Your Fall Lawn
It's fall in Florida. Time to watch the leaves change color and prepare for another cold winter. Well, not exactly. This season for us just means it's not going to be as hot, and it may not rain every afternoon. However, there are a few things you can do to make sure that your lawn stays healthy now and comes back as green as ever in the spring.
The first thing that you'll notice is that it's not growing as fast. The weekly task of mowing the lawn is now a bi-weekly chore. The grass isn't dormant yet, but it's getting there. Depending on our October weather, cutting the lawn about twice a month is enough to keep it at a good height, usually between two to three inches tall. Stay on the low end for Centipede and Carpet grasses, more like two and a half inches for St. Augustine, and keep that Bahia as high as four inches.
Your irrigation system is your grasses' best friend in the fall. You may have turned it off during the daily deluges of July and August, but now it's time to get to know your timer again. Most lawns need about an inch of water a week during this season, and Mother Nature may not be proving it. Take some time before Halloween to get reacquainted with your irrigation timer. While you're at it, test the system and take a walk around your yard. Make sure all your sprinkler heads are operational and pointing where they should be.
Now that you don't have to cut the grass every weekend, you may be thinking that you have the time to fertilize, but think again. Fall isn't the time. It would be best if you only fertilized when your lawn is actively growing in the spring and summer.
There are some people out there who can't stand this time of year. They want green grass even during the dormant months. There's a fertilizer for that. An iron sulfate solution will turn brown blades green without stimulating growth.
One thing you can do instead of fertilizing is aerating. Putting small holes and pulling out soil plugs loosens the ground, which leads to better growing conditions. Early fall and late spring are the best times of year to aerate.
We hope these tips help you and your lawn. If you come to a point where you don't want to leave in the mowing to the pros, have an expert check your irrigation system, and don't trust yourself aerating your property, contact us at ELT landscape. We have the best crews in the green industry and will give you an estimate for free.