Landscapes, Gardens and More in the Florida Panhandle



The southern lawn in the panhandle of Florida.

The lawn maybe whatever is growing in the yard or a selection of grass like centipede, St Augustine, common or hybrid Bermuda. Whichever type you have chosen to maintain, requires that you do something to it. Well most of you. Some choose to just let it grow and cut in only when it becomes a problem. That works too.


For the more particular person, a lawn can be much like the family garden. It has the same problems, fertilizer needs, water, weeding, etc. These same needs are there even if you hire someone to keep the grass trimmed and edged. August is a good time to have a soil test done to determine what fertilizer your variety of grass needs. Your county extension office can help you with this. It is important to follow the test instructions and to be sure you know what variety of grass you have. Each variety has its own requirements.


August is also an excellent time to check for current weed problems in the grass. What you do now can make a difference in the weeds you have in the future. Don’t know what to look for? You can contact the local extension office for help or contact a professional lawn care service for help. Either of these can assist.


The month of August can be dry or wet, but seldom just right. The amount of moisture your grass needs varies, but normally if you get an inch per week the grass is happy. If you water, it is a good idea to put a rain gauge in you watering system. It will keep you from wasting water. If you have an irrigation system, have a rain sensor installed. It will shut down the irrigation when it rains saving you money and damage to the lawn.


Beds and Trees in the Landscape

Now that we have looked at the lawn, don’t forget to notice the plants in the beds and open landscape. They also need your attention. Be sure you are meeting their fertilizer and watering needs. Soil tests are also a good idea for these. Weeding the beds and getting them ready for the fall is important. If you leave the weeds to bloom and produce seed, you have set yourself up to have the same problems with weeds next year. Above all, do not let your trimmer string contact the plants. This will cause damage to the cambium layer under the bark. This is the layer that feeds the plant. Damage to it reduces the food and water supply for the plant.


Vegetable Garden

Now that the vegetables from the spring garden are gathered and stored, except for the okra, be sure the weeds and grass are removed along with the old plants. You can plant a late garden of peas, beans, squash, and cucumbers now. Also get the ground or raised beds ready for the fall garden of greens. If you did not do a spring soil test, now is the time. It will also help you prepare for your spring garden. Don’t forget to rotate your crops for better production and disease control.