Cooling temperatures in Southern Florida does not mean landscaping chores can be forgotten. Although, grass will grow slower in the winter months, it still grows. Lawn watering is essential in the cooler months, as well as mulching. Many lawn aficionados believe in leaving the grass trimmings where they lay for mulch. Miami landscaping can be as demanding in the winter time as it is in the summer. Be sure and check the regulations on watering before turning on the sprinklers.
Grass will still need to be cut even though it grows slower in the winter. Continue to cut the grass as always because the clippings do add nutrients back into the soil. Do not cut the grass any shorter than usual. Grass cut too short can burn, and shorter grass has fewer nutrients to feed the roots. Mulch leaves with the mower instead of raking them up. Leaves will add nutrients to the soil.
The time of day the lawn is watered makes a difference. Watering in full sun can burn the grass because water droplets act as magnifiers that increase the sun's power to burn. Water in the morning or early evening for two reasons, one to keep from burning plant leaves and there is less evaporation. Many people adhere to morning watering, because some fear watering at night can promote stem rot and mold on plants and grass. Technically this is possible but the benefits of less evaporation, and cost savings far outweigh the chance of getting powdery mildew and mold. Healthy grass that is well fertilized will be less susceptible to powdery mildew.
Winter time is the perfect time to mulch perennial flowerbeds. New mulch every year helps protect the plants against any unexpected cold snaps. The new mulch acts as insulation and retains water to keep the plants healthy, as well.
Now is the perfect time to plant annuals that provide color well into the winter months. Snapdragons are perfect for a Miami landscaping project. Snapdragons are multi-stemmed flowers of solid or mixed colors. Many people find the spear shaped leaves as appealing as the flowers. Winter gardens are never complete without petunias. Petunias provide nonstop blooming in a variety of colors. Petunias are perfect for window boxes and walkways because of their heavy fragrance and trailing stems.
Winter is a great time to fertilize and reseed St. Augustine grass. Seeding in the summer will stress out new grass seedlings. Fertilizing in the summer is acceptable but rains and heavy watering tends to run off the fertilizer. Grass needs time to build up strength and extreme heat, or cold for that matter will slow its development. Mulch and water regularly until well established.
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