People in Brevard County have already gone through some periods of particularly cold weather and we thought it might be helpful to share some information on what to expect to see happen to your St. Augustine lawns as these cold spells reoccur throughout the winter. We’ve included a section on lawns other than St. Augustine as well, although much of what pertains to St. Augustine lawns also applies to these other types of grasses. No two lawns are identical, which is why we are equipped to customize our applications on-site for any individual lawn, but the following information applies in a general way to all Brevard County lawn care.

Color: Expect your grass to become much browner during the winter as the result of the cold. Because of the temperature and the shorter hours of sunlight, there will not be much active top-growth of new, green blades. It may try to start growing again during periods of warmer temperatures, but even at those times it will be limited. It is not a good idea to encourage top-growth by applying a nitrogen fertilizer at this time – doing so will make the grass more susceptible to damage should another cold spell move in. Our normal treatment at this time includes phosphorous (primarily for root development and disease resistance during these colder months) and micronutrients (iron and manganese, especially) in an effort to maintain as much green as possible. Also, we use products with a higher sulfur content to lower our typically alkaline soil ph to a level more appropriate for St. Augustine grass.

Weeds: This is the time of year when winter annual weeds, most notably chickweed and Asiatic hawksbeard, are able to germinate. Any weeds that do appear will be treated, and pre-emergent herbicides are applied to minimize new weeds from being able to germinate during future months. Also, any remaining live crabgrass is likely to be killed off if it gets cold enough, and our pre-emergent herbicides should reduce the amount of crabgrass that is likely to grow back once the weather warms up.

Diseases: If temperature and moisture conditions allow, large patch fungus (formerly known as brown patch fungus) can be an issue. This will be treated with the appropriate fungicides in order to control this disease. Minimizing the amount of water given to the lawn will help in this control.

Insects: There should be very little pressure from lawn damaging insects at this time of year, but we will be inspecting for any evidence of activity and treating as needed. Fire ants, fleas and ticks may still be active as temperatures fluctuate and we will continue to treat for these pests as needed.

Watering and Mowing: Keep watering to a minimum – once per week should be enough if we do not get rain. Since the grass is not growing vigorously it does not need much water. Over-watering will only encourage weed growth and disease pressure. Mowing height should be kept at 3 ½ to 4 inches, which will help in maintaining color and resistance to the environmental stresses of winter.

Lawns Other Than St. Augustine: Bahia and zoysia grass lawns, the two other most common types of lawns here, will go very much dormant and lose their green color at this time of year – do not be alarmed. Once the weather and the soil start to warm up in the spring these lawns will recover and start to green up again. Our winter applications have been designed to encourage a much quicker, fuller recovery as soon as the climate permits and also protects these lawns from weed and disease issues throughout the winter season. As with St. Augustine lawns, minimal watering and proper mowing (if mowing is required at all) will help to minimize winter stresses and aid in spring recovery.

If you have any questions or concerns, we will be happy to discuss them with you and inspect your lawn for you at any time. Please feel free to contact us.

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Article Source: Slug-A-Bug