By Rusty, Fri, 08/25/2023 - 14:59

If you want your Ponte Vedra Beach and Nocatee, FL Areas landscape to look like an outdoor oasis, it is time to invest in professional irrigation. Irrigation is about ensuring your lawn and landscape get the right amount of water at the right time to maximize absorption. Whether you want to play games with your family or walk barefoot through the yard to the pool, having a reliable watering system is essential. 


Related: 3 Areas of a Lawn Where an Irrigation System Is Beneficial in the Ponte Vedra Beach and Sawgrass, FL Areas


Reasons to Invest in Irrigation

While investing in a professional irrigation system is no small sum, the Florida heat can take a toll on your lawn and landscape, leaving it looking dull and lifeless after a long, hot season. A clear advantage of having an automatic irrigation system is that it can be adjusted to the watering needs of every season, relieving you of the worry about whether the outdoor areas are thriving. 


Irrigation Services 

Another compelling reason to invest in professional irrigation is the ongoing inspection and adjustments they can make to prevent you from wasting water through sprinklers pointed in the wrong direction, missing sprinkler heads that spill water but don’t distribute it properly, and other issues that can happen during use. Regular service from the landscape company can ensure proper working with minimal waste and most importantly, a yard that looks like an oasis. 


Irrigation Upgrades 

Irrigation can be a smart landscape upgrade for an existing property. If your watering system is old, upgrading to an automated system that delivers water to sunny and shady areas in the right amounts can improve the health and curb appeal of your lawn and outdoor spaces. 

A new landscape design can be the ideal place to add an irrigation system with smart features that make watering the grass effortless. You can control the system at the touch of your phone but you won’t need to do that often since irrigation has rain sensors that turn off the watering on rainy days so you don’t overwater the landscape. 


Irrigation and Smart Features 

The latest irrigation systems can ensure your lawn is watered early in the morning before the sun is up to burn off the moisture your grass plants need. You can adjust for wind, rain, and temperature variations right from a smartphone. Smart features also include timers that keep the system from working when you are away or only need the lawn and landscape to be watered intermittently. 


Landscape Irrigation Benefits

It might surprise you that modern irrigation systems can deliver water to your landscape beds slowly and consistently through soaker hoses that are not visible but maintain the right watering amounts for landscape shrubs and plants. 

With drip lines that feed directly into your potted plants on the front porch and around the pool, you can enjoy your flourishing planters without having to carry the watering can from place to place, refilling to ensure your gorgeous planters have moisture and plant food so they continue to thrive. 

A sustainable landscape and lawn can be possible with irrigation that is targeted to each particular zone. With the heat and long, warm seasons of the Ponte Vedra Beach and Nocatee climate, a professional irrigation system keeps the curb appeal fresh. 


Related: Create a Sustainable Landscape With Proper Irrigation in the St. Augustine and Silverleaf, FL Areas

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By Rusty, Thu, 06/29/2023 - 16:31

Watering your landscape in the Ponte Vedra Beach and Sawgrass, FL Areas is often non-negotiable. The heat and lack of rain can dry out your lawn and plants, quickly ruining your investment. Does every part of the lawn and landscape need irrigation or just some? Here are the most common spaces to ensure there is ample water. 


Related: Create a Sustainable Landscape With Proper Irrigation in the St. Augustine and Silverleaf, FL Areas


The Lawn 

The lawn is the largest space in the landscape that needs water so an irrigation specialist will ensure the grass has the right watering zones. Each area of the lawn might not need the same amount of water since there are likely some shady spaces that need less water than those in the sun all day. 

One of the benefits of having automatic irrigation is that you don’t have to wonder if the grass is getting enough water because the zones are targeted for the ideal watering amounts and times. The grass will have sprinklers that sit flush with the soil but pop up to shoot water to the various areas. This system efficiently provides water to large areas of the lawn. 


The Landscape Beds 

The landscape beds also need irrigation but it is delivered through a different method. Many plants and shrubs don’t do well with water sitting on their leaves or flowers for too long so a landscape company might suggest using drip irrigation for these areas. 

