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MIA_LAWN

@tracfone.com

Lawn needs serious resuscitation

Click for full size
Click for full size
Just bought a home in South Florida, and lawn is a mess. As you can see in pics, lots of dead matter (thatch).

Is there anything that can be done?

Would I need to de-thatch?
Water every day?
Special fertilizer?

Any help would be appreciated.

ps. there is no sprinkler system, and most homes in my sub-division are just as bad!


Voxxjin
Made of Hamburger
Premium
join:2010-01-13
Dupont, WA
Reviews:
·CenturyLink

Just curious as to what type of grass it is. Some grass will go dormant in the winter. many of the grasses here in central Texas will look like this through the winter months. Then by April (if we have rain) it greens back up. You said most homes' grass look like this so that is my guess.

Also here some people will de-thatch and seed with a winter rye(?) to make it greener during the months the summer grass turns brown. But since the winter is half over it probably isn't worth doing this now.
--
Cry "Havoc!" and let slip the dogs of war



natedj
Elected
Premium
join:2001-06-06
Columbia, SC
reply to MIA_LAWN

Looks like dormant grass to me. You need to know he type just to be sure. Also, how does the grass on the neighboring properties look? Is it just your grass that looks like that?
--
Good judgement comes with experience...Experience comes after bad judgements



IIIBradIII
Comm M-E-L Instr

join:2000-09-28
Greer, SC
reply to MIA_LAWN

Looks like a hybrid bermuda maybe? I'd dethatch it, core aerate it, and send off some of the cores to my local county extension office for a soil sample. That'll tell you what else you need. Otherwise you're just guessing.



MIA_LAWN

@tracfone.com
reply to natedj

natedj - all properties in my subdivision, and in the surrounding area have lawns like this. Pretty depressing IMO.

Dormant grass, wow, ya learn something new everyday.

I guess there is nothing that I should/need to do right now.



natedj
Elected
Premium
join:2001-06-06
Columbia, SC
reply to MIA_LAWN

Yep, its amazing what the seasons can do and more amazing when the perceived dead grass jumps back to life in the Spring. If I had to guess, the grass you have looks like centipede which does go dormant in the winter. If you're looking for a green yard year round you'll can plant some Winter Rye for a lush green cover, but it will eventually die off when the heat comes back and the centipede comes to life in Spring and chokes it out.
I planted Winter Rye for a few years until I realize that I rather spend cold weekend mornings indoors instead of cutting grass.
--
Good judgement comes with experience...Experience comes after bad judgements



cdru
Go Colts
Premium,MVM
join:2003-05-14
Fort Wayne, IN
kudos:7
reply to MIA_LAWN

said by MIA_LAWN :

Dormant grass, wow, ya learn something new everyday.

Where did you live previously that didn't have grass that went at least partially dormant during the winter months?

Up north, our grass usually turns brown then stays white for days, sometimes even weeks before awakening back up in the spring.


Pacrat
Old and Cranky
Premium,MVM
join:2001-03-10
Cortland, OH
kudos:2
reply to MIA_LAWN

if it still looks like that in late spring, then you can take some action. Until then, I'd just wait it out and see what happens. Patience is the most useful tool in your lawncare implement array.



John97
Over The Hills And Far Away
Premium
join:2000-11-14
Spring Hill, FL
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Bright House
·ooma
reply to MIA_LAWN

Looks like my lawn here. I just moved here in November.

We did have a really warm week last month with a bunch of rain and my lawn got all nice and green again but it didn't last.
--
So put me on a highway, and show me a sign.
And take it to the limit one more time...


TheMG
Premium
join:2007-09-04
Canada
kudos:3
Reviews:
·NorthWest Tel
reply to MIA_LAWN

said by MIA_LAWN :

natedj - all properties in my subdivision, and in the surrounding area have lawns like this. Pretty depressing IMO.

Dormant grass, wow, ya learn something new everyday.

I guess there is nothing that I should/need to do right now.

