Summer lawn care here in Florida is unique and sometimes difficult. The extreme heat and periods of drought can affect even the toughest plants. What’s more, many counties, cities, towns, and even HOA’s have water restriction programs in place that you must consider when caring for your lawn. At Green Solutions Lawn Care & Pest Control, our smart lawn care plans will have your lawn luscious green all summer while conserving resources and following all regulations. If you still want to tackle it yourself, here are some of our best tips:
If you live in Tampa or Hillsborough County, you must follow year-round water conservation measures set in place by the Hillsborough County government. This means only watering your lawn on certain days and within certain hours. Not following these watering restrictions can lead to some hefty fines if not addressed.
Because of Tampa’s proximity to the Gulf of Mexico, we have to be extra diligent about fertilizer runoff. Use a slow-release fertilizer in the spring and fall on your lawn. If palm trees border your lawn, you can use palm tree fertilizer on the entire lawn. It is not advised to fertilize your lawn during the summer, but if you do, use a fertilizer that does not contain nitrogen or phosphorus. This is because nitrogen and phosphorus runoff can contribute to a type of algal bloom known as “red tide,” which disrupts local marine life.
If you only want your border bushes to be a maximum of 3 feet tall, then source bush varieties that only grow to that height. Planting bushes that grow much taller will require extensive pruning in the hot summer months, which will put extra stress on the plant when it is the hottest. This will lead to a dull, weary-looking plant that will not do your lawn justice.
Just because you can water your lawn for 8 hours straight on your watering days doesn’t mean you need to. Most lawns will only need ¾” of water, two days per week, to stay healthy and green. So how do you know exactly how much you are watering? Place a couple of empty tuna cans around your lawn at various distances from your sprinklers. Run the sprinklers for 30 minutes, check how much water is in the cans, and adjust your time as needed. This may also show you areas of your lawn that are not getting enough water while others are getting too much, meaning you need to move some sprinkler heads to make things more consistent.
Plants native to Florida, or native to areas with similar climates, are the best to adorn your lawn, especially during the summer months. These plants are made tough enough to take the hot Florida sun, drenching rains, periods of drought, sandy soil, and sometimes even salty sea sprays. Try out beautyberry, black-eyed Susans, coreopsis, and Bolivian sunset gloxinia for some bright, colorful options.
Many types of grass that grow best in Florida like to be a little taller, so resist the urge to lower those lawnmower blades to the lowest position. Not only will your lawn look better, but it will also stay healthier year-round.
Customize your hardscape to take full advantage of areas where rainfall accumulates. Plant flowers and bushes in these areas that love wet, drenched soil. In areas where rain never accumulates, only use plants that favor dry conditions.
This is a recycling pro-tip and works great in any yard! Instead of throwing all those grass clippings in the trash, use clippings as mulch in flower beds and other areas that need covering. Clippings release nutrients back into the soil that are essential, especially during brutal Florida summers. Just make sure all clippings are dry and don’t pile on more than a couple of inches, or you’ll risk cutting off too much oxygen to the ground beneath.
Summer lawn care in Florida can be demanding, but with proper care, your yard can be a lush, tropical oasis that any homeowner will envy. Don’t want to spend your entire day off tending to the lawn? Call Green Solutions Lawn Care & Pest Control at (813) 684-7336 today for a free estimate on how we can keep your lawn looking its best all year long!