By Rusty, Tue, 12/13/2022 - 19:30

Your landscaping action plan for upkeep should change with the seasons. During the winter months in North Florida lawns, the grass is semi-dormant – growing but at a slower pace and almost barely growing at all. Not having to mow the grass as often leaves us with a bit more time on our hands to take care of other landscape projects that are perfect for winter months.

We've gathered some tasks to help you keep momentum in your lawn and keep your landscape looking beautiful during the winter. Don’t hesitate to share this to your neighbors as well!

This way, the entire neighborhood can look forward to a beautiful lawn in spring.

Tree pruning

Many North Florida homeowners think of Winter Crape Myrtle pruning (Crape Myrtle Pruning: When and How?) as the only winter tree pruning necessary. However, fruit trees and many of your typical Florida trees prefer pruning in winter over the other seasons.

Why? Fresh cuts are especially susceptible to insects during the warm months because they serve as habitats for germs and fungi that damage trees' health. Pruning during the dormant season keeps your trees healthy and reduces their susceptibility to attack as the weather warms and insect activity picks up.

This also ensures your Gainesville or Nocatee Lawn and Landscape gets proper sunlight to rejuvenate in spring.

When is the best time to trim/prune landscape ornamentals?

Remove fallen leaves from turf and flower beds

The trees in your yard lose their leaves for a few weeks every year. The timescale can vary depending on the kinds of trees you have, such as oaks, sycamores, pines, maples, etc. Leaves can suffocate your grass and block the sunshine that keeps it healthy if they are not controlled. Your only chance of having a beautiful lawn is to remove or clean up any fallen leaves. - As leaves finish falling, remove them from the lawn to allow sunlight and Lawn health applications to enrich your grass.

Granular lawn fertilization applications aren't affected by leaves as they roll down into the turf - however liquid and weed control applications are soaked up by the leaves, stealing the nutrients. This is why we recommend using a full-service lawn provider that offers Lawn maintenance service along with the lawn Fertilization program. Packaging them together ensures the two services work together for the health of your Gainesville lawn.

Protect sensitive plants during frosts

Even though the winters affecting Ponte Vedra lawns and the rest of North Florida are generally mild, a freeze will nevertheless happen.

Without winter plant protection, it only takes one night of exposure to wind and temperatures between 20 and 40 degrees for your delicate plants or shrubs to suffer cold damage.

Your more tender and tropical plants such as smaller Palms, Philodendrons, Crotons, Ginger, and others have a tendency toward frost damage on colder nights.

Pro Tip: Use fabric, bedding, light blankets, burlap, or other plant-specific covering that you may purchase at your neighborhood home improvement store. Avoid covering them with plastic since it will result in water droplets from condensation appearing on the leaves, which can cause freeze burn.

Tips for Covering Plants in a Freeze
What do I do with these frost damaged plants?

Power Wash your Home and Hardscape

Summer can leave homes and hardscapes moldy, slippery, and unsightly. Power washing aids in removing these buildups of dirt and giving a bright and fresh appearance.

Power washing a building's exterior can improve curb appeal in more ways than just by keeping it clean. Having hardscape and fences cleaned will also contribute to the property's improved curb appeal by giving it a more spotless appearance.

Schedule this prior to the holidays if you have guests coming over, or use it as a great Christmas gift in the form of a gift card for your significant other!

Pro Tip: Make sure to avoid power washing in  temperatures below 40 degrees. If the temperature is too cold, it could damage your pressure washer or the surfaces you're washing.

Prepare your landscape plants for spring

Plants frost back in winter and need care before spring to be set up for success going into spring. Starting now will help ensure that your St. John's landscaping is successful in the coming months.

When older growth is removed by strategically pruning back perennial plants like roses, hibiscus, and azaleas, they grow more densely and attractive. Be sure to remove weeds, fallen branches, dead leaves, and plant debris.

To defend against frost and avoid compaction apply a layer of compost to raised beds before covering it with a thin layer of mulch. We recommend Comand topsoil as a great compost for this. The compost's nutrients slowly seep into the soil over the winter. Still allowing both sunlight and rain, it also keeps the soil warm, allowing you to plant earlier in the spring.

