How to deal with drought conditions and what happens if you don’t...
A drought can wipe out all of the greenery that makes your property uniquely yours. A drought can also increase the erosion of property when it wipes out trees and grasses that are holding the soil in place.
Droughts deprive the vegetation of much-needed water. Water is vital to the existence of plants, animals, and humans. During these periods of little to no rain you may have to make hard decisions about which vegetation you will try to sustain and which vegetation you will have to replace.
Watering your lawn in Drought Conditions
Your lawn only needs about one inch of rain per week for it to stay healthy. Do not overwater your lawn. To determine whether your lawn is starving for water you can check the moisture level.
Watch your grass for indications that it needs to be watered. When you walk across grass it should mash down under your feet but spring back into position when you move your foot. If your grass stays down and does not spring back up then it is in need of water.
To check the moisture level of your soil you can use a soil probe, or you can use a screwdriver or a shovel. If the soil beneath the grass is still moist you do not have to water it at that time.
To get the most use of the water you provide your lawn you should water early in the morning or late in the evening when the temperatures are cooler. You will have less evaporation and more water will be able to get to your grass, trees, and other vegetation.
You want to position your sprinkler heads so the water they spray on the lawn hits the lawn and not sidewalks, driveways, or the street.
In Florida, you should water your lawn about twice a week during the spring and summer months. During the winter your lawn will need less water and you may only have to water once every 8 to 28 days.
Extreme Drought Conditions
During extreme drought, there will not be enough water available to keep all of your vegetation alive. At times like this, you need to concentrate on watering trees and shrubs and stop watering the grass. Grass grows more quickly than trees so you want to use your water wisely.
Water Restrictions are Coming
This will affect your turf by only limiting you to 1 day a week watering. With only one day a week watering that will not be sustainable to keep the turf alive. If restrictions to come about in your county Estate Landscaping will keep you fully
updated on those restrictions.
If you do not water during the drought
Many people choose not to water their lawns during a drought. When the drought is over it often looks like the trees and shrubs in the un-watered areas survived. The problem is that diseases are able to get established in the vegetation because of the weakened condition caused by the drought.
The trees in these yards will be more likely to be damaged by winds during the next storm. They will also be more likely to cause damage to your home or structures with falling limbs, or possibly by falling completely to the ground.
Estate Landscaping & Lawn Management does offer a few ways to help during the drought by using Wetting Agents. If you are interested in helping your turf during the drought please give us a call.
To learn more about lawn management during droughts call Estate Landscaping & Lawn Management at (236)498-1187, or contact them through the website.
What to Expect this Winter
As a resident of Florida, you are probably aware of the tropical nature of the area's climate, and how it serves to benefit the horticulture of the area. From the large amounts of rainfall to the extended length of day’s as well as the hot temperatures, these climate factors all play a role in the general health of Turf and shrub life.
The problem, however, is that many of these Florida turfs and shrubs do not do nearly as well in the winter. Winter in Southwest Florida is not nearly as bad as many other areas across the country, but some simple changes in your landscape activities can make a big difference. Simple preparation and knowing what to expect can lead to a highly successful winter season for your Florida landscape.
Even the coldest tolerant tropicals inevitably go dormant during the winter. It is common to see a slowed growth cycle, less nutrient uptake, and lower water requirements. In this case the drier ground of the winter becomes more favorable. You can also expect to see plant material start to thin, foliage begin to yellow and an increase in the prevalence of fungus issues.
When it comes to less tolerant greenery such as Ixora Nora Grant (Note: Not other Ixora variations), Alamanda, and Hibiscus, you can expect to see more significant changes. They will experience the aforementioned symptoms of winter weather, but in near freezing temperatures, foliage will begin to look sickly or even defoliate, due to slowed metabolism. This can lead to the plant not surviving the winter, so be aware if you have these plants or shrubs in your landscape arsenal.
When it comes to winter tree care in Florida, not many changes unless freezing temperatures are reached. Most hardwoods should not be trimmed in freezing temperatures or frost conditions. However, as soon as the temperature is back to normal, feel free to trim away.
After a freeze, Crepe Myrtles should be trimmed with deep reduction cuts to ensure the best chance for spring growth and general recovery. This will also ensure that you get the best flower production come the warmer months.
