How to best care for your lawn
A good lawn maintenance program includes proper mowing, watering and pest control. With our water restrictions, be sure that your sprinkling system is calibrated to deliver ¾-inch of water each time you water. (Read "How to Calibrate Your Sprinkler System" at ufdc.ufl.edu/IR00003389/00001 ).
Fertilizing: If you choose to fertilize your St. Augustine lawn this month, please note that University of Florida research shows that repeatedly using large amounts of water soluble nitrogen fertilizer can ignite a population explosion of Southern chinch bugs. Chinch bugs are the number one insect pest of St. Augustine grass, the state's most popular lawn grass.
UF turfgrass experts advise homeowners to use no more than 1 pound of slow-release nitrogen fertilizer per 1,000 square feet of lawn. For more information about Southern chinch bugs, visit edis.ifas.ufl.edu/lh036 .
Mowing: Your grass should be mowed at the proper height for the variety to encourage deep roots that increase drought tolerance. Mow often enough so that no more than 1/3 of the leaf surface is removed.
A sharp-bladed mower is necessary to ensure a clean cut, which prevents leaf blade damage caused by tearing the grass tips.
Proper mowing heights
|Grass type||Height in inches|
|St. Augustine (Floritam)||3 ½-4|
|Dwarf St. Augustine (Seville, Captiva, Delmar)||2 ½-3|