Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Lawn Needs Differ as Weather Gets Colder

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Lawn Needs Differ as Weather Gets Colder

Article excerpt

Byline: Nelson Peterson

To winterize your lawn properly, fertilizing should have been accomplished during September or early October. An application of potassium (potash) might be of some benefit to assist your lawn when it goes through winter stress but we do not recommend applying nitrogen at this time.

Do not fertilize your lawn during the winter; wait until the spring. It is wise to allow Northeast Florida lawns to go dormant from November through February.

You may apply pre-emergent herbicide during this time but it is best used when temperatures are above 75 degrees.

For information on spring fertilizing and the type of fertilizer to use, see our website at

Mowing requirements may be reduced significantly because of slow turf grass growth, but the mowing height should remain the same as during the growing season.

St. Augustine grass should be cut at 3-4 inches, Centipede grass at 11/2-2 inches, Bahia grass at 3-4 inches and Bermuda at 1/2-11/2 inches.

By maintaining these cutting heights, the grass will be less stressed when colder temperatures are encountered.

As during the growing season, mower blades should be sharpened on an as-needed basis.

Never scalp or cut grass too short as root growth directly corresponds to blade length.

Mulching or bagging grass clippings is unnecessary unless the grass has a disease.

Mulching has advantages such as the recycling of grass clippings that contain fertilizer back into the ground, and it prevents the grass clippings from being sent to a landfill.

Mulching has disadvantages if grass is cut when wet or if cut more than a third of its height. Neither of these practices is recommended. Both will cause clumps of grass to be left behind rather than mulching the grass effectively.

An easy check to determine if mulching is occurring properly is to look behind your mower as you mow. …

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