It's easy to take Florida panhandle turfgrass for granted. It keeps our feet cool during the hot summer months and adds instant curb appeal when it's lush and green at the peak of Florida's prettiest seasons.
But the healthiest, most beautiful Florida lawns are supported by a meticulous lawn care regimen! So, what's the secret to healthier grass every time you mow your Florida panhandle lawn? Here are five tips to get you on your way.
Healthy Turf Tip #1: Keep Your Mower Blade Sharp
A clean cut every week is one of the best ways to keep your grass healthy and free of pests and diseases. Using a lawnmower with dull blades actually injures each individual blade of grass, making it more susceptible to infection and attacks from pests.
Insect turf pests that will attack a weak lawn include cinch bugs, mole crickets, armyworms and sod web worms. Broadleaf weeds and sedge grass are among the many weeds that will plague turfgrass that's been mowed with dull blades or is otherwise susceptible to pests.
Healthy Turf Tip #2: Shorter Isn't Better
Think of each blade of grass as a tiny solar panel. When you cut your turf too short, you'll limit each blade's ability to soak up the sun, which ultimately hurts the process of photosynthesis. Without that exposure to the sun, your grass won't be able to absorb the nutrients it needs!
A good rule of thumb is the 1/3 rule: Mow no more than one-third of the total length of your grass to keep it as healthy as possible. Because the height of a blade of grass is just about equal to the depth of its root zone, limiting what you cut will help keep the root structure in tact and your grass growing as healthily as possible.
Healthy Turf Tip #3: Water Less Often
This tip goes along with keeping your grass longer: The longer your Florida turfgrass is, the less water it will need in the long run. And, in the meantime, we like this tip: If you walk across your lawn then turn around and see your footprints in the grass, it's time to water.
Healthy Turf Tip #4: Switch Your Mowing Direction
It's not just that the criss-cross pattern looks cool and professional, either. Changing the direction of your mowing is actually better for the health of your Florida turfgrass, too. When you mow your lawn the same direction each time, it trains the blades of grass to grow in the same direction, eventually flattening them out. This is particularly true if you're using a reel mower.
Healthy Turf Tip #5: Be Consistent
Yes, mowing your lawn is a chore. But to keep your lawn healthy, being consistent with your mowing schedule is just as important as all the tips listed above — for all those reasons and more.
If you want help keeping to a schedule that encourages the best possible turfgrass growth and health, consider hiring a landscape maintenance contractor to do the heavy lifting for you!
GreenEarth Landscape Services can help. Help keep your Florida panhandle turfgrass healthy by calling our landscape maintenance professionals. Call our Panama City Beach office at (850) 236-1959 or our Santa Rosa Beach office at (850) 267-0010 to set up an appointment. Or, fill out the simple online form on our website to schedule a free consultation.