If we can be of help with any of your winter landscape tasks - please don't hesitate to reach out to us at (352) 378-LAWN or (904) 913-LAWN or fill out our form at the top of the page!

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By Rusty, Thu, 10/20/2022 - 19:20

This year's outdoor living trends are all about making your lawn, backyard, or porch, a regular part of everyday life. Building on last year's momentum, homeowners began to bring indoor conveniences outdoors with smart technology, multipurpose add-ons, and structures that allow us to be outside longer and more often throughout the year. Whether it's a spot to grow herbs for homemade meals, a private patio, or a place to do the cooking, the popularity of outdoor living spaces will continue to grow in 2023.

Below you’ll find 5 popular outdoor living trends focusing on creating simple and elegant spaces to live, relax, and entertain outdoors.

1. Pool Remodels with Pavers and Coping

You can choose from so many colors, patterns, and textures, you can give your pool deck a look you really want. Homeowners can show off their pool deck designs year-round, not just during pool time. Pool decks are an excellent way to extend a home for outdoor entertainment. By simply adding tables and chairs, homeowners transform their pool deck into a patio-like area.
Below are links to projects we have worked on to achieve the ultimate makeover:

2. Propane or Natural Gas Fire Pits:

Fire is a natural design choice for outdoor entertaining and family enjoyment. It creates a warm, cozy atmosphere, enticing friends and family to stay and hang out, especially on chilly nights. Gas fire pits offer a contemporary look and appeal to homeowners who prefer the ease of gas. They are always ready to light with a push of a button, no wood or ash to worry about and no smoke.

3. Patio Remodels with Pavers:

Exterior design is seeing a trend to create patios with multiple rooms to provide ample space for entertaining guests, and act as backyard getaways. Paver patios are a high-quality, customizable outdoor patio option that offers homeowners a luxurious patio setup with minimal maintenance requirements. The entertainment options are endless with a paver patio. Hosting parties on it is sure to create lasting memories for friends and family.

Below are links to projects we have worked on to achieve the ultimate makeover:

4. Raised garden beds:

Millions of people started growing their own vegetables, fruits, and herbs in 2020, and that trend will definitely continue.  Homeowners invested in a variety of container gardens, raised garden beds and potted herb gardens, embracing the therapeutic side of growing their own food while eliminating trips to the grocery store.  Not only do raised beds provide benefits like ample garden space, they also offer versatility for those with a larger area to fill. Raised beds help for easy access gardening right on your back patio!

Below are links to projects we have worked on to achieve the ultimate makeover that raised garden bed:

5. Artificial Turf:

When you are working with a small space that needs to serve multiple purposes, you need that space to be usable as much as possible and to be easy to maintain and keep clean. This is why so many homeowners with small backyards are choosing artificial turf installation. Synthetic turf is easy to clean, requires little maintenance, does not require storing large equipment like lawnmowers, and can be used right after a rainstorm with no worries about tracking in mud or slipping on wet blades of grass. Artificial Turf is versatile to fit any sort of purpose or need, whether that may be landscape, playground or pet turf. All products are non-toxic and environmentally friendly by reducing the need for pesticides, fertilizers, irrigation, and mowing, making it the perfect choice to install.

Below are links to projects we have worked on to achieve the ultimate makeover:

If you’re dreaming of transforming your outdoor living space for entertaining a crowd or just relaxing with a good book, we hope these design trends will help you get an idea of what your space can do for you.

If you want help with transforming outdoor living space using these design trends this year, please call (352) 378-LAWN or fill out our online form so we can schedule a meeting to discuss how we can help! We look forward to working with you!

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By Rusty, Wed, 06/08/2022 - 19:13
Waterfall in landscape

For many of us, our outdoor living space is a safe haven. Surrounding ourselves with beautiful plants and scenery can also be a wonderful place to relax or entertain outdoors.

The perfect outdoor living space needs more than just beautiful sights and smells, though. Another essential element in the backyard is sound. By adding a third sense to your outdoor living space, it makes your Gainesville yard even more relaxing and inviting.

