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.