You should see what the lawns around here look like, especially in the spring just after the snow has finished melting. All brown (dormant) and compressed from the weight of the snow. Looks like crap. Also the rocks and sand that gets put on the streets in the winter, some of it winds up on the lawn and is a real pain to deal with.


alkizmo

join:2007-06-25
Pierrefonds, QC
kudos:1
reply to MIA_LAWN

said by MIA_LAWN :

I guess there is nothing that I should/need to do right now.

Also, stop cutting it so damn short

I think it didn't help that you last gave it a buzz cut.


MIA_LAWN

@tracfone.com

alkizmo - our association cuts the lawns wasn't me



cableties
Premium
join:2005-01-27
reply to MIA_LAWN

Looks like zoysia grass. I've thatched this stuff, raked it, and it comes back. Great at keeping weeds out but brown 1/2 the year.

If you have association that cuts, then they should also have it thatched or raked but since they want to keep costs down... get a leaf rake and take up the dead stuff. Since it is a plug, not seed, that propagates, it will fill in the blank spots soon enough.
--
Splat



alkizmo

join:2007-06-25
Pierrefonds, QC
kudos:1
reply to MIA_LAWN

said by MIA_LAWN :

alkizmo - our association cuts the lawns wasn't me

Maybe that's why everyone's lawn is like this. They're all cut too short. Bring it up during the next meeting.

robbin
Premium,MVM
join:2000-09-21
Leander, TX
kudos:1

How can you be so sure it's cut too short if the grass has not be identified? Different grasses should be cut at different heights.



psafux
Premium,VIP
join:2005-11-10
kudos:2
reply to MIA_LAWN

Didn't read all the replies but I agree with a couple of early responses - it appears to be dormant.

Our lawn has been confused this winter. It stayed in the 50's until November, froze, thawed and got back up to the 50's, froze, stayed cold, snowed, then got into the mid 40's again this past week. Some of it turned green and some of it is dormant. It looks like hell with no snow cover. Usually the snow cover takes our minds off of it until April or so.



RULEofTHUMB

@videotron.ca
reply to robbin

said by robbin:

How can you be so sure it's cut too short if the grass has not be identified? Different grasses should be cut at different heights.

Yeah appears dormant.

Robbin, this is a rule of thumb (and science) for taking care of grass. At least it is in colder climates, I would assume it's the same in a place like Florida, but I don't know about "hot" places.

Rules of thumb (and science) for spring is: Leave it alone till it's 8-cm minimum in height (about 3.5 inches). This is for root growth which will prevent browning during the summer, and produce healthy grass with a strong root system. We all know the grass is only good as long as it's root are, right?

Rules of thumb (and science) for fall (last cut before winter):
Set mower on the highest height setting and leave it.

So what alkizmo stated, and going by the looks of the grass, he isn't wrong for someone being in the land of ice and snow. That grass is cut too short for winter.

Are all grasses (the science of) not the same even in a hot place like Florida? This I don't know. But I think it is.

If not, have any links?

robbin
Premium,MVM
join:2000-09-21
Leander, TX
kudos:1

I'm not going to try to find links for all of the grasses grown in warm climates. I'm sure you could do that if you are interested. However, in the interest of showing that there is no "rule of thumb" I will offer the following:

"Set the mowing height at 1 to 2 inches for Common bermudagrass and 1/2 to 1 1/2 inches for hybrid varieties."

»publications.tamu.edu/TURF_LANDS···awns.pdf

St Augustine "Set the mowing height at 2 1/2 to 3 inches (3 to 3 1/2 inches in shady lawns)."

»publications.tamu.edu/TURF_LANDS···awns.pdf

If you read through both of these publications you will see that the recommended mowing height does not change by season. The fall mowing recommendation for both grass types listed above is given as "Continue the recommended mowing practices until the grass goes dormant and does not require mowing."

I could keep going with other turf grass types grown here but I think this proves my point. You can't make an informed decision regarding mowing height without identifying the grass you are mowing.