

The use of landscape fabric is based on the idea that it will either physically intercept weed plants, or that it will keep seeds in the soil from sprouting by blocking sunlight.

“A properly applied layer of mulch is enough to keep weed seeds in the dark,” Rusty said. “You don’t need a layer of fabric to shade them out.”

The bigger concern is that fabric itself may lead to...

4 Quick Tips on Storm Preparedness for your Gainesville Yard

As all eyes are turned towards Hurricane Dorian, a powerful storm already wreaking havoc in the Caribbean and threatening our state, we pray that family and friends already affected are safe. As we look towards the future and try to predict the storm's path we can take some steps today to help protect ourselves from damage. Here are 4 things you can do today to help protect your home and property.

Storm-ready your Irrigation System – This is an often overlooked item in storm preparations. Many clients find out too late that their irrigation system is one of the most likely places to be affected by lightning. If you have a pump that services the irrigation system, we recommend that you unplug it as well as unplugging your controller. One of the most common calls that we get after a storm is an irrigation timer that is no longer functioning after being struck by lightning. Unplug your timer during the storm to prevent this from happening.


Winter Tips for Gainesville Lawns

The next 12-18 weeks will determine how your lawn does in 2019, so we hope these tips are helpful to you in making sure you have a lawn you love in 2019. During the winter months in Gainesville, Florida lawns, the grass is semi-dormant – growing but at a slower pace and almost barely growing at all. The soil microbes are still busy though, doing what soil microbes do – enzymatic digestion of organic matter – aka composting.

So don’t be fooled into thinking the soil and turf grass doesn’t need food and water in the winter – the turf and the soil microbes are living, sending out roots, and need nutrients to stay healthy. Without an active and healthy turf and soil microbe population in winter, the St Augustine or Zoysia turf grass lawn will lag in the spring, losing valuable time during the prime growing season.


Water Your Lawn with proper irrigation (1x week is recommended)
Feed Your...

The 2 Most Common Gainesville Landscaping Mistakes & How to Avoid Them

The 2  two biggest mistakes I see when homeowners (and even a few Gainesville landscape companies) plant trees and shrubs are planting them too low, and applying too much mulch. In today’s quick tip, I’ll give you my secrets to planting a healthy tree in your Gainesville lawn.

Mistake 1: Planting Plants/Tree Too Low

This simple mistake is the most common one we see and does major damage to the plant. It also is the main reason that we see trees and shrubs planted for a while and not actively growing. Most people think a tree is supposed to be planted with the root ball flush with the soil level, but that is incorrect. This results in people planting their trees too deep which makes it hard for your newly planted tree to thrive, as the base of the plant cannot breathe.

What should be done is to install the tree so the root flare is flush with the soil level, which looks like the tree is planted too high to the untrained eye, like the...

5 Quick Tips to Prepare Your Gainesville Landscape for Summer Storms

April has flown by and here we are knocking on the door of summer. College students are heading home for summer after graduation this past weekend, and the elementary, middle, and high schools are next. This month, why not take steps to protect your home during the soon-to-come summer storms? A few adjustments now can really pay off when the next weather event hits. Here are 3 ways to prepare you Gainesville yard for storms that can save you hundreds of dollars, and give you some peace of mind.

1. Clean Your Gutters
During the fall and winter, many gutters became filled with leaves, pine straw, and debris. Clear any debris from your gutters to make sure all that rainwater can easily flow off your roof and away from your home. When water can't get through your gutters, it pools on your roof and flows over the gutters in ways that can damage your landscaping, cause erosion at the foundation, or even damage your home's wood siding. Whether you are a do-...

Quick Tip: How to Get Rid of Fall Lawn Weeds

I've been getting a lot of people asking me what can be done about all the dove weed, nutsedge, and other weeds they're seeing in their lawn this fall.

The good news is most are summer weeds that will go away soon. The heavy rains from an active storm season made weeds especially prevalent this past year. The bad news is these Gainesville lawn weeds have already left their seeds in the lawn which means they will be back again next year unless something is done over the next few months to prevent them from germinating.

That's why at The Master's, our annual fertilization and weed control program includes fall and winter visits. These are some of the most important visits we make all year, because we are applying preventatives that will keep those seeds from turning into weeds next year.

On these visits we apply a pre-emergent that prevents winter weeds from coming up along with a post-emergent for any broad-leaf weeds that have already sprouted. In late winter,...

Protect These Gainesville Landscape Plants from Freezing Temperatures

There is a Freeze Warning coming up in Northern Florida for this weekend. The current forecast is predicting overnight freezing temperatures for both Saturday and Sunday nights, which could result damage or Gainesville sprinkler systems and tender landscape plants. Here are some tips that will help minimize the harmful effects of low temperatures:

  • Cover your sprinkler system's backflow preventer with protective covering and change settings like this. Upgrading your weather sensor to a rain/freeze sensor also protects your irrigation from running and leaving moisture to cause freeze damage on plants. 
  • Cover your cold-sensitive plants (see list below) with sheets or blankets, but not plastic.
  • Don't mow or use heavy equipment on your lawn if it is frozen or if there is frost present the following morning.

Most Common Cold-sensitive Gainesville...