dry season irrigation

lawn care

Caring for your Lawn in the Dry Season

Most people are surprised to learn that South Florida has a dry season. The entire state is typically characterized as a tropical environment 365 days a year. October through May marks the official dry season and in January, the state can receive as little as 1.5 inches of rainfall.

A lawn is more than just the green space that surrounds homes and businesses. It’s an eco-friendly way to reduce erosion and glare, buffer sound, cool the environment, and filter contaminates. A lush lawn provides curb appeal and increases home values. However, the road to a healthy lawn is dependent upon proper care throughout the year, especially during the dry season.

Fertilizing

Different types of grass have specific care requirements. The most common turf grass in South Florida is St. Augustine grass. The final fertilizer application should be timed for early fall in South Florida. The amount of fertilizer will depend on if the lawn is established or newly created, the type of soil, pH levels, and overall health.

Mowing

Many homeowners keep their lawns too short. The average lawn should be maintained at a height of about three inches. Lower grass heights open the door to insect pests such as nematodes and doesn’t let the grass root as securely.

Short lawns are less resistant to drought. Only 1/3 of the grass height should be removed at one time. To keep a lawn at three inches, mow when it’s about 4-4.5 inches tall. Be sure to keep lawn mower blades sharp so they cut cleanly rather than tearing the grass. Let grass clipping dry before removing them.

Irrigation

During the dry season, irrigation is called for when the grass doesn’t easily recover. It begins to have a blue-green appearance, or it starts to wilt. About ¾ of an inch is usually sufficient during the dry season when turf grass isn’t growing as vigorously and should be applied on an as-needed basis.

Weeds and Insects

Controlling weeds and insects is a year-round task. There are different types of weed killers that can be applied, but it’s essential that homeowners know the difference. There are weed killers for actively growing weeds and herbicides for pre-emerging weeds.

The same is true for insect control. Applying insecticides can actually make a lawn more susceptible to damage and disease. It’s always best to consult with a lawn care professional with the knowledge, training and experience to provide expert guidance.

RCH Landscaping is a full-service landscape company based in Boca Raton, Florida. We design, install and maintain Commercial and Residential landscapes all around Boca Raton, Delray Beach, and The Palm Beach areas. Our team of highly skilled landscape technicians has an undisputed track record of creating and maintaining beautiful commercial and residential landscapes all over South Florida.

Contact RCH Landscaping Today for a Free Estimate

561-779-9760

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Irrigation During the Dry Season

Keeping landscapes sufficiently watered during the dry season in Florida can be tricky without an automated irrigation system. Watering by hand or with a sprinkler and hose system can create far more problems than insufficient moisture in the ground. Irrigation during the drier, winter months is dependent on soil composition, type of grass planted, and the presence of shade trees.

More abundant rainfall during the summer months may have prompted homeowners to turn their irrigation systems off, while others are trying to control their irrigation systems manually. Without an irrigation system that can correct for rainfall and other variables, watering the landscape becomes a paramount concern. The University of Florida Extension Service recommends watering two days per week. That can be adjusted to tailor moisture to different areas.

Exact location is also a factor in watering and the type of plants within the landscape. If grass is walked on and the footprints don’t readily dissipate, the lawn needs moisture. Another sign is if the blades of grass are folding or the color is off. When those signs are present, ¾ inch of water should be applied. Make sure that all areas are being watered equally.

A good way to determine how long sprinklers should be run involves placing shallow cans or containers in various places around the yard. Run the sprinklers for 30 minutes and see how much water has accumulated in the containers. If they have ¾ inch, 30 minutes of watering is sufficient. If there’s ½ an inch, water for 40 minutes or 50 minutes if there’s only ¼ inch in the cans.

Watering should be performed early in the morning whenever possible at any time of the year to minimize evaporation. Following a measured water regiment for landscapes will keep them healthy throughout the winter months and save money on water bills.

 

RCH Landscaping is a full service landscape company based in Boca Raton, Florida. We design, install, and maintain Commercial and Residential landscapes all around Boca Raton, Delray Beach and The Palm Beach areas. Our team of highly skilled landscape technicians have an undisputed track record of creating and maintaining beautiful commercial and residential landscapes all over South Florida.

Contact RCH Landscaping Today for a Free Estimate

561-779-9760

Read more