by Eric Gibson
If you live in a community that includes minor monthly lawn services like I do, you may have weeds in your St. Augustine lawn. This is quite common among Home Owners Associations (HOAs) in South Florida due to the same lawn maintenance equipment (i.e., mower) being used on multiple lawns in the community, spreading the seeds of ONE lawn’s weeds to ALL of the lawns. Just like the saying “one bad apple spoils it for the bunch,” the same is happening for community lawns. Except now you can apply this archaic adage to something a little more modern than a “bunch of apples!”
So what do you do when one lawn soils it for the bunch? Do you knock on your neighbor’s door and kindly ask them to keep their weed seeds off your turf? Do you complain to the president of the HOA who probably can’t do much to instruct the maintenance crew on proper weeds protocol and procedures? No to both. What you’re about to embark on is a solo adventure. Let’s face it: it is your lawn. And in the lawn world, more often than not, it’s every lawn for itself. But you’re not alone in the struggle. Here are a few helpful tips and tricks:
1) Maintain Proper Cultural Practices
We’re talking irrigation, mowing and fertilization. If you have automatic sprinklers, you may be doing more harm than good to your lawn. The best practice for irrigation is to water only when the grass tells you to water. When grass is thirsty, you will see that the blades may curl up slightly, sport a blue-gray appearance or leave a footprint when you step on it. The main idea is that you don’t want to overwater your lawn, you want to grow good roots.
As for mowing, the proper length for St. Augustine grass is ¾” – 4”. If you don’t have any control over that, the best you can do is inform your HOA president.
Fertilization is important for a healthy lawn. Nozzle Nolen uses a natural, liquid fertilizer that contains carbon and apply it to our lawns monthly.
2) Don’t Try and Grow Grass Where the Grass Can’t Grow
With lawns, it’s important to be realistic. If an area of grass doesn’t receive 8-10 hours of sunlight a day and is hidden in the shade for most of that time, that part of your lawn is hopeless. Surrender to nature.
3) Make Sure Your Lawn Is Bug-Free
If your lawn has any kind of turf destroying insects or disease, there will be openings in the grass for weeds to grow in and thrive. Just remember: weeds are established whenever something is not right.
4) Pulling Weeds by Hand Is Environmentally Responsible
Your weeds may not even be limited to one specific type. You may have learned to become accustomed to the beautiful varieties out there: Dollar Weed, Florida Pusley, Crabgrass, etc. Get to know your grass and take note of which types of weeds are popping up where and at what pace. If you have patches, get down on those knees and start picking! If the weeds are literally strangling the entirety of your lawn, you may need to treat your lawn with a herbicide.
5) Hire a Professional Lawn Care Company
Lawn Care Professionals can make sure that all of the practices above are in place and that your lawn is up to code. And if you already have an existing weed, insect or disease issue, we can treat that and get your lawn back into great shape!
Don’t like the idea of embarking on a solo adventure? Let’s do it together! For a free inspection of your lawn, call Nozzle Nolen at (561) 854-3544 or visit www.nozzlenolen.com.