What To Do in March for Your St Augustine Lawn


By Rick Orr 02/28/2022


Oka tree on Tampa Bay
Live Oak and Water Oak trees are semi-evergreen – they will drop all their leaves at once while the new leaves are growing.

Mulch the Leaves

Oak trees are semi-evergreen – they will drop all their leaves at once while the new leaves are growing. There is a moment when the oaks will be nearly leafless, and the lawn will be covered with leaves. Don’t despair, the leaves do no harm.

Raking leaves will harm the lawn. It is best to use a good mulching mower. A mulching mower is a misnomer, it should be a “leaf processing mower” – the mower chops/grinds leaves into smaller pieces (like a food processor). The chopped leaves, fall into the canopy and are composted into plant food.

Be Generous with the Water

It is the dry season. The rainy season does not start until July – so you have four months of little or no rain. The sandy soils of Pinellas County have no water holding capacity. After 72 hours from the last rain or irrigation, the lawn will be dry and needs water.

No one I know has overwatered a lawn with an irrigation system. However, this time of the year, it can die in hours from the lack of water. Therefore, do not be stingy with the water - water often and generously and you will be rewarded with a healthy and green lawn.

Raise the Mower

Help your lawn survive the coming dry months with a tall thick canopy. Hot dry weather is the enemy of your lawn. The best protection from hot dry weather is a tall thick lawn. The tall thick canopy blocks the hot Florida sun, protecting stems and roots, conserves water, and keeps the soil cool and moist – perfect for growing grass.

Control Winter Annual Weeds Organically

Rarely will you see winter annuals in the tall thick parts of your lawn. Most winter annuals grow along edges of buildings, fences, and planted beds where the string trimmer has scalped the lawn. Prevent winter annuals by string trimming at the same height as the mower.

Not every weed needs to be treated with a chemical. Winter annual weeds continuously sprout, grow, and die this time of the year – completing their life cycle in a couple of weeks. Winter annuals are not permanent and will die off with the coming hot weather.

Note: Weeds have no lethality – they cannot kill a lawn, destroy a lawn, or choke out a lawn. They are just ugly.

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

Rick Orr is the creator of Iloveturf.com, 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 has obtained certifications for arboriculture, landscape contractor, irrigation contractor, and taught Environmental Horticulture at St Petersburg College.  

Rick lives and works in Pinellas County.

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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. Feel free to contact Rick Orr at [email protected] for more information.