Florida Winter Lawn Care

For those without a skilled lawn maintenance company at their beck and call maintaining a beautiful green lawn of the unpredictable Florida winter can be difficult. Will winters in the Sarasota area are extremely mild, the combination of often, a prolonged dry season with a few cold fronts that can pass through, adds stresses to turf that are not present most of the year.

The difficulty lies in several factors, cooler temps means Florida lawns require less irrigation. Too much watering will cause many problems including pests, fungi and root rot issues. However even though it's cooler and the less water is needed it is usually very dry at the same time. Couple that with an occasional overly warm weather front and you can easily go the other way, and have your lawn suddenly dry out. Careful attention to correct irrigation amounts for the weather conditions and soil moisture content will be essential to get right for a healthy winter lawn. A well-designed and modern irrigation system will have sophisticated control systems that can help by monitoring, temps, humidity and even keep track of the last rain fall. These systems can go a long way on helping to maintain proper watering amounts over the winter months.

Another but less known factor in maintaining our lawn's health over the Florida winter is a regular and correctly administered lawn fertilizer program. As anyone knows who has lived in the Sarasota area for a while, our soil is sandy with little organic matter, and poor in nutrients. To maintain health through stressful conditions grass will need to have a healthy and deep root system. A properly planned fertilizer program during the peak growing season will help prepare the lawn for dryer and cooler conditions by ensure that that the grass has a robust root system going into the winter. Deeper roots will better be able to access moisture, and nutrient from the soil allowing the grass to deal with an occasional dry spell or cold snap. Fertilizer can be a double edge sword though if not done correctly. Too much may actually harm the turf over time by causing the build-up of salts in the soil. With less water available to remove them, the buildup these salts or other excess compounds from too much fertilizer can begin to damage the plants. In addition too much fertilizer is not only potentially harmful to the grass plants, but it cost more money had can have a major impact on the quality of water in Sarasota bay and the Gulf of Mexico. A frequent unwelcome example of the impact of too much fertilizer are the red tide blooms ewe have begun to be more accustomed too.

A third factor in keeping lawns healthy over the Sarasota winter, is mowing. It's important not to cut the grass too short during the dry months. By cutting the grass too short you in advertently cause the lawn to lose moisture and accelerate water loss by evaporation from the turf. The shorter grass allows the sunlight, and airflow to penetrate further down and reduces the shade naturally created on the grass base when the turf is longer. Your lawn mowing company should increase the height of their mower deck during the dry months to help maintain levels of moisture.

If you have issues with your lawns health or quality contact the Lawn Maintenance team at Grants Gardens and we can make sure your home's lawn stays healthy and green all-year.

Be Safe While Lighting Up Your Landscape For the Holidays

Holiday lights add cheer to the season, but if not properly installed and cared for, they can become a hazard. Make your holiday a safe one by inspecting and testing your lights before hanging them. Use caution with placement and use, and never leave the lights unattended if you are not home.

Use extension cords correctly. Do not use inside cords for outside decoration, and do not overload them by putting more than three strings of lights into one cord. Try to use the length of cord that you will need. Current going through the cords can heat them up, so you do not want a cord coiled on the floor in layers. This could be a fire hazard.

Turn the holiday lights off periodically when they are on a Christmas tree, especially a cut tree inside your home. The lights can heat up, especially if there is an undetected crack in the cord, causing a fire. After four hours, give the bulbs a little time to cool off before putting them back on. If you have a live Christmas tree keep it watered, a dry tree is most liable to catch fire from even a spark caused by pulling the cord out of a socket.

Should I use LED lights?

They look just like the standard incandescent holiday that you've grown used to, only better. For one thing, they last longer with a 50,000 hour bulb life, they are safer - due to burning at a lower temperature, and are practically unbreakable. But most importantly, the LED lights are more efficient - they use 90% less energy than the lights your neighbor Phil leaves up year-round.

According to the website getwithgreen.com, an average Christmas tree decorated with incandescent string lights will use 75 KW per 30-day period. The same tree using LED lights will burn only 7.5 KW, a savings of 68.5 KW per Christmas tree. Consider if you will, the sheer number of Christmas Trees in your neighborhood, your town, or your city. Throw in the amount of outdoor lighting that we see this time of year as well, and that's a significant amount of energy being used - energy that could be saved merely by everyone switching to the more eco-friendly LED lighting.

Save Money and be Safer By Properly Storing Holiday Lights

Storing the lights so they do not crimp and tangle is for safety reasons, but also makes it easier for you to use them the following year. Coil them up and keep them in place using bread twist ties and then store them in a plastic bag, freezer bag size. You can also wind them around an empty cardboard wrapping paper roll and then cut a slit in the cardboard to anchor the end. By correctly storing your lights, you will get many years of use from them.

Wash your hands immediately after handling your holiday lights. Many of the cords contain lead, and it can rub off on your hands. There will be a manufacturer's warning on your lights if they contain this substance.

Happy Holidays and if all of the above sounds like too much work contact Grants Gardens - We now offer a holiday lighting decorating service! Just Call us and we will bring and install a beautiful lighting display that is sure to get your neighbors attention.