Turf and Grass Care
Inevitably, when soil temperatures drop, and days begin to shorten, growth in Floratam Turf will slow, and the quick growth of common turf weeds such as: Sedge, Goose Grass, and Mimosa will become more noticeable. Before you (or we) go to every other week mowing, it is best to get these taken care of. Many herbicides are climate sensitive, needing to be applied in cooler weather, so taking care of the weeds in the winter months is a must.
Common Florida grasses such as Zoysia, Carpet, and wild Bermuda are sure to brown or show other discoloration when temperatures sink to the forties. Commonly mistaken for fungus or fertility issues, this is not the case, so there is no need to worry.
Another important distinction to make in your yard is identifying carpet grass seeping into your St. Augustine or Zoysia lawn. Through spring and summer it is nearly impossible to identify as everything is green and lush, but during winter, it often turns very brown, and when frost hits it may die back to the root. However, when spring comes again, it will grow aggressively and attempt to take over the surrounding turf. As no herbicide is currently available that can kill carpet grass without killing the turf, spray and replacement is the best option for control.
Freezing and Frosty Conditions
If there is inclement freezing weather, or potential for frost, covering your delicate plant and flower material can hedge most of the potential damage. After a freeze or frost, do not attempt to trim your defoliated material, until a professional can let you know what will recover. Lastly, if you are aware of an incoming freeze, turn off your irrigation as this can cause more damage related to the frozen water, and whatever you do, do not mow turf that is still thawing from a frost or freeze.
Spring Landscaping Services You Need
Every spring, landscapers, commercial property owners and homeowners alike scramble to take advantage of the warming spring weather, and prepare for the summer. Luckily, with the Florida heat, we don't need to be in such a rush, but there are some pretty fundamental landscaping services everyone needs to use this spring. Whether it's dealing with the bare, matted spots on your lawn, or the accelerated growth you will begin to see, there are a variety of best practices. When it comes to these necessary services, there is no need to worry, we have gathered them right here for you, to make sure you stay informed on the best ways to take care of your Florida landscape this spring.
After the cold season, your grass will be looking for some fertilization come early spring. Fertilizer is an easy way to provide your lawn the nutrients it needs, that it can't come across naturally. At Estate Landscaping, we have and use custom blended fertilizer for each specific property that we service. We use commercial grade fertilizer, with programs that include all the most common Florida grasses. When it comes to getting your lawn fertilized, the professionals at Estate are your best resource.
Living in sub-tropical Florida, irrigation is a necessity year round. Getting an irrigation check never hurts, as with heavier rainfall in the spring, there are typically consumption adjustments that must be made. Looking to prevent future issues is always a great benefit, heading off maintenance.
Though many weeds can look harmless, they are a menace to the health of your lawn. If you own a commercial property, or are checking out the entrance to an HOA, the last thing you want to see is weeds. At Estate Landscaping, we actively manage weeds and disease with pre-emergents and post-emergents, properly monitored by our certified horticulturists. Don’t hesitate, as you don’t want weeds to take over your perfectly manicured Florida lawn.
As growth accelerates, mowing may become more of a chore, and you may want to pass it off to a consistent provider. On the other hand you could be a commercial property owner looking to make a change to the quality of your large lawn. Either way, if you want experienced, consistent, and high quality lawn care there is only one way to go, Estate. We use commercial grade equipment, and maintain sharp blades for a clean cut appearance.
4 Reasons to Outsource your HOA Landscape Maintenance
As a decision maker for a Florida HOA, you inevitably become very familiar with the outdoor common areas of your neighborhood. One of the top responsibilities for HOA board’s is to take care of landscape maintenance and general upkeep of community property. Whether you currently employ a landscape maintenance provider, and are unhappy, or you take care of landscaping in-house, there are many advantages that come with an experienced, reliable landscape maintenance company that can fully service your needs. While some members of your board, or homeowners in your HOA may complain about the added cost, there are a variety of reasons why a Professional Landscape Maintenance service is right for your HOA (and may even save you money!).
