October 31, 2018
Landscaping tips for fall and winter
Frosts and freezes are relatively rare in Florida, but they still can damage grass, trees and plants.
As we get closer to cooler weather, Tyree Brown, a Certified Arborist and Field Services Supervisor for Rizzetta, has some tips for your community’s landscaping in the fall and winter, with the threat of colder weather in mind:
- Don’t fertilize your grass after November 1. It’s natural for grass to go dormant in winter, and with such a slow growth rate, there’s no need to fertilize. Also, as the weather cools, your grass will grow more slowly and will require less watering. This time of year, only water the grass if you get unseasonably high temperatures for a few days. Keep in mind that even though Bahia grass turns brown in the winter, it doesn’t mean that it’s dead.
- Be prudent when pruning flowers, perennials and flowering shrubs. They should be pruned about a month before cold weather strikes. If frost damages these plants, leave any dead material on until Spring. Pruning away dead branches or leaves too soon makes the plant more vulnerable to the next freeze. The dead material can also add another layer of protection during cold weather.
- Fall is a good time of year to clean out or cut dead tree branches. Deciduous trees, such as sycamores or elms, shed leaves in the fall, and their dead branches should be trimmed after the tree sheds its leaves. The dead branches on evergreen trees like pines, which have leaves all year, can be cut at any time.
- If you have the budget, cover plants during frost or freezes. Use sheets, towels or special plant covers to help protect vulnerable trees and plants during cold weather. If you do not have the budget for your landscaper to cover your plants, see if there are any willing volunteers in the community to do the work.