Florida is not known for its harsh winters, so we don’t normally have to fully winterize our lawns and gardens like some other states. In some places it is even warm all winter long, so grasses will always stay green! However, there is always a chance for a surprise freeze. If you live in the northern portion of the state, you will often experience several months of cold weather.
With the cooler temperatures rapidly approaching, Tropical Gardens Landscape wanted to take this opportunity to keep you informed about some important winter lawn care necessities. If you’d rather not worry about taking care of your lawn or if you have questions, give us a call! Our Sarasota-based team will happily work with you to make sure your lawn stays green as long as possible, and comes back strong in the spring.
Don’t put off your preparations! October and early November are the key months to complete any last minute tasks to make sure your lawn is ready once the cold hits. To ensure your lawn stays evergreen, you will need to mow, water, and fertilize your grass.
Continue your regular routine of mowing about once a week as long as the weather allows, and as long as the grass continues growing at its standard rate. This will ensure that your lawn stays at its optimal length, and will keep it healthy. As the weather cools and your irrigation schedule becomes less frequent, your lawn will require less maintenance as its growth rate slows.
Winter temperatures throughout Florida are often inconsistent. If you experience one cold day, check the weather forecast for the next week before you completely shut off your irrigation and sprinkler systems. Once again, your location in the state will play a key factor in deciding the right time to turn off your irrigation. If you would like your grass to remain green for as long as possible and return with vigor in the spring, it may be smart to keep watering it throughout the fall months. As it cools down, you can water less frequently.
In central and northern Florida, you should start considering your last fertilization of the year now! Near the end of October is generally the best time to apply your last treatment of the season. This gives the grass the extra nutrients to stay strong all winter long. If you miss your fertilization window, do not apply it later. Adding fertilizer after its effective time could harm your grass. If you have kept up with your lawn care throughout the summer, you should be fine to wait and apply your next treatment in the spring.
If you do not expect your lawn to go into a dormant state over the winter, you may consider overseeding it. This process should be done at the end of October or the beginning of November. By overseeding, you add extra, temporary grass to your lawn that will enhance its vibrancy and fullness all winter long. To prepare your lawn for overseeding, follow these simple steps:
- Rake the grass
- Remove any remaining leaves or debris
- Mow the lawn
- Sow extra seeds
- Continue your normal care routine
Once you have planted your seeds, it is imperative that you keep watering and mowing your lawn as usual. While the extra grass will mostly die off in the spring as your lawn returns to its full glory, the process of overseeding will be wasted if the seeds are not given the opportunity to grow.
Turn Off Your Irrigation
As with most items on this list, this is based on your location. If you are in a warmer area, you will likely want to keep your grass watered all year long, even if you decrease the frequency of your irrigation schedule. In areas where you may experience freezes or constant lower temperatures, it is very important to have your sprinkler system turned off and blown out. Freezes can happen at any time, and if the water in your pipes freezes, there is a risk that your irrigation pipes can rupture. Broken pipes can be very expensive to fix, so save yourself the annoyance of increased bills! If pipes do break, you also run the risk of serious damage to your lawn. Not only can pipes leak and over water your lawn, but fixes may also mar the surface of your pristine landscape.
Check for Weeds
As long as you are caring for your lawn, you will need to keep up with weed removal. These annoying and hearty plants will pop up wherever and whenever they please! If you will continue your lawn care throughout the winter, make sure they are promptly removed. If you halt your lawn care in the cold months, be on the lookout for a few weeks after you stop, and when you start caring for your grass again as some weeds can lie dormant for months.
Hire a Professional
If you don’t want to deal with the stress of keeping up with your lawn care throughout the cold, you should consider a lawn care service. At Tropical Gardens Landscape, we will always make sure your Sarasota landscaping is taken care of. We can work with you to determine the best treatments and irrigation changes for your lawn. Give our experienced team a call today, and we will help you keep your yard green and healthy for years to come! We can’t wait to hear from you!