• Kelly Guerrero

What should I do to my Florida Yard in February?

February is my favorite time of year to live in Florida. The coolest temperatures are usually behind us, and the days are perfect and the nights are just a bit cooler. What does this mean for your lawn and landscape? Plenty! Now is the perfect time to make changes to your landscape - to add that pop of color near the front door you've been checking out on Pinterest all winter. It's also a great time to add some landscaping around your lanai before the temperatures are too hot to do so. It's also the perfect time to trim up your crepe myrtles or live oaks before the growing season starts to ensure your landscape grows beautifully this season. We'd be happy to help with any of those projects, and we have an experienced landscape designer on staff to give you drawn to scale plans to maximize your green space.

Just call us at 941-776-5111 or email us at and we'll be happy to come to meet with you to talk about options, ideas, and plans.

This is also the best time of year to apply pre-emergent herbicides. What's that, you ask? There are basically two different types that we'll explore: pre-emergents for your turf grasses and pre-emergents for your ornamental beds. Pre-emergents can control seeds of annual grasses and certain broadleaf weeds. Check the bag label for which species it can control. The general rule of thumb is to apply pre-emergent herbicides in mid to late February for Central Florida. You want to apply the pre-emergent herbicide for four or five consecutive days before temperatures reach 65 to 70°F.

Not sure which kind is best? Of course, we're biased and believe it's well worth the investment to pay a professional like our partners at RCM Lawn & Ornamental to take care of that service for you. Starting and maintaining a good fertilization program is the key to a healthy lawn. Most homeowners pay less than $600 a year for this service - a great value if you consider all the benefits it brings you. In fact, it's less than your morning (or afternoon!) Starbucks each day if you do the math. It also takes one more thing off your weekend to-do list and gives you back your time.

Timing is critical when applying your herbicide. Applying a pre-emergence herbicide too early lets the inhibiting enzyme seep too far down in the topsoil, so tiny roots cannot reach it. If rains occur, the pre-emergence may be washed away. Another consideration is that the important inhibiting enzyme becomes inactive after a few weeks on the soil. Late germinating weed seeds, for example, goosegrass, will not be affected by a February pre-emergence application. In late spring a second application, about six to eight weeks after the first, maybe needed for more effective control of later emerging weed seeds.

Popular pre-emergence control for ornamental beds includes corn gluten products such as Preen formulations, as well as more powerful chemicals such as Oxadaiazon 2G, Ronstar-G and Snapshot. To be effective, pre-emergence herbicides must be on the topsoil where the seeds lie before sprouting. Pre-emergence herbicides kill only germinating seeds and tiny seedling plants. Always read and follow the directions on the label. Herbicides have a short life, so are effective for only the time printed on the label. Typically, a corn gluten product may last a month or so. Powerful chemicals last longer but are considerately more expensive. Liquid concentrations like Dimention-2EW are used in sprays by licensed applicators, not homeowners.

Fertilizer/herbicide mixtures in one application are not recommended to prevent weeds and fertilize at the same time. Never apply them near the root zone of trees, shrubs or other desirable plants. Keep feed-and-weed herbicides away from all ornamental beds. Use cautiously only on lawns, although we don't ever recommend using weed and feed products because in our experience they do more harm than good.

With a little pre-planning your yard and gardens can be beautiful, weed-free, and healthy this summer. If you have any questions or if we can be of service you in any way, please call us at: 941-776-5111

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