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Winter Challenge: Keeping Tropical and Sub-Tropical Landscapes Alive in Cold Weather

Winter Challenge: Keeping Tropical and Sub-Tropical Landscapes Alive in Cold Weather

The trick to keeping tender plants safe from cold weather is knowing the limitation of your plants and your options to protect them from cold weather. Most plants grown in Pinellas County require temperatures below 28° for several hours to be damaged. Why? It is the freezing of water in the plant cells that kill plants – not the actual cold weather. The water in the plant cells freezes at 28° - not 32° - because the water in plant cells contains sugars and salts that act like anti-freeze. The exception is frost!


What to Do for Your lawn In January and February to Prepare for The Spring

What to Do for Your lawn In January and February to Prepare for The Spring

During the winter months of January and February in Pinellas County, the best thing you can do for your St Augustine lawn is prepare for March. During the winter months, St Augustine is semi- dormant or resting - it is waiting for the soil to warm and for longer days. As the soil warms with the spring rains and warmer sun, the St Augustine will rise out of dormancy and start a rapid growth cycle.


Homeowners Guide to Properly Caring for a St Augustine Lawn

Homeowners Guide to Properly Caring for a St Augustine Lawn

There are three fundamentals to master for a great St Augustine Lawn: Watering, Mowing and Lawn Spraying. Copious amounts of water is the single most determining factor for the success of your lawn. Mowing at 3” or higher is mandatory – anything less and expect less of a lawn. Lawn spraying maintains the fertility at medium levels, protects from insects and reduces weed populations. Water, mowing and lawn spraying are the three legs of the lawn care stool – remove one of the legs and the stool fails.


Report: Sugarcane Mosaic Virus Infected St Augustine Turf Growing in Southern Pinellas County

Report: Sugarcane Mosaic Virus Infected St Augustine Turf Growing in Southern Pinellas County

There is a lot of chatter these days about Sugarcane Mosaic Virus (SMV) –  the “deadly virus” attacking St Augustine turf in Pinellas County with no cure. That’s the “news”! However, what is happening in the real world is quite different. I care for one lawn confirmed with SMV (a neighbor across the street has the virus too). This article is about that lawn and my observations of that lawn. This article is not news – it is about the real world.


Winterizing Your St Augustine Turf Grass Lawn Protects against Disease and Reduces Weed Populations

Winterizing Your St Augustine Turf Grass Lawn Protects against Disease and Reduces Weed Populations

Cool air and soil temperatures suspend normal turf growth – a type of hibernation until warmer temperatures arrive in the spring. However not everything is on hold until the next warm spring day. Some weeds and fungus can thrive in the cooler temperatures. Winterizing your lawn is necessary to take care of the fungus and weeds that can attack your lawn during the winter months. I use granular fertilizers high in Potassium and strong liquid herbicides to “Winterize” your lawn.


Brown Patch is a Cool Weather Disease in St Augustine Lawns

Brown Patch is a Cool Weather Disease in St Augustine Lawns

Those brown circular patches of dead grass in your St Augustine turf grass lawn are probably brown patch. Brown Patch forms distinct circles or joined lobed circles of brown grass with a “halo” of yellow grass. The pathogen is a soil born fungus and can not be eliminated. The Good News: Except for the worse cases, Brown Patch can be controlled with good cultural practices! With the cooler temperatures and wetter soils, Brown Patch is active in lawns in St Petersburg, Largo and Clearwater areas.


A Promised Land Lawn Spraying Exceptional 5 Star Review

We avoid bragging at APL Lawn Spraying - we think every healthy lush green lawn speaks loudly for our work. However, there are times when we just get so many compliments, we need to share them with everyone. Thank You to all who wrote kind words about our service at Angie's list where we have "A" rating.


Junk Science for Lawns

Junk Science for Lawns

I told the owner the truth about her lawn – the plot of land she wanted to cover with St Augustine turf had limitations. This was her third attempt in 5 years to establish a lawn. It was evident the heavily wooded lot had too many tree roots and a too poor a soil to sustain a beautiful lawn. Sure there were patches of nice turf here and there but there were bare areas too! The owner just could not grasp the idea that her wooded lot had limitations – a picture perfect edge to edge St Augustine lawn was not possible. She believed there had to be a way to overcome the problems.


Large White Mushrooms Growing In the lawn Are A Community of Fungi Recycling Organic Matter

Large White Mushrooms Growing In the lawn Are A Community of Fungi Recycling Organic Matter

After heavy rains, high humidly and warm nights, it is not uncommon to have large white mushrooms growing out of your lawn in the morning. Often these mushrooms form a circle or an arc on the outer edge of a circle of darker greener turf. This is a fairy ring.


Why Your Lawn Is Thin, Weak and Has More Brown Leaves Than Green Leaves AKA Fall Transition

Why Your  Lawn Is Thin, Weak and Has More Brown Leaves Than Green Leaves  AKA Fall Transition

Fall is a transitional period in Pinellas County for St Augustine turf grass lawn – the transition from the rapid growth of summer to the sugar storage of Fall. Transitioning from from the rapid growth of summer to sugar storage is triggered by longer nights signaling the plant to remove sugars from leaves and send them to roots. The end results is more brown leaves and fewer green leaves and a lawn  often described as “dying”. But the lawn is not dying, it is storing up for the winter and the the spring. So what to do in the Fall for your St Augustine turf grass lawn?