December 2019

Cooler nights and fewer hours of sunshine have arrived.  That means lawns will go into some sort of dormancy and many will turn brown.  Irrigating too often this time of year leads to extended periods of moist roots that encourage pests and disease.  If you do not have a Water Sense labeled controller that automatically adjusts irrigation, consider the following irrigation schedule:

  • December, January & February: Irrigate no more than once every 14 days through February.  If we receive a 1/2″ of rain, wait another 14 days.  
  • Many controllers do not offer an option to irrigate every 14-days.  If this applies to your controller, consider simply turning the controller to the OFF position.  Then, turn it to the ON position every 14 days, if we have received no rain.  Do not unplug the controller, as this may cause it to lose its settings.

Call for FREE training on how to adjust the irrigation controller or to report new plantings that require additional irrigation, (352) 527-7669
Water RestrictionsIrrigation may occur before 10 a.m. or after 4 p.m., as follows:ODD addresses on Wed. & Sat.  /  EVEN addresses on Thurs. & Sun.

Click HERE to learn more and apply.Winter Reminders
 No Nitrogen Fertilizers
Winter’s short days and cool nights trigger grass to go dormant and cast off roots.   No fertilizer should be applied until April when roots are re-established.  This is best for your turf and adheres to Citrus County’s fertilizer ordinance.

Mowing
Winter dormancy means less mowing because grass simply isn’t growing much.  For greatest freeze tolerance, most Bahia and St. Augustine grass varieties should stay at least 3.5” to 4” high.  This is the recommended height all year to aid freeze protection in winter and heat protection in warmer months.

grass

It’s Time for a Sprinkler Spruce Up

Winter is a great time to take advantage of a free irrigation system checkup and training at your home from Citrus County Utilities. This is what we will cover:

  • Using meter to check for leaks
  • Scheduling irrigation controller
  • Zone-by-zone irrigation efficiency review
  • Testing rain sensor
  • And… we can answer most any landscape or irrigation question

Limited to one per customer.  Call (352) 527-7669 to schedule an appointment.

December
Annuals/Bedding Plants
:  To add color to the winter garden, plant masses of petunia, pansy, and snapdragon. See Annuals: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/topic_annual_landscape_plants

Herbs:   Plant herbs that thrive in cool weather. Some examples include parsley, thyme, sage, dill, fennel, and cilantro. See Herbs: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/topic_herbs

Vegetables:  Reliable cool-season vegetables to plant this month include celery, cauliflower, lettuce, cabbage, and carrot. See Vegetable Gardening in Florida: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/topic_vegetable_gardening

Bulbs:  Amaryllis is a popular plant for the holiday season. It can be forced to bloom now or planted outdoors for spring blooms. See Bulbs for Florida: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/topic_bulbous_flowers

Lawn Disease: Continue to watch for brown patch and large patch, fungal diseases that cause areas of grass to turn brown. Since treatment is difficult, prevention with proper cultural practices is key. These diseases become active when the soil temperature, measured 2–4 in. deep, is between 65°F and 75°F and go dormant when the weather warms in May. See Turf Diseases: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/topic_turf_diseases

Cold Protection: Cold protection: Prepare now to protect tender plants should cold weather threaten. See Cold Protection and Chilling Damage of Landscape Plants: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/topic_landscapes_and_cold

For  more details or to see another month’s calendar, visit: http://solutionsforyourlife.ufl.edu/lawn_and_garden/calendar/Citrus Link Newsletter
The Citrus County Public Information Officer also sends a monthly email newsletter highlighting the latest construction projects, meeting highlights, staff and more.  If you would like to receive this once a month newsletter, register at www.citrusbocc.com/pio/pio.

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