Bayside Sod’s guide to summer sod care in the Sunshine State

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Backyard Barbecue PartySummertime in Florida means two things: more sunshine and more care for your sod. At Bayside Sod, we’re committed to nurturing the life of your lawn through every season. Focusing on care like watering, mowing, and repair or replacement when needed can help your sod thrive in the hotter months.

If you are new to summer in Florida, keep in mind that lawn care in Florida during the summer can be quite different from other regions due to the intense heat and humidity. Here are some key things to consider:

1. Watering: Florida summers tend to be hot and humid. Even with our rain during the summer, proper watering is crucial. Aim to water early in the morning to minimize evaporation. For new sod, aim to water your sod daily for the first 7 to 10 days after installation. Established sod in Florida generally needs between 1/2 to 3/4 of an inch of water two times a week. Remember, it’s generally better to water your sod deeply and less frequently than sprinkling it lightly daily. This method encourages the roots to dig deeper into the soil, leading to a healthier, hardier lawn.

2. Mowing: When it comes to mowing, ‘less is more’ is often the rule of thumb. Keeping your grass slightly longer helps to shade the soil, reducing water evaporation and encouraging the growth of deeper roots. Each type of sod will have an optimal length, but generally, aim to only remove about a third of the grass blade with each mow. So raise the height of your lawnmower blade during the summer months, and mow regularly to keep the grass at a healthy height. Remember to avoid cutting more than one-third of the grass blade at a time.

3. Fertilizing: During the summer, grass may need additional nutrients to thrive. However, be cautious with fertilizers as they can burn grass during hot weather. If you do fertilize, use slow-release fertilizers and follow application instructions carefully.

4. Weed Control: Weeds can quickly take over a lawn during the summer months. Consider applying pre-emergent herbicides early in the season to prevent weed seeds from germinating. Spot-treat any existing weeds with appropriate herbicides. Bayside Sod can provide some recommendations concerning chemical spray companies if required.

5. Pest Control: Insects such as chinch bugs, sod webworms, and armyworms can damage lawns in Florida during the summer. Monitor your lawn regularly for signs of pest infestations and treat as necessary with insecticides.

6. Disease Prevention: High humidity in Florida can create conditions favorable for lawn diseases such as brown patch and dollar spot. Proper watering, mowing, and fertilizing practices can help prevent disease outbreaks. The University of Florida IAFS Extension generally discourages the use of fungicides. If you are considering fungicides to treat disease in your lawn, check out their tips here first.

7. Aeration: Aerating your lawn in the summer can help alleviate soil compaction and improve water and nutrient uptake by your sod’s roots. Consider aerating if your lawn experiences heavy foot traffic or if the soil is compacted.

8. Shade Management: Some areas of your lawn may receive more sun exposure than others. Consider planting shade-tolerant grass species or using temporary shade structures to protect sensitive areas from excessive heat.

9. Mulching: Applying a layer of mulch around trees, shrubs, and garden beds can help conserve soil moisture, regulate soil temperature, and suppress weed growth. Use organic mulches such as pine straw or bark chips.

10. Conservation: Be mindful of water conservation practices, especially during periods of drought or water restrictions. Consider installing rain barrels or using drought-resistant landscaping to reduce water usage.

Even with the best attention, sometimes patches of sod will start to look thin or brown. That’s where repair and replacement comes in. You may need to re-sod regions that have been damaged by pests, disease, or excessive heat. At those crucial moments, remember, our team is always ready to help you select the right sod variety for your specific conditions, ensuring your lawn returns to its lush and verdant self in no time.

Tackling summer lawn care in Florida might seem daunting, but with Bayside Sod on your side, you have generations of expertise at your fingertips. So, go ahead and enjoy the Florida sunshine with family and friends. Here’s to a beautiful, green summer!

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