Drip irrigation is buried just beneath the soil and runs over the plant or shrub base where it allows water to seep out through small holes and go directly to the plant’s roots. Drip irrigation is very effective at getting the water where it is needed most—the roots. Once the water is absorbed by the roots, it travels through the plants to the leaves. 


Drip Irrigation for Potted Plants 

Drip irrigation is also ideal for potted plants because it protects the leaves and flowers that fill out the pots and makes them eye-catching but sends the water right into the dirt. As the water filters through the dirt, it reaches the roots of the plants and flowers to give them plenty of water to thrive and grow. 


Characteristics of the Most Effective Irrigation 

Fortunately, a landscape company has irrigation specialists who can design the watering system for your unique property. this means That no two irrigation systems are alike. The water covers the entire property in the right amounts so the lawn and landscape thrive despite the heat. 

Some characteristics of the most efficient irrigation are that the system is automatic, meaning you don’t have to think about when or how the lawn and landscape are watered. It comes on in the wee morning hours to irrigate the property. 

Another characteristic is that irrigation works when it is the coolest in the darkness of the early morning hours to give the grass and plants time to absorb the water before the sun burns it away. 

Drip irrigation is eco-friendly because it wastes no water and delivers it right to the plant’s roots. When the various areas of your lawn and landscape receive the ideal amount of water, they can remain healthy and strong even in the hottest summer months and revive when the temperatures cool off. 


Related: Experience a Worry-Free Landscape With Proper Irrigation in the St. Augustine and Sawgrass, FL Areas

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By Rusty, Fri, 05/19/2023 - 09:03

When the heat of the sun beats down on your St. Augustine and Sawgrass, FL Areas lawn and landscape, dragging a sprinkler around the yard is not the best option. This is why you need a worry-free way to keep your landscape in good shape with regular watering. The benefits of a proper irrigation system can remove the stress and worry of ensuring your lawn and landscape stay hydrated. 


Related: Create a Sustainable Landscape With Proper Irrigation in the St. Augustine and Silverleaf, FL Areas


Ideal Applications

A professional irrigation system can deliver the ideal amount of water at the perfect time of day for a lawn and landscape that need a drink of water. Each zone has been tailored to the sun or shade it receives throughout the day. 

This means that the sunny areas get more water so they don’t dry out quickly. The grass and plants can flourish in the summer sun because they are healthy and retain moisture. The shady areas can become waterlogged if they get too much water so the zones in the shaded spaces receive less to ensure they have just enough water to thrive there, too.


Targeted Timing 

The timing of the watering system can also be crucial to landscape and lawn health. When your irrigation system is set to water the specific areas in the early morning hours before the sun rises, the plants have ample time to absorb the maximum water amounts.

They can store the moisture in the plants to use it throughout the day. This can keep your lawn and landscape in the best shape so you have the envy-worthy outdoor spaces you want.


Automatic Irrigation 

Knowing your irrigation system will work whether you are home or not can give you peace of mind while you are traveling for work or pleasure. The last thing you need is to come home to a struggling lawn and wilted plants.

Although professional irrigation has rain sensors that keeps the system from operating when there is a certain amount of rain, you can also adjust the system from a smartphone with the tap of your finger.

This can save you money when the lawn and landscape don’t need the same amount or any water. 


Professional Oversight 

Another amazing plus of professional irrigation is just that—professional oversight of the system. An irrigation team can inspect your system for leaks and malfunctioning sprinkler heads to keep the system running at peak performance. 

This is another layer of protection for your lawn and landscape that delivers huge benefits. While you might not be keeping an eye on each zone to see if the amount of water is causing the plants and grass to be healthy with strong growth, they can. 

Replacing any parts of the irrigation system can keep you from wasting water that bubbles over but doesn’t reach the right areas. This can also keep your water bill in a reasonable range. 


Seasonal Maintenance 

Another way professional irrigation can be beneficial is the seasonal maintenance an irrigation team provides. If the system ever needs to be shut down for a time when you will be gone for an extended period in the cooler months or for any other reason, they handle that, too. You don’t have to worry about anything other than enjoying a gorgeous landscape and lawn. 


