It’s that time of year. The heat of the summer has begun to subside, but the winter chill is not yet upon us. Here in Florida, we are fortunate that the weather doesn’t get as cold as in many other areas of the country. However, that doesn’t mean that you don’t still need to plan on transitioning your lawn for the colder months. Here’s what you need to do to keep your lawn healthy all year long.
Update Your Watering Schedule
Now that the weather is cooling off a bit, you won’t need to water your lawn as much. Be sure to verify any watering restrictions in your area to ensure you are complying with local regulations or those set by your water service provider. The goal is for the soil to be moist for at least part of the day, but not so much so that it becomes soggy. Some grass varieties require more water than others, so be sure to adjust your watering schedule to accommodate your specific grass species.
As in any other season, you can take advantage of any rainfall to supplement your watering with sprinklers or a hose. Although it doesn’t rain as much in fall as it does during summer in Florida, you can still expect at least some rain throughout the season. If rain is forecasted in the next few days, adjust your watering schedule so that you don’t water on rainy days. This way, you can maximize the benefits of watering on days without rain.
Clear Away Any Leaves
Some people mistakenly believe that fallen leaves can help to protect lawns from the cold. However, this is not actually the case. Piles of leaves and palms on top of the grass can prevent your lawn from getting access to the sunshine and fresh air it needs in order to thrive. While you don’t need to pick up each leaf as it falls, do your best to prevent leaves and palms from building up in large quantities.
Mow Less Frequently
As the weather cools, most grasses shift into a dormant state through the fall and winter. They begin to grow again in the spring. What this means for your lawn is that it won’t grow as much as you may have gotten used to during the spring and summer. Fortunately, this also means you won’t need to mow your lawn nearly as often.
While transitioning your lawn into the cooler months, aim for about 2 inches of blade length to get the best results. Longer grass can trap bacteria and moisture, potentially leading to rot. Additionally, shorter grass is more vulnerable to the ravages of cold weather. If your grass is currently on the longer side, don’t chop it off all at once. Instead, mow a small amount off the top, cutting incrementally shorter each time until you reach the desired length. This will prevent excessive trauma to your grass.
After the heat of summer, your lawn may be looking a bit dry and patchy. While it may seem as though fertilizer would help to repair the damage, now is not the time for it. It is true that fertilizing encourages new growth. However, young blades of grass are not hardy enough to withstand the cold and likely will not survive. It is better to let your lawn go dormant for the winter. Then, when the weather starts to warm back up in the spring, you can fertilize your lawn. Waiting for warmer weather is a far more effective approach to a healthy lawn.
Transitioning Your Lawn: Trust the Experts at Duda Sod
If you have questions about transitioning your lawn through the seasons or how to care for your specific grass variety, the Duda Sod team is here to help. We are highly familiar with all of the grass types that grow well in Florida. We can assist you in keeping your lawn as healthy as possible over the years. When spring comes around again, we can also help you fill in any bare patches in your lawn with fresh sod. From Bahia to Zoysia, St. Augustine to Floratam and more, we’ve got plenty of sod for you to choose from. We’re always happy to answer all of your questions and help you make the right selection for your yard. Contact our team online today or give us a call at 321-403-9671 to learn more.