Rainy Weather and Your Florida Lawn

I don't know about y'all, but we are getting a whole lot of much needed rain here at the farm! Judging from the radar on the Weather Channel, it's affecting most of Florida and doesn't appear to be letting up anytime soon. This is the perfect time to discuss rain and the health of your lawn during this kind of weather.

Whether it's a mild downpour or a significant Tropical type storm, it's always a good idea to pay attention to the amount of precipitation your lawn is receiving. Too little or too much moisture can make it necessary to adjust your settings if you have a sprinkler system installed. If your lawn squishes when you walk, it's a good idea to turn that irrigation system off until you can walk through your yard without seeing water puddling up. There's no use wasting water when it is definitely not needed. A good way to train a St. Augustine lawn to be more drought tolerant is to wait until you see the blades of grass wilting a bit before running the sprinkler. This will entice your roots to go down deeper into the earth, seeking moisture. The deeper your roots, the more drought tolerant your lawn will be. This will save you money and be more "Green" by using less water, a natural resource. Just be careful not to water too little and cause your lawn to experience a drought like environment. Every irrigation system is different, so you may have to fiddle with yours a bit to get that happy medium when it comes to moisture levels. 

Another thing to look out for when moisture levels are high is fungus… Especially in the shade tolerant varieties of St. Augustine, like Palmetto. You will notice round circles of discolored or yellowed grass in your lawn if it is affected. Luckily, a trip to the store for some fungicide and a simple application following directions on the package should nip it in the bud. If you find the problem to be recurrent, you may want to decrease the amount of water that area is getting. Fungus loves three things: wet, warm, and dark. A shaded area of a Florida lawn can match all three criteria if the moisture levels aren't monitored. 

If you are installing new sod during a particular rainy period, and have chosen a St. Augustine variety, you may want to go ahead and apply fungicide to your new turf directly after laying it. This will ensure that you won't encounter this wet weather problem and will allow your new lawn to be healthy and green. 



Here is a photo of the storm rolling in over one of our pastures.