January 22, 2010
After the longest cold snap Central Florida has experienced in over a decade, it has left many a yard and landscape looking pretty shabby. The good news is that if you have Falcon Termite & Pest Control's Go Green! Lawn Service, the state of your lawn looking the way it does is only a temporary blemish.
To make it 100% clear, your lawn is not dead. The recent freeze damaged the grass blades in Bahia, St. Augustine, and Zoysia lawns. These types of lawns are in a dormant state for winter, which helps prepare them for bad weather such as a cold snap. In Seminole, Orange, Polk, and Osceola counties, you can expect your lawn to make a full recovery with little to no permanent damage. St. Augustine and Bahia grasses will be the first to recover in early February, with Zoyisa catching up in late March to early April. All of this depends on the rest of the season having normal, stable weather conditions.
The cold snap did have an often-unnoticed side effect: it killed any weeds your lawn might have had. The freeze has killed off any remaining summer and fall weeds including the usually elusive Crabgrass. These weeds will come back in the spring if a blanket application of a preemergent herbicide is not applied while the lawn is in its dormancy stage. This will keep the weed seeds from germinating in the spring. Winter weeds were unaffected and will stand out like a green thumb against the brown grass background. These weeds can be easily controlled by spot applications from Falcon Termite & Pest Control.
Falcon keeps your lawn strong and summer ready starting in November and ending in January where we add nutrients and minerals to help the turf survive the cold and recover in spring. We also applied a preemergent herbicide to keep the weeds in check. In February we begin applying a slow release dry fertilizer to help the turf recover from winter and helps it to withstand drought.
As a homeowner, there are a few things you can do to help. Be patient, do not over water, don't use quick release nitrogen fertilizers and do not cut your lawn too short or scalp it. You should not have to water the lawn until March with the rainfall we have had this winter. Using quick release fertilizers will increase the incidences of fungal diseases and make the lawn prone to permanent damage from future frosts, so do not be tempted to do it. Scalping the lawn will damage exposed rhizomes and stolons, thus removing the insulating cover of blades leaving the lawn susceptible to future frost damage. If you have any questions, you can always give us a call.