Let the spring lawn work begin

by Nelson Peterson, Master Gardener

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It's time again to get your lawn in shape. As the weather warms up, homeowners begin to work on their lawns.

Let the fertilizing begin

February was the month to start applying a pre-emergence crab grass control. Look for a product containing pendimethalin. This month, you can consider applying fertilizer after the danger of frost has passed.

Later this year, a Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services ruling becomes effective. It regulates labeling requirements for urban turf fertilizers, limiting phosphorus (second number on the bag) in fertilizers, including the amount used on lawns.

Fertilize using a slow-release nitrogen fertilizer such as sulfur-coated urea.

Let the watering begin

Irrigate your lawn as needed when the leaf blades begin to fold lengthwise or when footprints remain visible long after being made. Irrigate when half of the lawn shows these signs. Watering properly will reduce your chances of fungus-related problems.

Effective March 8, the St. Johns Water Management District Governing Board adopted rule amendments that tightened the district's irrigation restrictions. The rules are as follows:

- Daylight saving time: Residential landscape irrigation is limited to two days per week. It's Thursday and Sunday for even-numbered addresses, and Wednesday and Saturday for odd-numbered addresses or homes without addresses.

- Standard time: Residential landscape irrigation is limited to one day a week. It's Saturdays at odd-numbered addresses or homes with no addresses, and Sundays for even-numbered addresses.

- No residential landscape irrigation is allowed between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.

- Landscape irrigation is limited to 1 inch of water and/or 1 hour per irrigation zone on each day that irrigation occurs.

Let the mowing begin

Mow or cut no more than 1/3 of the grass leaf at any one time. Mower blades must be sharp, preferably changed every four cuttings. Leave grass clippings on the ground to mulch. Don't mow when grass is wet.

For more information, go to nassau.ifas.ufl.edu.

Nelson Peterson is an active Master Gardener with the Nassau County Extension Service.

For information on the Master Gardener program, contact Rebecca Jordi at 548-1116 or rljordi@ufl.edu.

 

 

 

Nelson Peterson

Nelson Peterson lives on Piney Island and is an active Master Gardener volunteer with the Nassau County Extension Service and the University of Florida/IFAS.