Related: Maximize Your Water Efficiency by Including Irrigation in Your Landscape Design Plans in the High Springs, FL Area

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By Rusty, Thu, 04/27/2023 - 15:03

Irrigation can be a crucial component of your gorgeous St. Augustine and Silverleaf, FL Areas landscape design and healthy lawn. If you are ready to move toward a more sustainable landscape with smaller grassy areas, irrigation will be essential to ensure the grass remains lush and lovely in the hot weather.  

Related: Maximize Your Water Efficiency by Including Irrigation in Your Landscape Design Plans in the High Springs, FL Area

Irrigation Types to Support a Landscape Design 

There are many factors that can affect the vibrance of your lawn and landscape but one that you can control is the amount of water the plants and grass receive. Fortunately, there are multiple irrigation methods to ensure the entire landscape gets the right amount of water. 

Irrigation Sprinklers  

Sprinklers can be the most common irrigation method for grass as they can throw the water farther to irrigate a larger area. They pop up from the ground to shoot water out over the lawn. Sprinklers are very effective to water multiple landscape types.  

Drip Irrigation  

Drip irrigation can be ideal for planters that can deliver water directly to the plant roots. The water seeps slowly into the soil to keep plants and landscape beds moist. The drip tubes can be hidden so you don’t see them around the planters which can detract from the attractiveness of the planter combinations.  

Mist Irrigation  

Mist irrigation is similar to drip irrigation in that it sends small water amounts to certain parts of the landscape. The mist can form a fine sheen on delicate plants and other parts of the landscape that you want to keep moisture but not wet. Mist irrigation can be perfect for greenhouses where you enjoy propagating flowers and plants.  

Irrigation for Sustainable Landscape Designs  

While sustainable landscapes and lawns might not need the same amount of water as a traditional landscape design, the plants and grasses still need water to become established. Having an irrigation system can come in handy when there is no rain for long periods of time, particularly in the summer when the hot weather and dry conditions can stress a lawn and landscape.  

Not only can a custom irrigation system deliver the right amount of water to various areas of the landscape but this method conserves water and reduces run-off. The efficient water delivery also reduces your water bill since little water is wasted.  

Another benefit of an irrigation system can be the way you can adjust the various zones and water amounts from an app on your phone. Most sprinkler systems have a rain gauge that keeps the system from operating on a rainy day, further conserving water.  

Automatic irrigation operates in the early morning hours before you awaken for the day, delivering water to the landscape areas you have chosen. This can give the grass and plants ample time to absorb the water since it seeps into the ground before the hot sun can burn away the moisture.  

By the time the sun comes up and is in full force, the irrigated water has been absorbed into the plants to hydrate them well.  

Good water management is critical to maintaining a healthy landscape while conserving water at the same time. Less run-off and strategic watering zones can be augmented by irrigation methods, saving you money and reducing excess water waste.  

Related: When Might a Lawn Service Near Me Recommend an Irrigation System in the St. Augustine, FL Area

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By Rusty, Thu, 04/13/2023 - 15:07

Irrigation can be a critical part of maintaining a lovely, healthy High Springs, FL Area lawn. Living in a hot climate can be hard on grass and landscape plants so proper irrigation is necessary to ensure they get the water they need to thrive. An irrigation system can not only keep your lawn watered but can maximize water efficiency. Consider the reasons to include professional irrigation in your landscape design.

Related: When Might a Lawn Service Near Me Recommend an Irrigation System in the St. Augustine, FL Area

Irrigation for a Thriving Lawn and Landscape

Since it is not possible to rely on rain alone in the hot High Springs climate, choosing the right professional irrigation design can be important in many ways. The good news is that these irrigation methods offer several ways to water plants, trees, shrubs, and grass for the most effective coverage. 

Sprinkler Irrigation 

Sprinkler irrigation is perfect for throwing water over a large area. These mechanisms can project irrigation the farthest to reach a large expanse of grass and landscape plants. 

They allow for the most even water distribution and can be programmed to run for the right amount of time for sunny and shady areas. The water comes from overhead to land on the lawn where it can be absorbed by the roots. This can be the most efficient way to deliver water to the soil and ultimately the roots of the grass where it can travel throughout the plants. 