Here are 3 simple ways for you to bring outdoor audio elements to your garden:

1. Add a water feature:
Fountains can introduce a calming background murmur that fills the space around you and neutralizes street noise. In a more expansive landscape, a large fountain can serve as a splashy focal point that anchors an area of the landscape commanding attention both visually and aurally. Since they are available in a wide variety of styles and sizes, you can always find a place for a backyard fountain in your landscape design.

Whether it's a pondless waterfall, a continually overflowing vase, or a koi pond; the right water feature can really be a beautiful addition to any North Florida lawn.

If your concern is mosquitos, we have solutions to ensure your water feature is protected from drawing those pesky lawn pests.

2. Add an outdoor audio system:
When you invest in an outdoor audio system, you’ll find plenty of new opportunities for enjoying your backyard. For example, take your workout to the pool and swim laps while you blast an energizing playlist through your outdoor speakers.

Pair your speaker system with an outdoor TV and host a karaoke night or watch movies under the stars. Even without a TV, you can stream the audio of the Gator game outdoors so you can grill without missing a play. Music also makes yard work more fun and brightens up a workday on the porch. There’s so much you can do with your outdoor patio speakers!

There are a wide range of options available. Waterproof speakers can be placed in the ground or mounted on walls, and can run off your outdoor lighting system wiring too.

3. Make your yard inviting to wildlife:
Enticing birds to stay is surprisingly easy and hassle-free. A few simple items can give your feathered friends a year-round home.

To encourage birds to visit your landscape, provide them with these three essential elements: quality food, fresh water, and safe cover from predators and the elements.

Set up a few bird feeders to provide food. Be sure that you opt for the types of bird feed which are best for your local wildlife! Some birds will also happily eat garden pests.

Plants You Can Grow to Attract Birds:
Chickasaw Plum
Coral Honeysuckle
Passion Flower
Sabal Palm
Scarlet Salvia
Simpson’s Stopper
Walter's Viburnum and Other Viburnum Species
Wax Myrtle
Wild Coffee

The most fool-proof menu you can offer migratory and native birds are Florida’s native plants and the insects that feed on them. These food sources provide the right nutrients at the right time, supporting birds through all seasons of the year and all parts of their lifecycle.

Creating a soundscape in your backyard can enliven it. In fact, it’s almost as important as a visually-appealing landscape!

If we can be of help with your Gainesville Landscape Design - 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, Tue, 04/12/2022 - 19:11

Privacy is a big concern in our personal lives and at our home. We all have been spending much more time at home and while we love our neighbors (ok, we hope to be that lucky!) having that private space when you are outdoors is important to what your outdoor living space is all about. Not everyone wants to build a fortress around their property. If you’re tired of being on display for all the neighbors to see, you probably want to find a way to add some privacy.

Well, we have a solution. Privacy with plants! Shrubs are a great way to shelter your home from the curious looks of passersby while adding more green to your landscape.

Below is a list of our top 6 shrubs used for privacy in landscape:

1. Sweet Viburnum

This is an evergreen shrub that grows to as much as 30 feet tall. The small flowers that come in late spring to early summer aren’t very showy but they are extremely fragrant. This is a favorite of mine for use as a hedge or privacy screen and performs very well in our climate, and thrives in sun and some part shade as well. This low-maintenance and usually pest-free shrub is a top choice for North Florida lawns.

2. Wax-Leaf Ligustrum

You will often see ligustrum used as a hedge or shrub, but it can also grow into a lovely tree with multiple trunks and dark green canopy creating an interesting architectural focus. When used as a hedge it  provides great coverage with thick lush foliage with glossy evergreen leaves. Ligustrum will need to be kept trimmed as it can grow over 20 feet tall! As a tree it can be kept manicured for a more formal shape, or it can be left to grow naturally for a more casual look.

3. Little Gem Magnolia

Although typically known as a tree, this plant is perfect for a large privacy hedge as well. Thanks to its compact growth and evergreen foliage, the Magnolia makes a handsome hedge that can rise as high as 30 feet tall!. Plant the trees several feet apart to accommodate for growth, or tighter as a hedge. Many people use Magnolia’s as a privacy screen through layering more than a planted hedge. Either way, their large green leaves do a great job of blocking views in North Florida landscapes.

