1702 Lakeside Avenue, Suite 6 St. Augustine, Florida 32084
This month we will be applying a combination insecticide and nutritional supplement to your yard.
As we enter summer and even higher daily temperatures, it’s more important than ever to make sure lawn is receiving adequate irrigation. Our phones have been busy with calls from clients wondering why they have yellow/brown areas that are not growing and in some cases, has already died. We entered our growing season with a severe rainfall deficit, which is still on-going, and as of this writing, no substantial rain is forecast for our area.
Your grass needs roughly 2” of water per week. More would be better, but unfortunately our current regulations allow us only twice weekly which means you need to put out an inch each time. Please remember that irrigating your lawn a small amount on a more frequent basis is not good because the water does not get down to the roots. In our late spring and summer temperatures, that water simply evaporates before it reaches the soil, which is where it needs to be so that the roots can absorb it. Over time the roots will come up to the water and the end result will be a shallow/poor root system making your lawn susceptible for weeds, insect and disease issues. Go outside early in the morning to check your grass. If the blades are folded, that means they are wilted and need water.
Additionally, mowing an overly dry lawn often results in yellow lines from the weight of the mower, especially if the mowing pattern isn’t changed on a weekly basis. St. Augustine grass does not like a lot of traffic, which means if you have areas that are overly dry and repeatedly walked on by you or any pets, it will most likely result in yellowing/browning.
If you have areas prone to drying out more rapidly after running your irrigation, a hand held hose equipped with a spray nozzle that can be adjusted so water flows only as needed is allowed anytime.” So if you still have “hot spots” in your yard that just aren’t receiving enough water with the twice weekly watering that we are allowed, consider hand watering those areas early in the morning or evening, before the heat sets in.
Regardless if you use an irrigation maintenance company to check your system, we implore you to verify that your lawn is receiving the correct amounts by performing a very easy test by placing empty tuna cans throughout your lawn (or like size containers) and running your system as you normally would. You want 1” of water in each can. No irrigation system is perfect, so you will most likely find some areas receive more and some less, which means you will need to adjust your system. I can tell you first hand that this season I was able to convince several clients who swore their trouble areas “looked” like it was getting the right amount, but after performing the easy “tuna can test”, discovered what we suspected, inadequate watering. It’s just impossible to verify with the naked eye.
We have also received several calls about “mysterious” dying or dead spots after our clients have had work performed at their home. i.e., pressure washing, new pavers, tree trimming, construction, etc. Be mindful that often times materials, tools, etc. have to be placed on your lawn while that work is being performed which will often leaves its mark, particularly in higher temperatures and dry conditions. We personally experienced this in our own front and back yard after having major work done (tree trimming, removal of a large diseased oak tree and paver paths and patios added). It simply couldn’t be helped. Once all of the work was complete, we had numerous areas that needed immediate attention. We supplemented those areas with hand watering to see which would recover. After some time it was obvious which areas we needed to add St. Augustine grass plugs. I am happy to say that this year you would never know where we had to replace the grass because we adhere to the proper cultural practices of correct mowing (3 1/2”-4” height and weekly during the growing season) and irrigation (1” twice weekly with hand watering of our trouble spots).
In close to 30 years in business and many more years in this industry, we have set ourselves apart from some of our competitors with being honest about what it takes to achieve a beautiful and even more importantly, healthy lawn. As explained to new clients, our program is based on the recommendations of the University of Florida who created St. Augustine grass. There is a lot of science that goes into what needs to be done for it to be healthy and beautiful and the applications we make are only a small part. We truly care about your lawn and want you to achieve the best results from our program. I know it can be daunting to learn what you need to do on your end but it truly isn’t that difficult once you start practicing the proper cultural practices.
We wish you a very happy Father's Day!