Lawn Tip: What to Do in February


By Rick Orr 02/14/2017
Your Lawn Needs Water and a Little Nitrogen in February

Water and a Little Nitrogen

What your lawn needs in February is water and a little nitrogen to boost soil microbial activity. If the water and nitrogen aren’t helping the turf, why bother?

Compost, Compost, Compost

As daylight lengthens and average temperatures rise, the soil temperatures will slowly rise. As the soil temperatures rise, the soil micros – fungi, single cell organisms, worms, bugs, etc - will become increasingly active composting organic and inorganic debris that has collected in the turf canopy over the winter.

With abundant debris, and warmer temperatures, soon there will be an explosion of microbial activity producing an massive amounts of composted material – aka compost.   

This compost is the finest of fine plant food for turf. There is nothing better than good compost for your lawn. Everything that collected in the turf canopy over the winter – dust, dirt, pollen, animal waste, leaves, etc. - is composted.

So why water ?

Water is essential to life. Let the soil dry out and the soil microbes die. Dead microbes do not compost. You’re not watering the turf; you are watering the soil. So, water like you were keeping the soil alive.

Warning: I have yet to see any lawn in Pinellas County killed with water – especially with an irrigation system. Ponding and standing water yes, with irrigation no! So, don’t believe the myth that you can kill your lawn by watering it too much. Water as much and as often as law permits and then some. For more info: How to Set Up Your Irrigation System to Keep a St Augustine Lawn Alive with 2x Week Watering Restrictions

So Why a Little Nitrogen?

Organic debris is low in nitrogen and high in carbon. You have a lot of debris, so there is more carbon than nitrogen. Adding a little nitrogen helps balance the carbon to nitrogen ratio in the organic debris. Soil microbes do better when they have a balanced meal of nitrogen and carbon

Warning: It does not take very much nitrogen to bring the C:N ratio into balance – about a 0.5 lbs. of nitrogen per 1000 sq. ft. or about 2.5 lbs. per average 5000 sq. ft. lawn. For Example: A 40 lbs. bag or 20-0-10 has 8 lbs. of nitrogen or enough for 3 lawns. Too much nitrogen and you create lazy microbes that just feed off the nitrogen and stop composting. So don’t over fertilize – it is bad for your lawn.

Rick Orr Owner-Operator APL Pest Control/Creator of ILOVETURF.COM
APL Pest Control

Rick Orr is the creator of, Owner/Operator of APL Pest Control, and a graduate of VA Tech in Agronomy (Turf Ecology).  

Since 1980, Rick worked in the green industry, mostly with golf courses, resorts, and large communities. Rick worked as a Golf Course Superintendent of Fripp Island Resort, agronomist for Seaside, FL, and the spray tech for Vinoy Golf Course. Rick has been certified as an arborist, landscape and irrigation contractor, and adjunct professor for Environmental Horticulture (SPC) in Pinellas County.  

Home Pest Control came naturally. Entomology (bug science) was part of agronomy studies. Nearly every indoor pest problem starts outdoors. Crossing over to home pest control from lawn spraying was a natural process – the technology, methods, and materials used for home pest control are modifications of the ones used for lawn spraying. 

The result of that work is one of the top-rated pest control companies in Pinellas County – APL Pest Control. APL Pest Control is a family-owned business serving residential and commercial properties in Pinellas County, FL. 

Free Price Quote for Home Pest Control and/or Lawn Care CLICK HERE

To learn more about APL Pest Control CLICK HERE

Speaking Engagements - Does it seem like you are only hearing one side of water restrictions, fertilizer bans, plant restrictions, and many other urban landscape hot topics? Rick Orr is available for speaking engagements for your HOA, Community or Professional Association, or Garden Club about a variety of subjects. To contact Rick you can find him on FacebookTwitterLinkedIn, and Instagram for booking information.