Looking around our neighborhood’s landscape, it is evident that St Lucie County and the neighboring counties are experiencing an extended period of drought. Lawns that are not irrigated appear straw-like, the place is dusty and ornamental plants are drooping. Even during a drought, lawn care maintenance professionals mowed lawns bi-weekly. Some landscapers are pruning trees heavily, and pesticide applicators are constantly applying herbicides.
The following practices should be reduced or avoided:
- Lawns without an efficient irrigation system should be mowed only when necessary. Increase mowing height during times of low rainfall and
- Reduce foot traffic on the lawn.
- avoid applying herbicides during a drought when plants are stressed. Herbicides work best when plants are actively growing.
- Avoid pruning plants during a drought when plants are stressed; pruning causes plants to lose water and will result in greater stress.
- Only install a new lawn if there is an efficient irrigation system. Newly installed sod requires multiple watering per day in the first week and once per day within the second week. Turf establishment will be delayed unless there is adequate irrigation.
Supplemental water is required during drought. Turfgrass in Florida requires one inch of water per week. More information on watering lawns can be found at ENH9/LH025: Watering Your Florida Lawn (ufl.edu). For more information on lawn and landscape, contact Grantly Ricketts, UF/IFAS Extension/St Lucie County Commercial Horticulture Agent, at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 772-462-1660.