Argentine Bahia grass is good for lawns without sprinklers. It won’t mind skipped waterings. The turf does turn brown during the drier months when left without water, but it grows back when the rains return.

It produces fewer seedheads and retains a good color.

It is a little more expensive but it takes minimal care.

It is the most pest-free of the lawn grasses.

Continue to do needed hedge pruning during the summer months. The general rule is to allow the new shoots to grow 6 or more inches long, then do the shearing. Cut them back to within an inch or two of the previous cuts. This allows the hedge to grow a little each time it is trimmed.

Continue to remove the old seedheads from crape myrtle trees throughout this month to encourage additional blooms.

Remove old fronds and seed stalks from palms.

Remove shoots on new trees that may be competing with the central leader.

Trim back limbs that are out-of-bounds and ruining the shape of the tree.

Look for diseased or damaged limbs that should be removed.

Do not apply paints or would coverings to pruning wounds. Let them heal naturally.

NO FERTILIZING containing Nitrogen or Phosphorus may be applied from June 1st to September 30th to turf or landscape plants. Additionally, there is now a limit as to how much Nitrogen can be applied per year. This limit is now no more than 4 pounds of actual Nitrogen per 1,000 square feet per year total.

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When to water your lawn?

The summer rains can be counted on for most of the water.  It is not unusual to see rain every day under normal Florida growing conditions.  Some days the rain may be just a sprinkle, so check the lawn for dry spots and water if needed.

Many people water their lawns incorrectly.  Over watering leads to a shallow root system and can damage and even kill your lawn.  Let your lawn tell you when to water.  Look for the following signs and consider watering when you see at least one of them:

1.  Folding leaf blades.  Drought-stressed lawns will curl up their leaf blades lengthwise in an attempt to minimize leaf area.

2.  Blue-gray color.  Drough-stressed lawns turn from green to a bluish-gray.

3.  Footprints remaining visible long after being made, means your lawn is experiencing drought stress.

Train your lawn’s roots to grow deep.  One way to help your lawn endure drought is to encourage deeper rooting.  Irriage only when the grass begins to show one of the three signs of lawn thirst listed above.  When you do water, apply the proper amount of water (1/2″ to 3/4″).  These practices will increase rooting depth and overall turf-stress tolerance.

Another way to encourage deeper rooting is proper mowing.  Mow at the highest recommended height for your grass type. and your grass’ roots will grow deeper.  When you mow too low, the grass puts energy into regrowing shoots rather than establishing deeper roots.

Consult the “Your Florida Lawn” website or your county Extension office for more information.

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June 1st is right around the corner…. I have reprinted this almost every year but we need to be prepared for the worst and hope for the best.

Let’s check our Hurricane Preparedness  and Disaster Supply Kit!

Water – at least 1 gallon daily per person for 3 to 7 days

Food – at least enough for 3 to 7 days
— non-perishable packaged or canned food / juices
— foods for infants or the elderly
— snack foods
— non-electric can opener
— cooking tools / fuel
— paper plates / plastic utensils

Blankets / Pillows, etc.

Clothing – seasonal / rain gear/ sturdy shoes

First Aid Kit / Medicines / Prescription Drugs

Special Items – for babies and the elderly

Toiletries / Hygiene items / Moisture wipes

Flashlight / Batteries

Radio – Battery operated and NOAA weather radio

Telephones – Fully charged cell phone with extra battery and a traditional (not cordless) telephone set

Cash (with some small bills) and Credit Cards – Banks and ATMs may not be available for extended periods


Toys, Books and Games

Important documents – in a waterproof container or watertight resealable plastic bag
— insurance, medical records, bank account numbers, Social Security card, etc.

Tools – keep a set with you during the storm

Vehicle fuel tanks filled

Pet care items
— proper identification / immunization records / medications
— ample supply of food and water
— a carrier or cage

Let’s keep in touch with our neighbors, family and friends to be sure everyone is safe.

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Memorial Day

Memorial Day is a time to remember and honor those many heroes who have given so much to secure the freedoms we today take for granted here in the U.S. Have a safe, happy and meaningful Memorial Day weekend

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Growing Bananas in Florida. Your landscape is pretty but does it taste good?

Banana tree in flower

Banana tree in flower

Growing Bananas in Florida

There is a certain satisfaction in being able to eat your landscape. While the beauty of a well planned and cared for landscape can bring joy and happiness to your entire community there is no denying the feeling of self worth that comes from being able to produce food from your land.

The banana is the largest plant on earth that does not have a woody trunk. Its dramatic impact as part of any landscape will never go unnoticed. The name Banana comes from the Arabic word “banan” and it means fingers no surprise then that the bunch is called a hand. Most fruit is touted as being fresh off the vine.

Bananas are nearly inedible green and if left to ripen on the plant they are even worse. To enjoy a delicious ripe Banana it must be cut from the plant and allowed to ripen off the plant. As bananas ripen off the plant, the starch in the fruit turns to sugar. Therefore, the riper the banana the sweeter it will taste. The monkeys are missing the best part.

