Naples, Florida is fortunate in that we don’t often get hit as hard by hurricanes. That’s not to say they don’t happen, and when they do, they can be devastating to our yards. From debris to an increase in sodium levels, the damage hurricanes leave behind can be challenging – but not impossible – to fix. Here are some tips for lawn maintenance after hurricanes.
Best Practices For Lawn Maintenance After A Hurricane
Aside from ruining the appearance of your yard, debris can damage your turfgrass. That’s because they block out sunlight, and any salt clinging to the debris could be deposited in your yard. When your lawn doesn’t get enough light, it won’t be able to grow. In addition, the shade can attract pests like fleas and ticks, who need shelter from the sweltering sun, as well as microscopic pests like mold and mildew. Use a wheelbarrow and work gloves to remove medium and large-size pieces. After that, give your lawn a thorough raking to get rid of any small pieces of debris. Be sure to take safety precautions and wear thick-soled shoes. You never know what might have washed up in your yard – small bits of metal, glass, etc.
Flush Out The Salt Water
After a flood of salt water, it might seem counterintuitive to re-flood your lawn. Doesn’t extra moisture lead to pests, dead grass, and disease? Normally, yes. However, all that ocean water is full of salt. When sodium seeps into your soil, it changes the composition and pH levels of your soil. So the first thing you should do when the floodwaters recede is to flush out any lingering sodium with your garden hose – which is full of freshwater. Turn up the water pressure as high as it will go and water your lawn frequently to flush out the upper layer of soil. If you have an irrigation system, set it to turn on more often and remain on for longer than you normally would.
Hold Off On Fertilizing
Your first reaction to post-flood yard care might be to reach for the fertilizer. It’s actually a better idea to wait a bit. It might be the case that your grass bounces back on its own without the help of fertilizer. Fertilizers have a high sodium content, and so they can make matters worse after a salt-water flood. If, after a few weeks, your lawn doesn’t show signs of progress, it might be time to call in the help of lawn care services.
Set Your Mower Higher
Your turfgrass will need to rebuild its root system, likely shocked by the sudden uptick in salt. To help it out, set your mower slightly higher than you normally would.
Reduce Soil Compaction
Anything you can do to minimize soil compaction after a flood is ideal. Aside from removing debris, you should avoid walking on or using the lawn as much as possible. The best way to combat compaction is with an aeration treatment. This will create thousands of tiny holes in the ground that will allow air and sunlight to reach the root zones of your grass.
Balance The Soil With Gypsum
You might have heard of people adding lime to their soil to correct acidity levels. Gypsum is a powdery mineral that will displace all those salt particles and instead replace them with calcium. Gypsum won’t impact your soil pH. You’ll want to apply more gypsum every few days using a handheld spreader. Make sure to water your lawn deeply after you apply it.
Consider Mosquito Control
With all that flood water getting into every nook and cranny of your yard, you might notice an increase in mosquitoes. That’s because mosquitoes can use even the tiniest amount of standing water to lay their eggs. If you didn’t know, mosquitoes actually begin their life in the water, like tadpoles. You can avoid this problem by requesting a professional mosquito control spray application. At Land Art Inc, we can easily perform this simultaneously as fertilization, aeration, or any other lawn care treatment.
Rescue Your Lawn From Hurricane Damage – Call Land Art Inc
While we don’t get hit as often as our neighbors on the Atlantic coast, when hurricanes do arrive, they can cause major devastation to our yards. The experts at Land Art Inc can help restore your lawn. We are a full-service lawn company serving Naples, Fort Myers, and Estero. Our multi-step lawn care program will restore any nutrients flushed out of your soil, and our mosquito control services will get rid of any mosquitoes that moved in as a result of extra moisture. To learn more or schedule an appointment, call us at 1.800.336.5296 or leave us a message online!
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