Here in the Florida panhandle, we have a somewhat different idea of winter than people in other parts of the country do. Instead of white Christmas' and dashing through the snow (over the river and through the woods, obviously) to grandmother's house, visitors flock to our sunny southern state to escape their own snowy prisons.
While many people prepare for winter by bringing delicate year-round plants indoors, doing one last pruning and fertilization, and more, much of what Floridians should do to prepare for the coming cold season is simply daily vigilance to provide the best plant care possible.
Here are a few ideas on steps Florida panhandle homeowners can take for a beautiful landscape all winter long.
Get a green lawn
Many types of grass will start to turn brown as the weather cools. But ryegrass, a cool-season grass, will stay green long into the winter.
So in October, when the weather is still relatively warm (in the low 70s), over-seed your lawn with ryegrass and water well for a lush, green lawn to enjoy throughout the winter.
Prevent winter weeds
Winter weeds can be especially tough, so it's important to tackle these problems before they even start to crop up. Annual winter weeds, such as annual bluegrass, begin their life cycle in the fall and continue through the spring.
If your lawn is prone to winter weeds, knock them out before the weeds start causing landscape headaches by using a pre-emergent herbicide as soon as nighttime temperatures start to drop consistently into the mid fifties. Apply once and water well to establish them. You may need a second application later in the fall, too.
(Note: If you're over-seeding with ryegrass, you'll need to wait until your new grass is established to apply pre-emergent herbicides, as these chemicals are very harsh on new roots and can cause significant damage. If you're looking for a good guide, get in touch with the landscaping professionals at GreenEarth)
Create year-round interest
This is the fun part!
Don't settle for a boring landscape just because the weather's getting cooler. A landscaping professional can offer perfect planting suggestions for color, foliage texture and beauty in your outdoor living space even in winter.
Sweet, delicate petunias, pansies and viola, and more exotic flowers like foxglove and snapdragons are hardier in cool weather and look beautiful in a late fall and winter landscape.
Fall might even be a great time to not only over-seed your lawn with ryegrass, but also to plant some cool-season herbs and vegetables — what could be better than cooking up a holiday feast with ingredients from your own garden?
Taking care of your landscape and knocking out those winter weeds as the seasons change is especially important, but we also know life tends to get a bit crazy as temperatures start to cool down. School schedules get packed and social calendars fill up, especially as the holidays approach.
So let GreenEarth Landscape Services be your partner in lawn care and landscape maintenance! Get in touch with one of our landscape professionals to discuss creating a year-round plan to keep your outdoor living spaces beautiful.
Call our Panama City Beach office at (850) 236-1959, or call our Santa Rosa Beach office at (850) 267-0010.
Image credit: Alex_English