Cold Damage in Your Lawn and Landscape?

Lawn Care Tip

Now that the cold is gone, you will start to see the damage that’s been done to your St. Augustine or Zoysia lawn. Pictured is an example of how frost and freezing temperatures can knock back a healthy, lush green St. Augustine lawn.

Here’s what you need to do to help your St. Augustine or Zoysia lawn recover from the effects of our Central Florida winter:

  • Be patient. Allow your lawn to remain dormant for the rest of the winter season.
  • Do NOT fertilize until after the threat of more damaging cold has passed. Fertilizing immediately after the damage is done can prematurely cause new growth which will make your lawn susceptible to more damage in the event of more frost or freezing temperatures.
  • Scale back on your weekly irrigation cycle if you haven’t appropriately adjusted it for the winter season. Typically an established lawn can get by with a once a week watering schedule, sometimes less depending on rain.
  • Wait to mow for a few weeks after the cold snap or until we approach closer to the spring season. Do not lower your mower deck in attempt to cut away the dead as this method of “scalping” your lawn can create additional stress on the health of your lawn and lower your chances of a successful recovery.
  • Apply Fertilome F-Stop Fungicide to prevent fungus during wet/rainy conditions.

For additional information, click here to read more from our friends at the University of Florida’s IFAS Extension.

Trim or not to Trim?

Us avid gardeners can’t stand to see brown or dead leaves throughout our personal “Garden of Eden.” If you have the itch to prune everything in your landscape in attempt to rid your landscape of the effects of the cold, we suggest you wait until the threat of more cold has passed.

Likewise, we suggest waiting to fertilize your landscape until the spring season. Trimming and fertilizing too early in the winter season can stimulate new, tender growth and there is risk that it could be damaged by another cold spell.

An exception to this recommendation is if a plant is in critical condition. Then, we recommend pruning off any dead or broken branches and then nursing it with Fertilome Root Stimulator applied per directions once a week for 3-4 weeks. If you take this approach to saving a plant that is in critical condition, you will need to take extra precaution in protecting it from any future frost or freeze warnings.