One thing that's predictable about the weather in January is that it is unpredictable.Cycles of moderate temperatures, rain and cold fronts are common. Even though most of our lawns have gone dormant, some care is needed especially to prevent stress from the constantly changing weather.
Because most of our warm-season grasses have poor cold tolerance, it's important to continue to take care of your grass during its dormancy. Injury to our warm-s eason turfgrass often occurs when temperatures drop below 20 degrees F. In general, major winter injury to turfgrass is caused by tissue desiccation, direct low-temperature kill, diseases or effects of too much traffic.
Unfortunately, it's not until spring that we see the effects of low-temperature stress. The most frequent problem we encounter is a "dead spot" in the lawn. Spring dead spots are common. They can be caused by several factors and are very difficult to diagnosis correctly.
The cause for spring dead spots can be due to low-temperature stress or lack of maintenance during the winter. One of the most important things to do during the dormancy period is to water correctly.
Lawns in Florida need less water during winter than during the rest of the year. In the spring and summer, grass may need water every three to five days, but only once every two or three weeks in winter, depending on where you live.
Grass grows more slowly during the colder months, requiring less watering and mowing. To save water, set your irrigation timer to manual throughout the year. Water your grass only when it shows signs of wilt—when about half the blades are folded and are blue-gray in color, and when footprints remain in the lawn.
Remember to irrigate with one-half to three-quarters of an inch of water, and only when needed. Always abide by your local watering restrictions. Don't forget, watering less will mean more money in your pockets.