4. Podocarpus 'Southern Yew'

This is an ideal shrub for privacy screens, hedges, windbreaks, or natural evergreen barriers. Plant the shrubs about 3 feet apart and trim them regularly to create a hedgerow. These shrubs are also great for narrow spaces, such as tight backyards where space is valuable, although they grow slower than the Viburnum and Ligustrum. They can also be pruned to topiaries, too!

5. Loropetalum

The textured purple foliage and attractively tiered branching pattern make this a great choice for shrub borders, and privacy hedges.These low maintenance shrubs generally require no pruning except to maintain the desired size. You can even prune your shrub into a loropetalum tree form if you wish. If you want to add color to your landscape, the loropetalum’s deep rich purple foliage holds its color all season combining colorful pink flowers in the spring. It is a great shrub for tiers and layering against greenery or variegated plants in Gainesville and Jacksonville lawns.

6. Holly

Holly is another ideal plant for hedges because of its relatively rapid growth and dense form. There are two common varieties of holly we use here at The Master’s Lawn Care.

  • Nellie R Stevens Holly is fast growing, dense, and, because it tolerates severe pruning, can be trimmed to form a rounded large shrub, Pyramid shaped tree, or hedge. The Burford holly grows up to 15 feet tall!
  • East Palatka Holly has a moderate to fast growth rate(about 1 foot per year), so if you are looking to make a hedge or screen to block unwanted views, it can do it rather quickly! The East Palatka Holly thrives in full sun or partial shade, although it's slightly less dense than other Holly varieties.

We hope that this list has inspired greener approaches to solving your landscape privacy concerns. Instead of building a fence all the way around your yard, give one (or some) of these plants a try!

If we can be of help with any of your landscape privacy design and install needs- please don't hesitate to reach out to us at (352) 378-LAWN or fill out our form at the top of the page!

5 Great Privacy Shrubs in North Florida Landscapes (Zone 8)
By Rusty, Tue, 01/18/2022 - 15:58

The ultimate goal of every homeowner who takes pride in their landscape is to have a thick, green, and lush lawn to enjoy. The easiest way to have that is to make sure it has the right amount of irrigation, a healthy dose of sunlight, and the proper lawn fertilization program. With those 3 things in-tact, your lawn will be the envy of the neighborhood.

Too much shade is often the culprit for an unsightly dirt patch in a lawn.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard someone tell me they think all they need to do is install a pallet of sod and their lawn will be fine. What actually happens is the sod looks great for a few months, but over time begins to fade and, six months later, their unsightly dirt patch is back. They're treating the symptom of the problem (the dead sod) rather than the actual problem (the amount of shade on that area of the lawn).

The bottom line is that St. Augustine and Zoysia need about 4-6 hours of sunlight a day. 

Get more information here: 3 Basic Needs of a Healthy Gainesville Lawn: Sun
Watch Video Here: 3 Basic Needs of a Lawn - #1 is Sunlight

If your lawn developed brown spots last spring in the sunny areas, I’d venture to guess that your problem is water-related.  Most of the lawn issues we see in May and June are from the dry spells we experience. These brown spots during droughts are generally caused by one of two things if you have a Gainesville Irrigation system:  Improper irrigation coverage or incorrect watering times.

Three Quick Tips to Avoid Over or Under Watering Your Lawn:
1. Run your irrigation early in the morning. I set mine to start at 4AM.
2. Run your Rotor or Rotator Zones for about 45 minutes. Shrub/Ornamental zones can be set to 25 (deeper root systems).
3. Run your irrigation twice per week from March - November, per Alachua County Code.