Drip Irrigation

Most homeowners love to have pots of colorful flowers, planted perennials, and seasonal annuals to add visual interest to the landscape. These types of plants can be watered best through drip irrigation which delivers slow, steady water to the roots.

Drip irrigation can be the best way to water plants and flowers with the least amount of waste or evaporation. Plus, there are some plants that should not have wet leaves and drip irrigation can eliminate moisture on the wrong areas. 

Subsurface Irrigation 

Subsurface irrigation can be ideal for your prized rose garden or the fresh vegetables you want to grow from seedlings. This irrigation method is buried beneath the plants to hydrate them at the roots. 

It operates at low pressure and a slow flow rate so the plants have time to absorb the moisture. It can operate automatically or manually depending on your needs. 

Surface Irrigation 

Surface irrigation can be like flooding a small area to let the water absorb on its own. This is the least common irrigation method but it can be very beneficial for certain areas of the landscape. 

Irrigation Benefits 

Providing water to a lawn can be most effective and beneficial when it comes very early in the morning before the sun comes up. The air temperatures are still warm but the hot sun cannot burn away the excess water before it has a chance to filter to the roots of the plants and grass. 

When the irrigation system automatically waters your property before you wake up, there can be ample time for it to filter deeply into the soil. There, the water can reach the roots and travel throughout the plants for the best results. 

Since an irrigation system should run often in a hot climate, your lawn and landscape can utilize the least amount of water for maximum results. 

Related: Enjoy a Healthy, Lush Landscape with Professional Lawn Fertilization in the Nocatee and Ponte Vedra Beach, FL Areas

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By Rusty, Tue, 03/14/2023 - 10:18

When your pride and joy is a thriving lawn and landscape in the St. Augustine, FL area, a working irrigation system is likely a necessity, not a luxury. Here are some of the compelling reasons a “lawn service near me” might recommend installing or upgrading an irrigation system. 

Irrigation for Dry Spells

Quick afternoon showers are not enough to keep lawns and landscaping well hydrated. This can be the primary reason a lawn service would recommend having an irrigation system installed or upgrading one that is not doing your lawn justice. 

Since irrigation can be automated, the ease you can feel by adjusting the watering from an app on your phone can allow you to customize the irrigation. Most irrigation systems have rain sensors that can detect a lack of rain (or too much rain), and will adjust automatically to the current weather. A primary benefit of enlisting a lawn service to handle the irrigation timing can give you peace of mind, no matter what the weather offers. 

Irrigation for Trees and Plants 

When a landscape service updates plantings that have been watered regularly at the plant nursery, irrigation becomes an essential resource to keep them thriving. Irrigation can be essential to protecting this landscaping investment as such features can draw the eyes of passersby and make them take a second look. 

A lawn service crew can monitor these plantings to ensure their continued growth. Initially, the new plants need extra water to establish strong roots. When the roots are growing and the plants are thriving, watering needs can be adjusted to a “normal” setting. 

Irrigation for a Busy Life

Many homeowners are busy with work, kids in school, and travel. The last thing you want to worry about is the amount of water your landscape needs, and this is a big reason why a lawn service may recommend adding or upgrading an irrigation system. 

Since irrigation usually occurs in the early morning hours, it is often finished by the time you rise and start your day. Not only can this relieve you of the responsibility of making sure the lawn and landscape have been watered, but professional irrigation helps you actually conserve water by ensuring it is only used when necessary.

No irrigation zone is running too long and sending water down the driveway to the storm drain. Each portion of your property gets the ideal water amount to boost the health and growth of the grass and plants.

Irrigation for Specific Landscape and Lawn Needs

Each part of the landscape doesn’t need the same irrigation type. While the lawn can require sprinkler heads that spray a long distance, the gorgeous potted ferns with drooping petunias on your patio may need drip irrigation. 

If you are a gardener who loves growing vegetables and herbs, this space can also benefit from soaker or drip irrigation.

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By Rusty, Thu, 07/14/2022 - 19:52

A very popular question we get asked is “should I shut off my irrigation controller when it rains?” To be honest, you shouldn’t have to worry about remembering at all if you have a properly installed system with a weather sensor or smart controller. If you have one of those two things, it does that for you automatically - and so much more. Let us break it down for you…

First, what is a rain sensor?

