Now that Spring time is here in Florida (January), it’s a perfect time to get your yard in shape. There are a few tricks that will help make your lawn kid and pet friendly so that you don’t have to worry about weeds, bugs, or your children falling and rolling in the grass.
Grass and Weeds
Unless your grass is completely dead and baron, most Florida lawns have a type of southern grass called Floratam. It looks like a long vine with grass growing out of it.
In my opinion, this is the best type of grass to have as it’s bug resistant, grows super fast and thick to quickly cover dead spots, it keeps the weeds out, and is plush like thick carpet in case your child falls. The biggest difference between having a yard that has random dead spots and weeds all over, and a nice uniform lawn with few weeds, is fertilizer. Here is what you do to get your grass nice and thick.
- Apply Southern Weed and Feed from your local big box store.
- Water thoroughly and make sure your grass gets water at least once a week. (applying fertilizer during rainy season makes it easier)
- For the first month after applying fertilizer, let the grass grow a little higher before mowing and don’t mow the grass as short. This will help it thicken up to the point that most weeds won’t be able to grow through it.
- Add more fertilizer and repeat process after a month or two if need be.
Most bugs won’t bother you in the lawn and some are even helpful by eating other bugs and promoting healthy growth. However, fire ants are the bugs you don’t want in your lawn as they swarm, bite, sting, and infest wherever they can. Fire ants are medium sized ants with red bodies and darker colored abdomens. The best way I have found to get rid of fire ants is poison bait. The ants will eat the bait and spread it to the entire colony including the queen. If you put down fire ant killer that is not bait, usually the ants will move the colony to another spot. Often times they make their home in hollow wood or against fence posts and you can’t really find the best place to put down poison. That is why the bait works so well as the ants will bring it back to their colony. The best bait I have found is the Amdro Fire Ant Bait sold at the big box stores. As soon as you put it down you can see the ants dragging it back to their colony. Note: I use this as a spot treatment to put down when I see ants instead of pouring a perimeter around my house. That way it lasts a lot longer. I usually buy a new box every year or two.
Always check your yard before you let young children play as fire ants can move in from the neighbor’s untreated yard overnight. After you treat your yard with weed and feed a few times, usually you won’t have to add it again unless you see the grass showing signs that it needs it. Most people think you have to fertilize every year to maintain the yard but that’s not always the case, or the cheapest way to do it. Keep in mind bugs and critters love debris. Remove all dead branches, wood, garbage, and anything else for bugs to hide in. I hope this article helps you with your lawn, thanks for reading and please LIKE MY FACEBOOK PAGE for more great stuff!