The Banana is thought to come from Africa in prehistoric times. Many people think Bananas are the world’s first fruit.  Certain places still brew a type of beer from Bananas. Parts of Asia use the leaves as we would plastic food wrap. Next time we will talk about which Bananas are best to eat and which present the best appearance.

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Now or later Do you need professional lawn care?

When you or your community’s life style demands a more convenient way to maintain an attractive lawn, the lawn care professional is the best option.

Lawn care professionals understand how plants grow and what it takes to create an attractive lawn.

A good lawn care professional will end the confusing task of deciding the proper fertilizers and/ or pesticides for your lawn and where to purchase the best quality material while getting the greatest value.

Learning how to use the application equipment is a time-consuming task in and of itself. Trying to understand how to master calibrating spreaders and sprayers to accurately apply products is best left to an expert.

No homeowner wants the liability of improper storage of fertilizers and pesticides which should be stored in a locked, waterproof, and ventilated area that is to say nothing about the loss of valuable space.

In this age abounding lawsuits it is critical that property owners are protected from the possible risks to themselves and our environment that can be caused by the inexperienced homeowner applying fertilizers and pesticides to their lawns.

Professionals can use some pesticides that are not labeled for home-owner use but are the most effective way to protect your lawn.

The grass is always greener if it’s done by a Professional

The American Groundskeeper


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Get a Good Grass Guy

American Groundskeeper recognizes the challenges Florida homeowners’ associations face trying to maintain healthy grass.  Your turf lawn is under constant threat from pests and disease. That’s why American Groundskeeper does their best to impress upon every homeowner, the importance of making sure they hire a reliable, professional lawn care company. Please remember when hiring a lawn maintenance company, it is not just a case of how old is their rake or clippers. They are going to visit your home every few days, for long periods during the growing season. Make sure they are the kind of folks you want around; we do.

We are American Groundskeeper, Lawn Maintenance You Can Trust.


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Looking for commercial lawn maintenance can become a full time job

There are companies lying in wait to make a shambles of your community’s landscape and your budget. Avoiding them can be easy if you know what to look for and the questions to ask.

Your first task when looking for a commercial lawn maintenance company is to determine exactly what it is you want. It’s not enough to say mow and trim the lawn. You need to think about things like… what kind of fertilizers do you want used on your property, how flexible do you want the company you’re working with to be, and how often do you expect the company to perform each service for which you’ve contracted.

It’s vital that you and your lawn care professionals see eye to eye on a fundamental point. Your landscape is not a crop; you are not trying to feed the members of the community from the turf lawn or ornamental flowers and bushes that surround the homes in the community.

Your goal is to have a lush green healthy turf lawn and it be accented by healthy beautiful ornamental flowers, bushes and ground cover that is low in maintenance and follows the best landscapes practices. The return will be both economical and beautiful.

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Outsource Your Landscape Maintenance

You have decided to outsource landscape maintenance so your first step is to define what your community needs.

Just as you would not hire a building contractor to build a major project without much careful thought to the needs this building must fulfill, the same applies to your hiring of a Landscape maintenance company.
Knowing how to choose a lawn care company that suits the needs of your community’s residents and the landscape that makes your community what it is will save you time, money, and heartache throughout the years to come

Here are some tips to selecting a company that you will be happy with in the long term.

  • For example, do you need only a mow, trim and clean-up service?
  • Do you have a large property?
  • Do you want help with your landscape beds, complete maintenance or just weed control?
  • Do you require a company that can prune large trees?
  • Do you have an irrigation system that needs frequent programming and maintenance?
  • Do you need the service of certified professionals

Every lawn care company is different.  Some will be able to address all of the needs mentioned above, while others may specialize in some areas over others.  Make sure you know exactly which services you will need on a regular basis to find a company that works best for you.
Get recommendations, if the company you are considering is a large one, you can probably find several different reviews of the company online.  Remember it is not possible to please everyone so do you best to read a cross section of reviews. Many people will only write a public review if they are upset.

Other areas to check are the local Chamber of Commerce, Better Business Bureau, and with present customers.  If you have admired the landscape of a neighboring community the next time you pass by stop and  visit with a few of the residents outside, ask them who does their landscape maintenance.  If they do it themselves, they’ll be flattered.  If they have a service, they will be happy to refer you.

Contact the company to see their portfolio or for references, they will give you the most balanced perspective. Ask for a copy of an old bid they have prepared, tell them to please edit it for privacy. This will help you compare prices, and will also give you a good idea about their professionalism.

Have the person who will be the liaison with their company plan when, where and how service will happen.  Make sure they have provided you with a list of what services they might recommend that you did not include in your specs, and why they would recommend those services.

Require each company to send a representative out to evaluate your individual situation.  A reputable company will be willing to pay you a visit in order to gain you as a customer.

Engage in a trial relationship if possible, sign a contract for no more than one year in the beginning.  That will allow you to see whether the company can deliver on their promises.
Touch base with a manager or supervisor every time the company is working in your community throughout your contract year to discuss the progress with your goals.

If you are happy with the service, be sure to retain the company for the next year at the beginning of contract renewal to secure your spot!

Knowing how to choose a landscape maintenance company that works for you, can preserve the lifestyle that made you choose the community in which you live in the first place. Your community will know they have chosen well in picking you to lead.

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