Things to be aware
Our Florida winter is almost upon us. And as the weather continues to cool down and the grass continues to slow its growing pattern, there are a couple things to be aware of.
While it is unlikely that we'll be seeing much in the way of insect activity for the next several months, the cool weather can activate Brown patch fungus pathogen. The primary cause of Brown patch is moisture around the roots that is not being absorbed by the plant because of its slow growth and is not being wicked away because of the cooler ground temperatures.
Preventing brown patch fungus
It is important to make sure we are not irrigating more than two times per week in this season, and be prepared to decrease that to one time per week as the weather gets cooler. Our technicians have been preparing the root structure of the turf we service with potash and phosphites.
These products will help to prevent fungus. They are also prepared to treat it, should they come upon it. However, if you or one of our technicians sees that you have developed Brown patch fungus, we may be recommending that you do a granule fungicide pretreat in the early fall or late summer of next year. As the granule fungicide pretreatment is quite costly, the cost of the product is passed on to the home owner and the application is free. Our office would call you with this recommendation to get your approval before doing this treatment.
Turf going dormant
The other consideration to be aware of, is that your turf will go into some state of dormancy. There are several variables that determine the degree of dormancy your turf goes into. These are; the actual coldness of our winter in terms of sustained ground temperatures, trees and structures like buildings or fences on your property that protect the turf, and the root structure from getting as cold as it would in an open area. Also, different types of turf have different dormant stages.
Zoysia grass, for example, normally enters into dormancy earlier and stays dormant longer than St. Augustine grass. Some will see their turf turn completely brown, others partially brown, and yet others may stay green throughout the winter depending on these variables. Dormancy is a normal life stage for turf and only under severe sustained cold do we see permanent damage to turf in this region. That is not to say that it doesn't happen, but it does take several days of hard freeze to kill the turf completely to the roots.
Continued effort to improve the root structure
Of course, it is important for us to continue in our effort to improve the root structure of the plant through the fall and continue weed control throughout the winter in an effort to ensure the turf stays as healthy as possible and is prepared for next growing season. Just remember, we have you covered.
Have a happy and wonderful holiday season, from all of us here at Integrity Lawn and Ornamental.
Call (904) 721-0182 to schedule your FREE evaluation today.