As you might have guessed, it senses rain.

It’s a device that communicates with your sprinkler controller about the recent rainfall. If enough rain has fallen, then the sensors inform the timer to skip the next irrigation cycle and not run. It’s a convenient piece of technology. If you’re out of town or just unaware of the weather forecast, the rain sensor will make sure your lawn isn’t overwatered.

The sensor would save you the mental anguish and money from not running your sprinklers during a thunderstorm. You’ll conserve water while still maintaining your lawn if you let a rain sensor manage your sprinklers.

Without a rain sensor, overwatering can occur. Not only is this a problem as it can damage the health of your lawn, waste water, and run your utility bills up - but it can also create run off from your property. Once the soil in your lawn absorbs all the water it can at one time, the ground will become saturated.

Second, what is a smart controller?

Smart irrigation technology uses your WiFi signal to read the forecast and soil moisture data to determine if your lawn needs additional watering. This is done with local weather stations that help inform the system whether or not the landscape is in need of water. These controllers are a proven technology to improve outdoor water use efficiencies. The transition will be both cost-effective and useful. Just a year of water-savings can easily pay for the smart controller upgrade, depending on the size of your lawn.

Your smart system will be able to decide how much water is needed, and when. If it rains heavily, the system may skip watering for that day. This type of lawn engineering can save up to 50% in watering costs - which is a lot when you're paying the local utility fees.

But wait, there's more…the smart controller can control many systems from anywhere in the world by opening an app on your phone. You can set your lawn watering schedule, days, and zones, or manually start and stop the sprinklers from your mobile device!

Why would this matter? Let's say you're out of town and your local lawn fertilization company sprays your lawn. Most of the time, they'll email a service slip  requesting you to water their lawn application in that evening. No problem when you have the Hydrawise app!

Be sure to visit other articles we have on this topic:

If we can be of help with any of your St. Augustine or Nocatee lawn care, please don't hesitate to reach out to us give our team a call or text at (904) 813-LAWN. We look forward to working with you!

By Rusty, Thu, 03/10/2022 - 20:05

As we have mentioned before, the second basic need for a lawn is water. Everyone loves to focus on fertilizer, but without proper watering, your lawn cannot thrive. Type of grass, amount of sunlight, temperatures, humidity can all play a role in how much water your yard needs. We have been asked many questions about this topic and want to share some of the answers with you here! For other topics you may have questions about, check out our FAQ page here! 

When is the best time to water my lawn?
Watering in the morning (before sunrise) is the best time for your lawn; it's cooler and winds tend to be calmer so water can soak into the soil and be absorbed by the roots before it can evaporate. Although it might seem smart to wait until the evening, watering in the evening is only recommended in very dry seasons. Under normal watering circumstances, watering at night can cause fungus due to sitting on the lawn too long before evaporating.

How much water does my lawn need?
Most lawns need 1.5-2.5" of water per week, either from rain or sprinklers to get to the roots. This changes through the seasons at certain times of the year, we experience high evaporation (spring and early summer in North Florida) and others we experience low evaporation (fall and winter) due to humidity and temperatures. This also changes within your lawn where certain areas are in full sun (higher need for water) vs. shaded areas (lower need for water). If you're wondering how long you should run your sprinkler zones, please see below. 

Should I water my grass after mowing?
While it's definitely fine to water after mowing the lawn, you should avoid watering before you mow. Wet grass will just clump up as you mow it, clogging your mower and being a pain in general. This is also why you should avoid mowing right after heavy rains.

How do I know if my lawn has enough water?
An easy way to determine if your lawn is wet enough is to push your finger in the soil. If soil does not stick to your finger at all, you should add water. If it is still moist a knuckle or two deep, then it doesn't need water yet. You can also grab a handful of soil and see if any sticks to your hands. If it sticks at all, it has enough moisture. Read our blog post: 4 Signs Your Lawn Has Too Much Irrigation for more information.