Get more information here: 3 Basic Needs of a Healthy Gainesville Lawn: Water
Video Here: 3 Basic Needs of a Lawn - #2 is Water (Sprinklers, Irrigation, Drought stress)

Many homeowners in our area use the ‘feast or famine’ method fertilizing once or twice a year because of chain stores recommending the spring and fall lawn feedings. This is one of the many ways that turfgrass and the human body are very similar. This is not unlike eating one or two large meals a day and expecting a healthy physique – It just doesn’t work like that. In the same way that many nutritionists recommend 5-6 small meals a day because your body needs to be fed constantly, your lawn is at its best when it is given 5-6 doses of nutrients per year too.

Get more information here: 3 Basic Needs of a Healthy Gainesville Lawn: Fertilizer
Video Here: 3 Basic Needs of a Lawn - #3 is Food (Fertilizer)

It's a Brand New Year and a great time to set goals for your lawn. It all starts with a vision, and having a plan in place to focus on where you want to see improvements will help to make sure you hit your lawn goals for the year! Grass can survive with a minimum amount of care, but keep in mind, to  grow well, it will need supplemental watering and fertilizer when it starts to look stressed. That’s where we can help out!

Our lawn health programs are designed by a team that specializes in Gainesville turf grasses, with a focus on prevention of issues before they become issues. We use seasonally appropriate lawn foods to ensure your lawn is primed for success.

If we can be of help with any of your Gainesville landscape maintenance chores - or the surrounding areas of Alachua, Jonesville, and Newberry - 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, Tue, 12/07/2021 - 19:22

As the season's change, so should your Gainesville lawn maintenance action plan. We have compiled a few lawn care myths that we would like to debunk to help keep your lawn in great shape during the winter months.
Feel free to share this with your neighbors as well! That way, the whole neighborhood knows the facts and has beautiful landscapes this winter.

MYTH 1: Turn irrigation system off
FACT: Your lawn will certainly need less water in the winter than summer, but it still will need some if you want a quick green-up in spring. In North Florida, we get several cold fronts that really drop the temperatures quickly - but we also get some warm fronts that can spike temperatures during the day as well. Having a drought-stressed lawn combined in those warm spells will cause your lawn stress and slow down its spring recovery. For most lawns, we recommend watering once a week during the winter and bumping it back to 2 days in March.

MYTH 2: Prune back Crape Myrtles as soon as they drop their leaves
Properly pruning your Crape Myrtles (watch the linked video to avoid 'Crape Murder') will maximize blooms, promote new growth, and give your tree a great shape. Because of this, the best time to prune is in late-winter. By waiting till after the last of winter, you will no longer have the chance of frost killing the new growth early pruning can promote. We have more information on pruning your crape myrtles here- Quick Tip: When to prune your crape myrtles

MYTH 3: Don't worry about winter weeds
Weed control in winter is just as important as summer weed control, and it also sets you up for a better spring. The mistake most homeowners make is to wait too late to treat winter weeds, and the weeds thin out the turf and really start to take over. Winter is the best time to get started on turning your lawn around, because it will set you up for a quick green up in spring.

MYTH 4: There is no way to prevent brown patch
FACT:  Most lawn pest control companies will tell you they cannot prevent brown patch fungus, and they only treat it reactively when it shows up. The truth is that although the active fungus will always live in the soil, a preventative fungicide application can be made a couple times a year during transition seasons, and the brown spots never show. Our disease prevention program uses a formula that has been tested and proven to help put a stop to those pesky brown rings.

MYTH 5: Prune back frost-damaged plants quickly
FACT: Many tender plants - such as Ginger, Lantana, and Philodendron can get frost damaged on some of our colder evenings. Pruning off the frost damaged growth can make them look more appealing, but you can actually do more damage if you remove the frost-damaged growth too soon. In fact, those ugly brown leaves actually help to protect the interior of the plant from future freezes, as the frost falls on them (like a natural frost blanket) instead of closer to the interior of the plant. Also, by pruning your plants, you can be promoting new growth in warm spells. If another cold snap comes through, you have a higher chance of completely killing the plant.

If we can be of help with any of your winter Gainesville landscape maintenance chores - or the surrounding areas of Alachua, Jonesville, and Newberry - 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, 09/16/2021 - 19:02

Black Diamonds are a revolutionary new series of crape myrtles that provide unique beauty to your landscape and instant yard envy for your neighbors. Flawless black foliage emerges in early spring followed by masses of brilliant jewel-toned blooms that last until the first frost.

