Farm and Garden - Florida

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Migrating from


If you are a member of Florida Farm Bureau they published in the April/May 2013 newsletter a good article about fertilizing lawns something I have been thinking about this year. Since we now have a dog I would like to do this more organically with less impact to pets and wildlife and the environment as a whole. We are stewards of the Earth God has given us to work the land and maintain it. (The Book of Genesis). Here are the scans from that article [they offer the newsletter online at the above link as well but the scans are bigger] (click the thumbnail for a larger picture and click X in the picture to close it and return here) and also some notes I have collected.

PDF is attached: File:Florida agriculture 201304.pdf

Some useful links:

General Recommendations for Fertilization of Turfgrasses on Florida Soils

The Florida Lawn Handbook

University of Florida's Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS)

Florida Nursery, Growers and Landscape Assoc.

Notes on lawn:

There are three rules for good lawn.

1. Water deeply and infrequently. This goes most of the way toward keeping weeds out. Watering frequently and lightly is exactly what weed (and grass) seed need for germination.

2. Mulch mow at your mower's highest setting. This goes the rest of the way toward keeping the weeds out. That's all you can do for weed prevention (as far as I'm concerned).

3. Fertilize regularly. If you want to use organic fertilizer, you can follow my favorite plan. I fertilize at 10-20 pounds per 1,000 square feet with ordinary corn meal (agricultural) on all the federal holidays starting with Washington's Birthday. Then Memorial Day, 4th of July, Labor Day, and for you in FL, Thanksgiving.

If you think you might have an insect problem, you can get started by applying beneficial nematodes. In FL you can probably apply now and again in June.

For real time weed control, if the weeds have a tap root, use a Weed Hound tool. They work great. For clover looking weeds, hand pull. Usually it pulls out very easily and stays pulled out. If you get crabgrass in St Augustine in FL, write back. There is a special solution for that situation.

The beauty of the organic approach is that if you forget to do something, or if you accidentally double the application rate, there is no problem either way. You don't have to worry about timing one application of something against another, or timing your watering/mowing with an application. You can mow, water, apply fertilizer, and apply beneficial nematodes all in the same day (or night). This is no-hassle lawn care. The real keys are steps 1 and 2 above."