Although it may seem obvious, one of the main allures of hiring a professional landscaping company is the professional expertise of trained crews, who have operated in the industry for years. When you take on a professional, they should be able to quickly and easily identify your needs and issues, and provide you the most relevant solutions. Reliance on your eye, and additional research can keep you afloat, but it takes more than a google search to maintain a beautiful Florida HOA landscape. At Estate Landscaping, we find ourselves often working with HOA’s, so we know a thing or two. Professional certifications and licenses exist to give you the peace of mind that your landscape is in great hands.
Although at first glance it may seem like an obvious increase in cost, hiring a professional landscape maintenance company can save you money in multiple ways. Whether it be bulk pricing on materials, such as mulch and rock, or the mitigated risk of preventing future problems, money is saved. You do not want to be caught off guard by each new unique challenge, causing budgetary issues, but have the confidence that a professional is taking care of you and your HOA. This consistent, reliable cost is often much lower than attempting to take short cuts, and keep maintenance in-house.
Consistency and Reliability
For the same reasons that a Landscape Maintenance company can save you money, they will also be consistent. When a professional, well coordinated maintenance team takes over your HOA, everything can fall into sync. When your homeowners see the consistency of branded trucks, uniformed workers and quality workmanship every week, it will inspire confidence in where their hard earned money is going. Additionally, the benefits of having one full service provider will prevent the headache of having to manage separate relationships for various projects. Keeping it clean and streamlined will add a more organized feel to your landscaping experience.
When you take on a contract with a Landscape Maintenance Contractor, your association can avoid liability for landscape mishaps. This is not to say that something will go wrong, as with a professional, insured and experienced team, the likelihood of a mishap decreases significantly. But when your association’s credibility is on the line, it is best to leave it in the hands of the professionals, like our team here at Estate Landscaping.
Hearty Shrubs Options For Your Southwest Florida Property
Shrubs are an instrumental part of every property’s ecosystem. They provide shade, improve soil stability, enhance air quality and create habitats for all types of wildlife. Of course, shrubs and small trees are also beautiful to look at, especially when you choose varieties that add seasonal interest to your landscape.
Benefits of Shrubs to your Property
The aesthetic value of shrubs is one benefit that can protect you from an unattractive view. Use shrubs wisely and your neighbor’s junkyard will cease to exist when you’re enjoying your morning coffee on the patio. You can also use shrubs to grow a living privacy boundary and to separate one area of your yard from another. On top of that, landscaped properties have a greater value than their bare counterparts. Established trees and shrubs are particularly appreciated because it can take some time for them to reach a mature size. Households that have established landscapes appreciate home values 5 to 20 percent higher than those that don’t.
Shrub Varieties to Consider
Hamelia patens can be a shrub or small tree. It has beautiful orange to red flowers that bloom year-round — unless nipped by the cold — and small red berries. Butterflies, birds and even hummingbirds are attracted to it. In years with cold spells, it will die back but return in the spring as a small shrub that can grow quite large. It likes sun or shade.
The Dwarf Ixora is a stunning addition to a garden in the warmer parts of the country, making Florida an ideal location. Its striking red blooms have earned it its name as the flame of the woods. It is relatively easy to take care of with the proper moisture and soil conditions. For your effort, you’ll enjoy a beautiful display of flowers all season long.
Light up a shade border with a Gold Dust plant, also called aucuba. This slow-growing, evergreen shrub has yellow speckled foliage or bright green glossy foliage depending on the cultivar. It keeps its leaves year-round, providing color and texture when other plants go dormant for winter. Gold Dust plant is grown for its berries as well as its leaves. Female plants produce bright red berries in fall when a male pollinator is nearby.
Popular as hedges and foundation plantings, these plants can also punctuate perennial beds and borders in the tropics and subtropics. Different varieties grow different sizes, but you can find types that grow from 4 to 10 feet tall and wide. Most are relatively slow growers as landscape shrubs and take well to pruning. Once established, Crotons are relatively drought tolerant, so they are easy to care for. There are varieties that thrive in full sun and others that prefer part shade, making it easy to use them in your landscape.
Why are we all not planting more hedges and massing these wonderfully versatile shrubs? They hold their own in every season from bloom of spring flowers to, for many species, late summer to fall fruits and colorful fall foliage. And, they are so undemanding and unfussy, filling in just about every sort of garden puzzle.