Lawn and Sprinkler Care

This page was put together for residents to help them take care of their yards.

Your Lawn

  • Because of water restrictions in the Central Florida area, residents must follow the watering schedule set forth by the St. John’s Water Management District. Here is the current watering schedule:

WateringSchedule

  • Water your lawn in the early morning hours rather than the evening hours, and do not water between the hours of 10 AM and 4 PM when it may be the hottest.
  • Avoid letting your grass grow too tall between mowings. If it grows too long the roots of your grass are weakened as well as the taller blades begin blocking the sunlight from smaller blades that are trying to grow.
  • Not only does yard care involve mowing, you also need to edge along sidewalks & driveways, and “weed-whack” along walls and planters where your mower can’t get in close enough. Instead of purchasing two separate items (an edger and a weed-whacker), there are implements with interchangeable ends that will allow you to do both jobs with just one machine.
edger combo

All-in-one Edger and Weed-Whacker

  • Another useful item is a yard vacuum. It looks like a lawnmower but sucks up leaves and grass clippings and mulches them. The blade is set high so it doesn’t cut your grass. Many yard vacuum models can also chew up limbs and branches through a side-chute. There are also over the shoulder models that allow you to suck up leaves and debris as well as reverse it to become a leaf blower.
yardv

A Yard Vacuum/Chipper

  • While many people leave the clippings in their yard to break down and become a natural fertilizer, this is unhealthy for Florida lawns as our grasses are very dense and leaving clippings to decay naturally will invite disease, pests, and possibly smother sections of your grass. Please bag your clippings and dispose on our yard waste pick-up day [Friday]. Yard waste may also be taken to the Log House Road Dump Station in Clermont on Wednesdays and Saturdays.
  • Be aware of the trees in your yard: all trees are going to drop leaves at some point in their yearly growth cycle. Certain types of leaves are very thick and can pile up on your grass and kill it or do damage if left too long. Examples of these are scrub oak leaves and magnolia leaves. Mow over or rake up leaves if you see them piling up on your lawn. You may wish to remove and replace a “problem” tree with one that requires less monitoring. Remember to do a little investigating if you are looking to add a tree to your yard: will it reduce your maintenance time in the yard? And remember to submit an ARB request at our online site and get approval if you are going to remove and/or add a tree.
  • Please remember that glass clippings must be picked up after you mow; please do not leave them on the street, sidewalk, driveway, gutter, or lawn. Clippings are unsightly and often will find their way into the storm drains where they can build up and block the drain. Fines may be placed on you if you are caught dumping or allowing yard waste into a sewer drain.
  • If your lawn requires re-sodding do not put sod down on top of weeds! Your sod will not win! Florida weeds are strong and they will just begin growing through the new sod.  Eventually the weeds will take back over and in a few months you will realize you’ve wasted thousands of dollars. The proper procedure is to have the area killed with herbicide. Once the weeds/old grass are dead and you wait the appropriate time after application, the dead vegetation then needs to be removed (and putting new sod over dead vegetation is also not a good idea). At that point the new sod can be laid down.
  • New sod should be watered daily for the first 30 days. St. John’s Water Management District water restrictions allow for this type of watering.

Your Sprinkler System

  • Periodically run your sprinklers to inspect the system. Make sure all the heads are working properly and are aimed at your lawn. Avoid having sprinklers spray your driveway or the street if you can. Why waste water you are paying for?
  • If you are unsure how to program your sprinkler control box simply write down the manufacturer and model number. Then go to the web and search for Manufacturer + Model # + “Manual”. This should give you a link to the manual that you can view and/or download. You can also find links this way to YouTube videos on programming your specific control box.
  • If you have any sprinkler heads that have very little or no water coming out then you either have a crack in your line or the sprinkler head is clogged.
  • If you have never done sprinkler repair before, there are many videos online that can show you how to repair a line or replace a sprinkler head. See links to these videos at the bottom of this page.
  • To save on your water bill, install a rain gauge on your sprinkler system. This device will stop your sprinklers from running and wasting your water if enough rain has fallen before the scheduled run.
  • Many lawn services also handle sprinkler maintenance and repair. You can pay them to handle the job, from head replacements to having a whole new system installed.
  • If you put down rock and stepping stones to replace grass on the side of your house (with ARB approval) don’t forget to cap the sprinklers in that area, or better yet, attach a drip irrigation end in place of a sprinkler and run lines to potted plants placed along that side. You can get a 4-line drip irrigation head for every one sprinkler head so just cap off the others you don’t need. You’ll save water from those heads you removed and use a lot less water using the drip irrigation lines. If the zone that waters this new area does not cover any of your grass, you can also save water by shortening the minutes that zone runs for.

Repairing a Cracked PVC Pipe

Replacing a Broken Sprinkler Head

Attaching Drip Irrigation to a Sprinkler System