November is here, so for all intents and purposes, winter has arrived in Florida. We might finally begin to get consistently cooler temperatures as we wrap up the year and start looking ahead to the next one. Winter can be rough on the lawn and garden in any climate, and Central Florida is no exception. We may not need to shovel snow from our walkways, but as the season continues it is possible to see some freezing temperatures. If you want your yard to continue thriving through the winter and be ready to burst forth with new growth in the spring, a little time outside now will serve you well.
One of the most important tasks for keeping your landscape lush at this time of year is giving the lawn a good fertilization. If you are plagued with weeds, use a combination of weed and feed to get things under control. Follow that treatment with a fertilizer specifically for winterization two to four weeks later. This will help maintain a verdant lawn over the cooler months and prepare your yard for a quick takeoff come springtime.
You want to keep your lawn healthy and strong through the winter. If your grass is looking a little threadbare, you can overseed it with rye grass to give it a boost. However, if you have recently treated with a weed and feed blend, you need to wait at least 30 days before overseeding. Be sure to keep watering and feeding on a regular schedule. You want to fertilize your lawn every six to eight weeks.
Don’t forget to treat your annuals right, too! If you enjoy growing petunias and other delicate flowers, you’ll want to invest in a fungicide and insecticide to prevent winter damage from “damping off” blights and insidious insects. A little extra care right now will keep your posies pretty as the days get shorter and the nights get longer.
One last thing – if you have tender, young plants that you would like to see survive the cold season, now is the time for banking them. If they are lacking in essential minor elements, under fertilized, overwhelmed by weeds, or compromised by insect pests or disease, they may not make it through the season and succumb to damage from the cold.
BIO: William R. “Bill” Doty is the owner of Doty Farm and Garden Supply Inc. Founded in 1954, Doty Farm and Garden Supply, Inc. has been there for every one of their loyal customer’s budding needs. Bill Graduated from Winter Haven H.S. and then Florida State University, where he learned invaluable lessons in listening, asking questions, and reading anything related to the family business. Bill shares his knowledge with his customers daily and our readers each month.