Aug is a very interesting month sometimes its too hot and we dry out and other years we get too much rain and we are way too wet. So this months tip will be two parted dry and wet.
Dry: Aug is one of hottest moths in Florida and just like you your lawn and plants can become dehydrated quickly, so keep an eye on the weather and the amount of water your property is getting. A dry lawn will have a silver tint to it in spots, those spots will be more noticeable during the day. Dry lawns encourage insect s like chinch bugs in St.Augustine and Mole crickets in Bahia. In areas that are consistently dry the turf is weaker and unwanted weeds and grasses can encroach. When correcting a dry spot in your lawn you should correct just that spot and a few feet out from it only. You really should not water your entire lawn and landscape because your front yard has a dry spot. Why not? Because this is overwatering the rest of the turf and the plants, and when you over water the rest of the lawn you are actually hindering the growth of the root system in those areas. Now don’t get me wrong I know that realistically you are not going to be out in your lawn only watering a five foot section on Tuesday and the 30 ft section that pops up on Friday, I just saying that instead of just increasing the times and or frequencies of your irrigation system Why not try supplementing water in specific areas that need it and keep the excess out of the areas that don’t. This will help you grow a deeper and stronger root system which is the key to a healthy lawn.
Wet: Aug is also a month were we should be getting our afternoon showers or even the occasional tropical storm, which can lead to a situation where your property gets too much water. Too much water is actually a bigger problem than under watering, because with too much water we can drowned the roots of your lawn and or plants. One of the biggest problems we have in this area is a poor root system to begin with. I always harp on the fact that people water too much in the winter but the truth is most water too much all the time. Over watering hinders the root growth of almost all plants, promotes fungus and even encourages weed development. If we are getting too much rain hopefully you did not water too much in the earlier months and you have a strong healthy lawn to ward off fungus. Fungi run ramped at this time of the year if we have a lot of rain do to the fact that the humidity is so high and it is so bloody hot. There is no economical fungus preventative and it really isn’t something I would suggest anyway so you have to be reactive. If you suspect you have a fungus call a professional to get an accurate diagnosis befor you waste time and money applying something you don’t need to or the wrong thing. Many fungi can be taken care of without the use of fungicides and or may not need to be treated for. If you do have a fungus make sure you or your lawn care company make note of where it is and try to keep the area dryer next year.
For those of you doing yourself now is a month where you should be treating for insects like Chinch bugs and Sod Web Worms. Bifetherin is a good contact insecticide for Sod Web Worms and to kill active chinch bugs but you will have to re apply in 7-14 days with chinch bugs to kill the new ones that hatch. Imidacloprid is a great systemic insecticide that can be combined with bifetherin to make it a one application and done. (last about 60 days) Lower the amount of Nitrogen and increase the amount of Potassium (Double the Potassium to the amount of Nitrogen) Also many counties have a fertilizer restriction of some sort so check with your local extension service or county officials for more information. For those of you in Sarasota or Manatee counties with a No Nitrogen or Phosperous restriction this month use Minor and Macro nutrient blends that are high in Iron and potassium as well as some Mg to maintain color