How long do I need to run my sprinklers?
Most lawns need 1.5-2.5" of water per week, either from rain or sprinklers to get to the roots. These changes are based on the type of sprinkler head, weather, soil type, amount of sun, and grass/plant type. With all of that said, here is a basic guideline for sprinkler systems to keep a healthy lawn:

Rotor Zones - 40-65 minutes (These are the heads that rotate and cover larger areas of the lawn with one strong stream of water.
Spray / Mist Zones - 20-35 minutes (These are the heads that steadily spray a flat stream of water in a concentrated area and do not rotate)

Drip Zones - 60-90 minutes (These zones just slowly drip water at the base of root systems and do not put out much water at all. Although concentrated, they need more time to fully wet the plant's rootballs)

How can I tell if my Gainesville lawn needs more water?
Grass Blade Folding - St. Augustine and Zoysia leaves have a crease down the center that allows them to open and close as needed. Healthy, well-watered grass will appear almost completely flat and open. When grass begins to dry out, the blade will close in half upon itself, to reduce its exposure to the sun and thus conserve water. This will also give the grass a “hazy” look, as the backs of the blades are not as deep green as the enclosed fronts.

Slow Spring-Back - Healthy grass should return itself to the upright position within a few seconds of being walked upon. If your footprints last more than 5 seconds in the turf, this is a guaranteed sign of drought stress.

How do I keep my yard healthy when I can only water twice a week?
At certain times of year (typically, spring in North Florida), we experience low humidity, warm weather, and minimal rain. These 3 factors cause terrible drought stress in sunny areas of the lawn when they can only get watered two days per week. During those dry spells, we recommend watering in the morning AND in the evening of your scheduled days. (2 days a week) and that's still within the watering guidelines. Much of the problem with this time of year is that the water is evaporated and causing drought stress long before the gap between the 2 days is complete.

For example, if your watering days are Wednesday and Saturday, setting the sprinklers to run at 5am and 9pm both of those days increases the water on the lawn, shortens the gap of stress between the waterings, and keeps you within the watering guidelines.

HOWEVER-this is a plan only to be used during hot and dry times of the year (spring).

Why does Alachua County recommend smart controllers in their new code?
Most people hear "smart" and think of voice activation - like Alexa. Irrigation Smart controllers have nothing to do with voice, but everything to do with saving water. They intelligently optimize your irrigation system by automatically adjusting to your local weather, effectively helping your landscape, and cutting water use. It reads the weather on your WiFi network and then responds to it. For example, it knows if rain is forecasted above 80% for today, it will not water. If it's above 85-degrees, it naturally adjusts with more water and does the same with deducting from cold temperatures.

It's not about voice activation it's about saving water and improving the way you water by the changing weather.

Be sure to visit other articles we have on this topic:
Gainesville Sprinkler Tips for Watering Your Lawn
4 Common Gainesville Sprinkler System Issues to Watch For
Quick Tip: How Much Should I water my Gainesville Lawn in Summer?
5 Reasons to Install a Smart Irrigation WiFi Controller on your Gainesville Sprinkler System

If we can be of help with your Gainesville Irrigation please don't hesitate to reach out to us at (352) 378-LAWN or fill out our form at the top of the page!

By Rusty, Thu, 07/08/2021 - 19:08

Ever heard of the term 'Feast to Famine'?
That is exactly what almost every transition from Spring to Summer is like in North Florida. A couple of weeks ago, lawns were burning up, drought-stressed, and begging for water. It almost seemed like no amount of irrigation could quench their thirst. Fast forward a couple of weeks, and rainstorms are a daily occurrence.

Instead of worrying about sprinklers, people are worried about drainage solutions and run-off erosion. Quite the change for a short period of time. So why would I be writing about irrigation in a season like this? Because your water use matters - even if you aren't concerned with the environment, you certainly care about your GRU or municipality's water bill.

This is where the Irrigation Smart Controller (such as Hunter's Hydrawise system) comes in. It reads the weather from your WiFi network and then adjusts your sprinklers based on the weather. It's very possible that you could be saving $50-75/month on your water bill.

