How to Grown Grass in Florida
Florida lawns are constantly under stress and trying to grow a lawn and have it survive in heat and humidity as well as weeds, poor water retention, nasty insects and fungus can challenge even the most knowledgeable green thumb. Constant lawn maintenance is required and you need to have the proper ph balances to control weeds and keep those insects from intruding.
Florida soil has a very unique nutritional requirement then those in other parts of the country. Most common store bought fertilizers adds phosphorus that we actually have plenty of and can do more damage.
It’s not impossible to have a beautiful lawn but there are some things we need to be aware of in this sunny climate.
1. The kind of turf grass you want to grow and the kind of grass that actually will do well here may be 2 different things. The most durable and easiest types of grass to grow here are Floratam and St. Augustine. Many try and use Bermuda grass which is pretty and you will find it on some golf courses but it is very difficult to maintain as a lawn.
2. Installing an underground irrigation system is imperative. You may think you will water as needed but because of the dry spells your chances of keeping up with it at the times that are important are probably slim to none. When installing your system make sure that all of your lawn will be watered when the sprinklers come on.
3. It is important to kill and weeds and grass that maybe lurking on your lawn currently before you add any new seed. Once you spread weed killer it can take about a week before it will die and you need to rake up all of the dead grass to prepare to lay your new sod.
4. Determine how much grass seed you will need of either the Floratam or St. Augustine grass so you are prepared when you go to order. If you bring in the measurements of your lawn to your local garden center then they can tell you the amount of grass seed you will need. You can get this by simply multiplying the width by the length of your yard to obtain the square footage
5. It is imperative to keep your lawn watered especially for the first couple of weeks after the sod is laid. Make sure you water generously every day. Once the 2 weeks has past then your looking at about 3 x’s a week for at least 30 minutes per day
6. Fertilizing your lawn is very important in Florida. In Florida the lawn has a hard time absorbing nutrients due to the sand so proper nutrition in imperative. The best times to fertilize here are January, March and October and then again in May and August. Check with your local garden center on the strength to use at these times. Crabgrass will also come into play unfortunately so the best time to spread crabgrass killer on your lawn would be in February and September.
7. You want to be aware of Disease and Pests as well.. These little pests will invade the stems and roots of your grass and will affect the overall health of your plants and lawns very quickly.