The Q&A Archives: Lawngrass Planting for South Florida

Question: Last year we put in a lawn in May. Before planting the new lawn we purchased new soil to sort of make a fresh start. The instructions I received were that we just had to water it and if we wanted put on some kind of fertilizer.

By October I had nothing left of my investment. Therefore I would like you to advice me on the following:
1. What kind of lawngrass would you recommend for the weather in Miami, Florida?
2. Do I need to prepare the soil before planting it?
3. Where do I purchase the seeds or the grass squares?
4. And most important of all, how could I care for it?

Answer: I would recommend you try either Zoysia or St. Augustine turf. They can be purchased by the pallet or sometimes in plugs. If you want the pallets to go further, you can cut the blocks into strips or plugs with a sharpshooter shovel or a machete.

You can set out the turf in February in your deep south location. Fertilize using a product with a 3-1-2 ratio of nutrients. If you choose a product with numbers close to 15-5-10, apply 7 pounds per 1,000 square feet. If your product is close to 21-7-14, apply only 5 pounds per 1,000 square feet. Water daily for about 3 days then every 2 days for a week. Then back off to twice per week, applying 1/2 inch of sprinkler irrigation when you water. Mow every 5 to 7 days for best results.

Your Yellow Pages phone book should list your local turf suppliers. The following web page should offer some additional information for your consideration, especially regarding choices of turgrasses:

Thanks for the question!

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