Benefits of installing a Smart Controller:

1. Adaptability - Your smart system will be able to decide when not to run much more consistently than the out-of-date rain sensors.
2. Scheduling - You can program your watering schedule into your smart system.
3. Avoids Over Watering - It will take into account the temperature and rainfall and delays between water zones.
4. Flexibility - You can control your system from anywhere by opening the app on your phone
5. Integration - Smart irrigation systems will integrate with many pre-existing smart systems like Google Assistant, Alexa, Nest, Wink, or other smart systems..

If we can be of help with any of your Summer Irrigation needs - please don't hesitate to reach out to us give our team a call or text at (352) 378-5296. We're local and have been serving Gainesville for over 15 years. We look forward to working with you!

By Rusty, Thu, 06/10/2021 - 19:14

With temperatures beginning to rise, it’s important to start preparing your Gainesville landscape for success in the months ahead. Does your curb appeal need some added color? Is your lawn ready for the warm weather and adjusted irrigation times?

We have compiled a few tips that will keep your lawn in great shape during the summer months.

1. Don’t Butcher the Grass
It’s tempting to lower your mower blades to cut the grass as short as possible. After all, you reason, it’s sort of like your hair—the shorter you cut it now, the longer you can go between trims. Grass doesn’t work like that, especially when it comes to St. Augustine and Zoysia grass.

Chopping the grass is more likely to leave it brown and dead. For the warm season, not only should you sharpen the blades, but you should also position them to never cut more than 1/3rd of the leaf blade off for an optimal lawn. Leaving the grass slightly taller won’t interfere with the groomed appearance of your lawn, but the blades remain long enough to bathe in the sunlight, which creates nutrient-rich roots and soil.

Learn more about caring for your specific Gainesville turfgrass here.

2. Trust your Smart Controller or Weather Sensor
Watering the lawn is a necessity in Florida, but our area is also humid, and we get a good amount of rainfall in summer. That eases a bit of the burden of irrigating, but it depends on the weather. A week of scorching weather can torch the yard if you aren’t watchful, which is why many summer lawn care tips focus on hydration and irrigation techniques.
As tempting as it is, we do not recommend “turning the sprinklers on manually when it’s dry,” because inevitably life happens. Once the lawn is stressed, you are already negatively impacting your curb appeal - and inviting pests and weeds in. A scheduled watering plan, that is paused automatically when rain is in the area, is the best way to ensure top-notch health in your summer landscape.

Learn more about Smart Irrigation Controllers here.

3. Put Away the Nitrogen
This summer lawn care tip doesn’t apply to garden beds and edible landscaping, but for your lawn - don’t fertilize your lawn with any nitrogen (first number of the N-P-K content on fertilizer) after June, per Alachua County regulations. This is why our lawn and ornamental health programs include slow-release nutrients applied at the end of spring that will feed the landscape through summer and fall.
You can still apply micronutrients and topdressings that will help feed your roots and soil to improve your landscape’s health through the summer, but avoid nitrogen if you don’t want on the County’s 'naughty list.'

Learn more about the Alachua County Fertilizer Restrictions here.

4. Prune back your azaleas
Most landscape professionals go by the July 4th rule, which is to make sure all Azaleas (Specifically larger varieties) are pruned back heavily and shaped by Independence Day. This will allow them to start budding in late Summer for next Spring’s bloom season. July to next Spring is an extended growing period - so starting from a tight shape is important to not looking overgrown and unkept.

Some homeowners prefer a manicured shaped Azalea at the expense of the blooms, so if that's you please ignore this tip and continue to shape after budding season - but most love the flowers and so this is an important task to get checked off.

Learn more about Azalea care here.

5. Plant some Summer Color
After your Hydrangeas, Irises, Agapanthus, Azaleas, and Camellias are done blooming - Summer color can be hard to go without. If your landscape needs a little color throughout the dog days of summer - consider adding these heat-loving plants into your design:

  • Drift Roses
  • Salvia (Perennial and Annual)
  • Cardinal Firespike (late Summer)
  • Golden Cassia
  • Coreopsis
  • Vitex Tree
  • Coleus (Annual)

Find more Summer Color Landscape Inspiration here.

If we can be of help with any of your Gainesville Landscape needs - please don't hesitate to reach out to us give our team a call or text at (352) 378-5296. We're local and have been serving Gainesville for over 15 years. We look forward to working with you!