Have you ever wondered that – Does grass grow in the winter in Florida?
Winter, as you may be aware, is the coldest season of the year. Plants, especially grass, have a harder time growing in these conditions. How is winter in Florida?
Winters in Florida are among the mildest in the continental United States. The days are usually sunny and mild, with the nights being slightly cooler. Residents can wear short-sleeved shirts all year, however, light coats, and sweaters are required during winter nights.
If you’ve read this far, you probably already know that winter in Florida has favorable weather conditions for grass growth. So how will grass grow in Florida when winter arrives?
Does grass grow in the winter in Florida?
In winter, all plants go into hibernation, so growth slows down. During the growing season, you may need to mow your lawn weekly, but during the winter you may only need to mow every two to three weeks or even less, depending on the type of grass.
However, winter in Florida has a temperature ranging from 60 – 86 degrees Fahrenheit, this is a very good temperature for all types of grass.
Some common grasses in Florida:
- St. Augustine (Stenotaphrum secundatum) is the most common weed in Florida. It is supposed to be native to the Mediterranean and Gulf of Mexico coastlines. The grass is salt-tolerant and stands up to the state’s hot and humid climate with ease.
- Bahiagrass (Paspalum notatum) is a low-maintenance turfgrass that was once only found in pastures but is now widely used in lawns. The grass thrives in acidic soils and can withstand droughts, as well as infertile sandy soils like those found in Florida.
How to grow grass in the winter in Florida?
1. How often to mow
In winter in Florida, the temperature is not too low, so it does not affect the growth of grass much. However, in winter, grass will grow more slowly than in summer. Therefore, you should maintain mowing the lawn with a frequency of once a week.
2. When to water
Water is the most important factor affecting grass growth. In winter, transpiration is limited when temperatures are low. So you’ll only have to water every two to three weeks.
3. How to Fertilize
Another key part of maintaining a beautiful and healthy Florida lawn is proper fertilizer. It’s usually a good idea to get a soil test first so you can figure out what nutrients your grass needs to be lush and green.
According to the University of Florida, you should apply no more than 1 pound of nitrogen every application, regardless of your turfgrass type.
Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions, as more isn’t always better and can expose your turfgrass to insect and disease concerns.
Common lawn pests seen in Florida
There are a few insects that live in Florida turfs, some of which are beneficial and do no harm, and just a few of which require immediate identification and treatment.
The easiest way to keep your lawn pest-free is to keep it well maintained. This includes mowing, irrigating, and fertilizing the lawn properly. A healthy lawn is better able to defend itself against pests.
Some of the more common lawn pests include:
- Chinch Bugs: Biggest insect pest to St. Augustinegrass. The black insects are about 3/16 inches long and feature white wing patches. The insects live in the thatch, and the grass’s juices finally destroy it. Brown spots appear as a result of the damage.
- White Grubs: Immature scarab beetles that feed on the roots of the turfgrass, causing it to weaken, brown, and die. The turf in the affected areas is soft and spongy.
- Fire Ants: Fire ants are imported from South America and form mounds in the grass to bring soil to the surface. They sting in an unpleasant way.
- Fall Armyworms, Cutworms, and Grass Loopers: Caterpillars hatch from moth eggs laid in the turf and consume the grass blades. Circular dead spots or depressions appear as a result of the damage. The brown to green caterpillars have striped sides.
- Mole Crickets: Adults are around 1.5 inches long, brown in color, and have long front legs for digging. The insects dig underground tunnels up to 20 feet long, feasting on grass roots and blades, leaving bare patches behind.
Grass growth is often stunted during the winter. This is not the case with grass cultivated in Florida, which has a hot and humid climate all year and a low temperature of about 60 degrees Fahrenheit. To have a green garden all year in Florida, choose grass that is acceptable for the weather conditions and your abilities to care for it.