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Lawn Growing Season seminar

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The first step in correctly managing a Florida lawn is to know the type of grass you have; but many homeowners don’t know. The kind of lawn pests, mowing height, herbicide selection, irrigation requirements as well as fertilization and lime needs are all dependent on the type of lawn grass.

Correcting four common mistakes can result in a better lawn.

The first step in correctly managing a Florida lawn is to know the type of grass you have; but many homeowners don’t know. The kind of lawn pests, mowing height, herbicide selection, irrigation requirements as well as fertilization and lime needs are all dependent on the type of lawn grass. Many local lawns decline and/or die completely as a result of being maintained improperly… all because the person managing the lawn doesn’t know the requirements for the lawn grass being managed.

Most homeowners do not know the size of their own lawn. As a result, most people apply too much fertilizer and pesticides. Lawn fertilizers, insecticides, herbicides and fungicides are applied based on square feet (lawn area). The directions on these products instruct to mix and or apply a certain amount per 1000 square feet of lawn area. Most homeowners err on the side of applying too much of these chemicals as a result of not knowing the size of their lawns.

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Overdosing a lawn with fertilizers and pesticides results in a lawn costing more than it should. Plus, it’s unwise and illegal to apply pesticides at a higher rate as compared to the label directions. And, applying too much fertilizer and weed killer (herbicide) can injure a lawn. Overuse of insecticides and herbicides can result in pest resistance. This can result in a population of pest insects and weeds that no longer can be controlled with currently available insecticides and herbicides.

Many home lawns are irrigated incorrectly. Watering correctly involves applying ½ to ¾ inch of water on an as needed basis to meet the lawn’s need. To do this, the lawn manager needs to know the number of minutes to let the watering system run to provide this amount of water and the visual signs of when the lawn is indicating that additional water is needed. This is referred to as calibrating an irrigation system.

Many homeowners mow their lawns too low. This is a common cause for lawns becoming weak and thin.

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On Wednesday, March 21, I’ll provide a seminar titled Getting Ready for Another Lawn Growing Season. This hour-long presentation begins at 10 a.m. and will be held at the Gerald R. Edmondson Extension Building located at 3098 Airport Road in Crestview. During this presentation, I will cover these four common mistakes and show how correcting these mistakes can make the difference between long term success or failure with your Florida lawn.

To register for this free seminar, please call (850) 689-5850. Space is limited.

Larry Williams is the Extension horticulture agent with the Okaloosa County Cooperative Extension Service, University of Florida. Contact Larry at 689-5850 or email lwilliams@co.okaloosa.fl.us.

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