Florida isn’t known for cold, chilly weather, but the winter can still wreak havoc on the grass in your yard. Shorter days, weaker sun strength, and lower temperatures combine to cause damage to grass before spring arrives. Fortunately, there are a few steps you can take to prevent this winterkill and greet spring with a green, healthy lawn.
Plan for Fertilizer
It’s tempting to apply one last round of fertilizer before winter sets in, but it must be done strategically based on where you live in Florida. North Florida, of course, has colder temperatures than the rest of the state, so you shouldn’t add fertilizer after September. October is the cutoff for Central Florida, where it stays warmer a bit longer. Be sure to use a high potassium fertilizer, and skip altogether if it is too late in the year. Fertilizing too close to winter will actually make your grass more sensitive to the cold and thus more prone to damage. Instead of fertilizing in November, wait until the beginning of spring and apply a round of fertilizer then. You won’t risk damaging your grass, and instead you’ll see the turf grow with extra strength. If you live in South Florida, it may very well stay warm long enough to require fertilizer all year round.
Some types of sod are more susceptible to patch fungus disease than others, like Centipede and St. Augustine. All you need to do to prevent fungus is avoid too much nitrogen fertilizer and water in the morning; this ensures that the blades of grass don’t remain wet for long periods of time.
Dye Your Lawn
It’s natural for sod to become brown during the winter, because many types of turf go dormant in cold weather. As soon as the warmth of spring returns, the grass begins to grow green again. But many homeowners don’t want to deal with brown grass all winter, so they are now turning to colorants. Just like dying your hair, you can actually now dye your lawn! It’s a trick that until recently was only used by golf courses and professional athletic fields, but now many lawn maintenance companies will apply the colorants to residential lawns. If you opt for this choice, you can enjoy green grass all winter.