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Lawn Care Lessons Learned From 2007 and 2008

The biggest lessons learned over the past two years have been regarding watering the landscape. There has been more damage than in recent years and regulators have suddenly entered the landscape irrigation picture.

2007 was a year with below normal rainfall and yet periods of heavy rainfall. 2008 followed with above normal rainfall and some extremely dry periods. In both years we got damage to landscape plantings and lawns from unusual weather conditions. The winter of 2007-2008 (September and October) saw an increase in winter damage to lawns primarily due to heavy rainfall and then dry, cold weather during December, January and February. In northeast Florida, the area north of the St. Johns River got substantially more frost and freeze damage than areas south and east of the river.

florida pond with fountain grass

During 2008 local governments and the St. Johns River Water Management District began looking closely at landscape water use and then passed regulations. The Water Management District passed new mandatory watering guidelines that state during Daylight Savings Time landscapes and lawns can be watered twice a week. During Eastern Standard Time, landscape watering is limited to once a week. Although there are exemptions for newly planted landscape plants and sod, they also allow government to enforce the rules and fine those not adhering.

Basically, the new rules are going to make it harder to properly manage and maintain a landscape unless one person has control of all aspects of the maintenance program. The best answer is for the person doing the mowing and pruning to also manage the irrigation system as well. Some of the damage we saw over the past two years could have been reduced through proper management of the irrigation system.

Who can spray your lawn and landscape?
Under Chapter 482 of the Florida Statutes, only licensed pest control operators can spray a lawn and only a certified pest control operator or commercial landscape maintenance applicator certified person (under Chapter 482) can spray landscape.

There are a number of unscrupulous companies that violate the Florida statutes and provide these services without the proper license. You, as a consumer, are at risk if you allow unlicensed individuals to apply pesticides to your landscape since they may not carry the required insurance the true professionals must carry and you may be stuck with the damage they cause.

For further information on this, visit www.doacs.state.fl.us, or call (850) 921-4177.
Skinnie Vinnie Lawncare, Inc. is fully certified to spray landscapes for our customers.

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