Winter storm brings snow to Florida lawns

9 12 2009

An unexpected winter storm swept across parts of Tampa leaving behind a flurry of snow covered yards.  That’s right, snow in Florida.  On the grass.  Beautiful, fluffy white snow.

A little white turf paint makes for a nice touch of winter

Looking for a little more of the holiday spirit? Maybe a snow-covered lawn wil help!

Okay, not exactly.  VIP Pest Control in Tampa is offering a unique service to customers this holiday season.  Their “Snow Service” can bring a little glimpse of snow to your 80 degree days.  I am not sure how popular the service is at this point, but I think they might be on to something.  One of the local news channels picked up the story and ran it on their site, which I am sure is good for business.

It’s really a fun and simple idea.  Many people, myself included, wish they had some visual indication that we are nearing the Holiday Season.  Those of us that have lived in northern climates often rely on freezing cold temperatures, slick roads, and, of course, snow.  I personally find it hard to believe that it is December already.  This might help.

You might be asking “But, how?”  It is simple.  They are using the same paints that are frequently used to paint the lines on athletic fields.  They are water-soluble paints that are safe for the turf and will not cause any long-term damage.

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Changes to fertilizer ordinance in Pinellas County

3 12 2009

I came across an article in a recent email that details changes in a fertilizer ban currently in place in Pinellas County.  The article is an interesting read by itself when you consider the fact that very little effort is put into substantiating claims being made by certain environmental groups related to fertilizer use in the landscape.  The part that really caught my attention was the long list of comments left by people from the community that can be found at the bottom of the page.  Growing up in Idaho I know how important water availability and water quality can be and how easily the discussion can become heated.  It would be nice if people (reporters, general public, policy makers, etc) would be willing to make an effort to understand the research, both past and present, explaining nutrient uptake and fate in the urban landscape.  If they would, they would see that things like summer black-out periods for fertilization are not based on sound science and as such, are not good decisions for the environment.





Wishing I lived up North

2 12 2009

Well, maybe not.  It is December 2nd and the high temperature today in Gainesville was around 79 degrees.  That is hard to beat.  However, the cool nighttime temperatures have resulted in a number of our warm-season turfgrasses beginning their transition to dormancy.  You do not have to look around much to realize that the grass has basically stopped growing.  Knowing that, I find it interesting to see how many landscape management companies still insist on MOWING!  In all fairness, there are a number of weeds that pop up this time of year that can be bothersome to homeowners.  Maybe they are trying to keep them mowed down.  Who knows.  The sad thing about this time of year is the fact that our grasses are going dormant which means we will be surrounded by a sea of brown yards.  Personally, I am considering overseeding my lawn with a cool-season turfgrass to add a little color (and a little piece of home, since I am originally from Idaho and I LOVE the feel of cool-season turfgrasses under my toes!).  Not that I would recommend everyone overseed their lawn for color.  It is risky – there is a pretty good chance that by planting a cool-season grass for winter color that you will actually injure or kill your warm-season turfgrass.  For some, this is a big risk to take.  I see it as an opportunity (excuse) to re-sod my yard. 🙂