How Fast do Black Diamond Crape Myrtles Grow?

A Black Diamond Crape Myrtle tree can grow 2 to 4 feet in a single year. Once they get to mature height the trunks and branches grow thicker, but the trees stay around 12 feet tall.

How to care for Black Diamond Crape Myrtles

Crepe myrtles need full sun to perform well. They will grow in shade, but blooms will be sparse, and plants will get leggy. For best growth and production, crape myrtle should receive at least one inch of water a week. During dry spells, water is mandatory. If not properly watered during dry spells, flowers may be mitigated. Keep at least 4 feet around the shrub clear of grass and weeds, for less competition for water.
Once your tree reaches maturity, it will be naturally drought-resistant.

When do Black Diamond Crape Myrtles Bloom?

Black Diamond Crape Myrtle trees have a very long bloom period. They flower from summer to fall, generally from July through October.

When should you prune Crape Myrtles?

Crepe myrtles need minimal pruning. Some gardeners top them annually, but this ruins their natural shape and beauty. Remove the sucker growth that sometimes appears around the base. Only prune to shape trees or to take out any cross branching. In the winter, you can remove old seed pods by clipping the tips of branches.

We have a video to help you perfectly prune your crape myrtle!
3 Tips for Pruning Crape Myrtles in Gainesville, Florida

If you’re looking to add this Gainesville Landscape Plant into your yard, please fill out the form above or contact us at (352) 378-5296.

By Rusty, Tue, 08/17/2021 - 19:16

Dwarf Ruellia' is an improved variety and able to bloom beautiful pink or purple flowers almost all year long. We like this dwarf variety because they feature low, spreading mounds of narrow, dark green foliage. The combination of the flowers, grass-like texture, and green foliage make it a perfect filler to add color and interest to barren, dry areas in the yard. We also like to plant them in borders or on a sunny slope. Thanks to their compact form, these Ruellias are an excellent choice for use as a groundcover in tighter, narrower spaces and they also look great when planted in pots or planters!

Dwarf Ruellia is a low water use plant and is drought tolerant with little to moderate watering needs once established. This Ruellia variety thrives in full sun or partial shade exposures and is durable and easy to care for plants. These are a favorite for anyone that does not have a green thumb and still wants to have a thriving, colorful plant in their yard! They have a moderate growth rate, and with regular watering and care, they will have the best development.

This tough, heat-loving perennial is insect, and deer-resistant. It is perfect for dry, neglected spots in your landscape. Their long bloom season and showy flowers make Dwarf Ruellia a welcome addition to any landscape.

If you’re looking to add this Gainesville Landscape Plant into your yard, please fill out the form above or contact us at (352) 378-5296.

By Rusty, Thu, 07/08/2021 - 18:45

Well-branched and very free-flowering, 'Mystic Spires' produces masses of sturdy, colorful flower stalks that are of great aesthetic appeal in beds, borders or containers and attract scores of butterflies, hummingbirds, and beneficial insects

This plant produces masses of colorful flowers that mix nicely with other annuals and perennials, is tolerant of heat and humidity (low and high), and is not bothered by pests or diseases or deer!

Exposure: full sun

Planting Time: spring to summer from containers

Soil type: adapts to most soils, but needs good drainage

This low-maintenance plant is perfect for Florida’s hot summers and keeps on blooming when other flowering plants have begun to decline.

How to Care for your Salvia:
Be sure to water every day during the establishment period after planting in the garden from a container, then, once plants have established into the landscape, you can begin to taper watering back to semi-weekly watering if local rainfall levels are low.

Leave foliage and roots in place for next year's growth. Trim off any winter damage from colder months for the fastest regrowth in the spring.

Trim back both foliage and blooms in spring regardless of whether your planting has kept its leaves or died back. This will allow the plant to regrow new lush foliage for the new season.

Fertilize each spring, and again when trimming in late summer

If you’re looking to add this Gainesville Landscape Plant into your yard, please fill out the form above or contact us at (352) 378-5296.

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!