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The Thing About Thatch

Lawn CareTurfgrass

Thatch is a layer of organic matter between the base of grass blades and the soil. Layers of thatch thicker than one inch prevent air, water, and nutrients from reaching roots in the soil. They can be removed with a power rake or vertical mower.

Brown Patch St. Augustine Grass

How to Fix a Patchy Lawn

Lawn Care

Filling in bare or dead patches of lawn can be easily accomplished by installing grass plugs or laying down new squares of sod. Soil should be level and free of weeds and dead grass before installation; afterward, thorough watering is important.

Disease: Coming to a Lawn Near You?

Landscape MaintenanceLawn Care

Florida lawn diseases include Rust, Fairy Ring, Gray Leaf Spot, Brown Patch Fungus, Dollar Spot, and Take-All Root Rot. Hot, humid, wet summers create hospitable growing conditions for these diseases, which must be managed by fungicides and cultural controls such as proper mowing.

Weed growing in thick grass

How to Control Typical Florida Weeds

Lawn Care

Florida lawn weeds can be controlled through proper mowing, hand removal, and selective herbicide applications. Preemergence herbicides must be applied before weed seeds germinate; postemergence herbicides are applied after weeds have emerged. Effective weed management usually requires both kinds of herbicide applications.

Invite These Bugs to Stay

Landscape Maintenance

Many garden bugs are beneficial to the landscape in that their diet consists of harmful insects. From lady bugs to dragonflies to earwigs, beneficial insects will consume mosquitoes, lawn-destroying chinch bugs, and soft-bodied pests that compromise leaf health and appearance.

Lawn Care Equipment: The Essentials

Lawn Care

With summer around the corner, homeowners responsible for their own lawn care should make sure they have the mowers best suited for their yards. Two important additional tools—edgers and string trimmers—take care of hard-to-reach areas and create clean, finished lines.

Ground Covers: Beyond Bark and Chips

Landscape Maintenance

While pine bark nuggets and red cypress chips are typical ground cover choices for Florida property owners, a host of other options are available: hardwood mulches, pine straw, rubber mulch, rock, lava, plants, pine cones, nut hulls, and tumbled glass chunks.

Invasive Plants: Don’t Bring These Home

Plants & Shrubs

Invasive plants are non-native species that, when left to grow unchecked, spread over plant communities and alter the local ecology. Florida is home to myriad invasive plant species from palms to grasses to trees. Educated homeowners should avoid installing these plants in their landscaping.

Make Your Own Compost

Fertilization & Pest ControlLawn Care

Put your grass clippings, leaves, and food scraps to work. Combine them in a compost pile or bin and mix with oxygen and water to eventually yield a nutrient-rich humus that can be utilized in your landscape as a soil amendment or fertilizer.