Renovating Your Florida Lawn

In the spring, many homeowners begin to think about sprucing up their lawns. Renovation is one way to improve your existing grass without completely removing it and starting over.

Turf lawn with a dead patch

Before you start your renovation, consider why your lawn isn’t currently thriving. If you don’t have the right type of grass for the site conditions, then your grass may suffer again.

Start your renovation by identifying problem areas of your lawn and removing dead or declining patches of turf. Next, use plugs, sprigs, or sod to fill in the holes. Water and fertilize your lawn according to UF/IFAS Extension recommendations, and before you know it, the renovated areas will blend in perfectly with the rest of your lawn.

Repairing the Lawn

Sometimes it’s more than just sprucing up; when there are dead areas in your lawn, it’s easy to repair them yourself.

Before doing anything, try to determine what killed these areas. Check your irrigation system for missed or overwatered areas, and look for other causes like insects or disease.

To repair patches of turf, you’ll need to use either plugs or sod. Plugging is the planting of two- to four-inch circular or block-shaped pieces of sod at six- to twelve-inch intervals. Plugs can be purchased from a garden center or cut from pieces of sod. To fill bare patches immediately, use sod.

Keep your soil moist until the new patches of grass are firmly established, and begin mowing as needed. Wait 30 to 60 days after planting to fertilize your new plugs or sod.

As for storm-flooded turf areas, many times submerged lawns will sustain root diseases. If there’s extensive damage, you might consider replacing those areas with a different kind of grass or even with some other kind of plant. Dr. Laurie Trenholm, UF/IFAS professor emeritus of environmental horticulture and a turfgrass specialist, suggests Bahia as a potential turf choice because it generally sustains fewer diseases than other warm-season turfgrasses.

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