Greening Your Lawn Basic Turf Care for HOAs

 There are many reasons why homebuyers choose to live in a residential  neighborhood, whether their home itself is a townhouse, villa, or single family  home. Some people simply enjoy the freedom of not being in a multifamily  building, where your neighbors watch your every move. Others enjoy being able  to walk out their front door and literally smell the roses; in some cases roses  that they planted themselves. One of the biggest perks of living in a  residential neighborhood, however, is the opportunity to have a real yard  complete with natural, living grass.  

 A lawn does not take care of itself, though. Here in South Florida, cultivating,  fertilizing, and hydrating can take on a whole new set of challenges due to the  heat, humidity, and varying cycles of rain and drought. Fortunately for HOA  owners and groundskeepers, there are resources like the University of Florida's  College of Agricultural and Life Sciences and the National Institute of Food & Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) Cooperative Extension Service, which have  dedicated millions of dollars and countless hours of research to determine the  best types of grasses for the state, and the best ways to keep them happy and  healthy.  

 Grass Class

 According to Teresa H. Monson, senior communications specialist for the St.  Johns River Water Management District in Palatka, the most common grass in  South Florida is St. Augustine grass. These broad-leafed grasses respond very  well to the Florida weather, and grow best in full sunlight. They are available  in two variations that grow better in the shade; Bitter Blue, which is a good  option for shady lawns and has cold weather tolerance, and Sapphire, which is  heat-, salt-, shade- and drought-tolerant, making it an excellent choice for  coastal areas.  

 “Although St. Augustine grass is a popular choice among Florida homeowners, many  people are looking for other alternatives to save water—and money,” says Monson, “either by installing more water-efficient grass types or by implementing  water-wise landscaping practices that focus on 'right plant, right place' and  use Florida-friendly plants, mulches and other alternatives to turf.”  

 Other popular grass varieties in Florida include Bahia, Bermuda (used primarily  in golf courses), Centipede, Seashore Paspalum, and Zoysia. Each of these grass  types have their own set of pros and cons, and most can be found throughout the  state, with the exception of Centipede, which is primarily found in North  Florida.  


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  • You have several opintos. If you don't care about using chemicals, round-up is a chemical that you can find at your local garden center that will completely kill everything if applied properly. If you want to do it the green way, place several layers of newspaper over the vegetation you want killed. Eventually, everything growing in the area will suffocate and die due to the lack of air. Also, keeping the newspaper soaking wet will speed this process up. You may also want to place something heavy on top of the newspapers so they don't get blown away. In a few weeks, lift up part of the newspaper and see if everything is dead. If it isn't, leave the newspaper there for a few more weeks. After this is done, you'll need to start adding organic matter to the soil. Examples of this include table scraps (but NOTHING with meat or oil of any kind), grass clippings, tea bags, coffee grounds, orange peels, etc. Overtime the organic matter will break down in the soil, and vegetables LOVE soils rich in organic matter. If you want more info on this, just google composting . There's TONS of info on this.