Healthy Plants

With a little knowledge and a little effort, a beautiful lawn and healthy landscape is within reach. Plants need the same things people need: water, a place to live, occasional doctoring and food:

  • Water
    • Florida is tropical, with sandy soils, making irrigation a requirement. Irrigate to prevent drought and to prevent wasting this precious resource. Do annual preventative maintenance on your irrigation system, irrigate for the season (plants need less water in cooler temperatures), turn off systems during the rainy season and turn on when plants show signs of wilt, keep lawns and landscape on separate zones.
  • Home Maintenance
    • Put the right plants in the right place and maintain their home. Mow lawns weekly spring through fall and as needed in the winter; never mow when wet or when hot/dry. Use a sharp blade and mow at the correct height: St. Augustine requires more grass blade (4 “average) than Zoysia (2.5”-3” average) for health. Prune plants less often and taper at the top for sun penetration. Weekly or monthly pruning removes new growth leaving shrubs skeletonized and unhealthy. Keep mower blades and pruners clean to prevent the spread of disease.
  • Doctoring
    • Use pesticides sparingly and properly. Investigate and identify problems before treatment. For example, brown spots may be caused by many things (chinch bugs, sodworms, disease, drought). If treatment is necessary, follow the label instructions carefully.
  • Food
    • Since plants do not get nutrients from Florida’s sandy soils, fertilizer is necessary for plant health. Apply the correct type, and amount of fertilizer and only when plants are growing to prevent leaching. Do not apply fertilizer in the late fall or during the winter months. Follow the Best Management Practices to protect our waterways. Only hire a reputable, professional company that follows BMPs to apply fertilizer and pesticides.

Leave a Reply