While grass and weeds can coexist to give you a nice green look, it is not usually the most pleasing appearance for a lawn. Typically weeds will grow faster and out of scale to the lawn. Many weeds also have a broadleaf look and can be a big reason why your lawn looks ugly! Healthy lawns generally take care of many weed problems by crowding them out. Weeds germinate at different times of the year and at different rates. The spring and early summer are when most of them start to grow. Weak grass or small areas of exposed soil are ideal spots for them to take hold and start attacking your lawn. Be sure to use a weed treatment early in the season. If your yard is overrun by weeds you can still save it by treating the weeds and fertilizing your grass. Make sure you have a healthy ph balance in your soil. This will help your sod grow healthy and strong and push the weeds out. You can get your soil tested for FREE at Leu Gardens in Orlando.
2) TOO MUCH SHADE
Although some are shade tolerant, most Florida grasses like and need the sun. Between your house or other structures and mature trees, your grass or sod may not actually be getting a full day sun. A full day of sun is more than 6 hours of direct sunlight. So that couple hours of sunshine you get under the tree in the morning when the sun is rising is probably not enough. While there are some grass varieties that handle some shade, they tend to be weaker, grow slower, less able to handle foot traffic and can allow weeds to take over if you’re not using a weed preventative. If the shade is an issue, make sure you have a shade tolerant grass or perhaps find a different type of ground cover for those areas. Mulch, rocks or gardens with plants, like jasmine, that stay beautiful with little requirement for light.
3) FOOT TRAFFIC
Even though some turfs are designed for play spaces and foot traffic more than others, the reality is that wet grass and primarily the soil does not tolerate foot traffic well. So on all those rainy Florida afternoons as people walk across your yard or your playing sports on it, the soil is getting compacted making roots difficult to grow. Aside from that, when the soil is soft, it is easier for individual blades of grass to be pulled out with wear and tear. If the grass is really dry, foot traffic can break blades that will turn brown and can stunt growth.
We all love our canine companions, but they have to go out regardless of weather so there is no way to avoid them trampling out into the soft wet soil. Typically I see the worst destruction during the summer with Florida’s famous rainy season. Dogs generally follow a routine and their nails can wear a bald path into the soil on wet days quickly. Pattern behavior also has those spots were dogs like to do their business. Even on dry days dog urine is one of the worst stressors on your grass. It burns out the grass and eventually creates dead blank spots in the lawn.
5) LACK OF WATER
Besides sun, the other most important thing that grass needs to grow to be lush & green is WATER. While we all want to be conscious of the environment and not water their lawn every day, some supplemental water may be necessary at times. During those hot Florida days, water deprived areas, as well as new sod need additional water to survive. One of the most common water deprived, as well as sun-deprived areas are under trees. Trees not only absorb much of the water that reaches the ground, they block a good portion of the rain from even reaching the ground. This is a major contributor as to why grass naturally does not do well in those spaces, so if we are going to force something where it naturally does not do well, it will likely need some additional help, in this case in the form of water. Another thing to look at is water run-off. If your yard is on a slope the water maybe just running downhill faster than the soil can absorb it. If you want to know more about watering your landscape check out my article,”Don’t let the Summer Sizzle Kill Your Landscape”