No one wants unappealing curb appeal. That’s especially true for your lawn. Who admires — let alone buys — a home with a lousy-looking lawn?
“Lawns not only increase the aesthetic and economic value of the landscape, they also provide space for outdoor activities, aid in erosion control, filter pollutants and provide oxygen,” University of Florida Extension says.
Taking care of your lawn is the one of the best ways to preserve your home’s curb appeal. If you’re in the Tampa-St. Petersburg, FL, metro area, here are four tips for ensuring that your Tampa Bay lawn always is appealing.
1. Assess the Landscape.
Do you know what kind of grass you have or should have? If not, you need to figure that out.
In the Tampa Bay area, bahia, centipede and St. Augustine are the most popular types of turf. All of these are classified as warm-season grasses, which hold up well in warm, sunny climates.
St. Augustine, the most common grass in the Sunshine State, “produces a green to blue-green dense turf that is well adapted to most soils and climatic regions in Florida,” University of Florida Extension says.
Photo: J. Bryan Unruh
2. Consider the Water.
In general, bahia, centipede and St. Augustine can easily get by on ½ to ¾ of an inch each time you water the lawn.
Experts suggest not sticking to a strict watering program but, instead, watering your lawn when it shows signs that it’s thirsty. What are the signs? The leaf blades start to fold up, wilt or turn blue-gray, the extension service says, or footprints remain visible after walking on the grass.
3. Follow the Rules.
Water restrictions in the Tampa Bay area dictate when you can water your lawn.
Tampa and unincorporated Hillsborough County adhere to a two-day-a-week watering schedule. Watering must be done between 12:01 a.m. and 8 a.m. or between 6 p.m. and 11:59 p.m. Any single zone of a property may be watered only once on a permitted day — not in the morning and again in the evening.
Photo: L. Trenholm
St. Petersburg also has instituted a two-day-a-week watering schedule. Watering hours are 5 a.m. to 9 a.m. or 7 p.m. to 11 p.m.
If you live in another community in the Tampa Bay area, check with your local government to find out how lawn watering is regulated there.
4. Know How High to Mow.
Experts recommend these mowing heights for three of the most popular grasses in the Tampa Bay area:
“Mowing turf below the recommended height can stress the grass and subject it to invasion by weeds, insects and diseases,” the extension service says.
Top photo: Texas A&M AgriLife Research/Paul Schattenberg