A Guide to Lawn Care in Jacksonville, FL
Jacksonville has a unique climate when compared to the rest of the continental United States. It has a warm climate year-round, but the different seasons do call for different lawn maintenance. Unlike northern states, you need to work on lawn maintenance year-round.
Lawn Mowing in Jacksonville
Because of the climate, you will be grass cutting all year round. During the summertime, you want to lower your mower height setting to the recommendation. During fall, winter, and spring, you should mow on the highest setting to ensure the overall health of your lawn. Doing so prevents weeds from taking root and keeps pets from eating your lawn.
In the winter months, aim to mow to a height of 3 to 4 inches. The recommended height during the summer months will depend on the variety of grass you selected.
- Bermudagrass – 1 to 2 inches
- Bahia – 3 to 4 inches
- Augustine – 2 to 2.5 inches
- Zoysia – 1.5 to 2.5 inches
- Paspalum – 1 to 1.5 inches
- Centipede – 1.5 to 2.5 inches
During the main growing season, you will need to mow bi-weekly but eventually, switch to once or twice a month in the winter.
It’s not only about lawn mowing itself. Remember to take care of your lawn mower! You should plan to give the mower a tune-up once per year. Sharpen the blades each year because you don’t want the blades to tear or shred your grass. Grass cutting is more easily achieved with sharp blades. Raise and lower your blade height depending on the season and climate at that time.
Core Aeration in Jacksonville
Core aeration is a method that prevents your soil from becoming too hard and compacted. A compacted lawn is unable to absorb the right nutrients and water necessary for proper growth. Before you fertilize your lawn, it is a good idea to aerate.
The best time to aerate in Jacksonville is in the middle to late spring, when the growth of the grass is starting to increase. The moisture level is higher during this time than in the middle of summer, allowing for deeper penetration into the soil. You can also aerate in the fall.
You can aerate your lawn with the proper tools that you either rent or purchase. These tools poke holes throughout your soil with spikes, and these tiny holes allow water and nutrients to seep into the root system. If you don’t want to buy the tools or your yard is too large, a lawn service professional is your best alternative.
Aerate is particularly important if you have a grass type that creates thatch easily, such as St. Augustine. Thatch is a layer of plant material that develops between the roots and green, new growth. Thatch can essentially suffocate your grass and deprive it of nutrients, air, and water. Aeration and de-thatching remove this material.
Overseeding in Jacksonville
To keep your lawn green, overseeding is generally needed in the winter months. During the winter, Florida lawns can suffer in the winter turns frosty and colder than average. Grass grows slower and might turn brown. Overseeding is a remedy to this problem and helps the transition to a nice green lawn in the spring.
Overseeding is a process of adding grass seed over your regular lawn to keep it strong and green. The best time to overseed your lawn in Jacksonville is between mid-November and early December. Make sure you rake and clear your lawn of any debris before overseeding. Then, evenly spread the grass seed over the area. Make sure to water but don’t let the ground get soggy.
Grass Types in Jacksonville
Growing healthy grass in Jacksonville, FL is challenging because the climate is unique. The right grass should be resistant to drought, but also be able to tolerate heavy rains and salt water.
Bermudagrass is the most popular choice for golf courses or places with a lot of foot traffic, but it still is a great grass for residents in Jacksonville. Bermudagrass is drought-resistant and grows well in the tropical climate. It can grow in poor soil and loves the moist, warm soil along the coast.
The main reason why you wouldn’t select Bermudagrass is that it requires regular maintenance and frequent pesticide usage.
Bahia is a warm-season grass that resists drought and pests well. This grass type has one of the longest root systems, extending up to eight feet, allowing it to reach down to water well under the surface. Bahiagrass originated in Brazil and tolerated the sandy soil of Jacksonville with ease.
Another popular variety in Jacksonville is St. Augustine because it loves the hot climate of the region. It handles the salt in the air because St. Augustine grass is native to the Caribbean and Mediterranean regions.
On the negative side, St. Augustine requires frequent fertilization and heavy watering. You must be watchful because this grass develops thick thatch and pests love this grass.
Zoysia resists droughts better than many types of grasses, and it holds up throughout the year. This grass type tolerates salt water as well, making it an option for coastal living. However, Zoysia doesn’t tolerate any frost, which is typically not a problem in Jacksonville. It turns brown if there is a frost, but Zoysia is one of the first grasses to turn green fully.
If you live on the coast of Jacksonville, paspalum is the best choice because it loves salt water. You could grow it with salt water irrigation with the right practices. Recycled water also is a good way to develop paspalum.
Homeowners who don’t enjoy a high-maintenance lawn might want to plant centipede grass because it doesn’t have strict requirements. The only problem with centipede grass is that it doesn’t like low temperatures, which typically isn’t a problem in Jacksonville.
Laying down pesticides or herbicides? Better go organic.
The government of Florida has taken pretty drastic steps to ensure that fertilizers and pesticides do not harm the watershed. Nearly all of Florida has streams and tributaries that feed into the Atlantic Ocean or Gulf of Mexico, and runoff can bring fertilizer with it.
The actual rules are quite complex, as detailed on the government of Florida’s website. One rule to keep in mind that nearly all residential application of fertilizer is banned during the rainy season, or June 1 through Sept 30.
Even during the regular season, there are different regulations on what fertilizer and pesticides can be applied. A special license is required for professionals to apply fertilizer that is not organic.
The regulations may vary by your city and county, but there’s one rule to stay safe when doing it yourself: always go organic. Most of the time, organic fertilizers can produce similar if not better results than non-organic options. However, there are certain instances, such as spot treatment of weeds, where organic just doesn’t cut it. That’s why we recommend hiring a professional lawn treatment specialist who understands the chemicals.
Maintaining Your Jacksonville, FL Lawn
The climate of Jacksonville poses unique challenges to homeowners, such as a large amount of salt in the air and water. Picking the right grass type is important, along with understanding how to mow properly and overseeding when necessary. Lawn care in Jacksonville, FL sounds complicated, but it can be made easy with a checklist and a plan for the year.
Hiring a Jacksonville Lawn Care Company
Since Jacksonville is particularly rainy, especially in the summer, it’s hard to keep a consistent lawn mowing schedule. Checking the daily weather and getting up early in the morning to mow your lawn is demanding. That’s why many Jacksonville residents hire lawn care service professionals—not their neighbors’ kids.
Professional lawn care services offer many benefits other than simply providing a lawn mowing service for you. Lawn treatment services, such as pest control and fertilization, are generally offered, and it’s good in general to have an expert assess how much lawn maintenance your property needs.
Top Lawn Care Companies in Jacksonville
You may be wondering, however: where to find a Jacksonville lawn care service near me? Since finding a top lawn care service near Jacksonville can sometimes be a challenge, we offer a list below that ranks the best Jacksonville lawn care services based on our review of online customer satisfaction. WikiLawn.com is in no way affiliated with these, nor have we used them.
1) Pat’s Lawn Service Plus
Jacksonville, FL 32208
Pat’s Lawn Service sports a fantastic reputation, as well as a long history of servicing the community. This small, excellent team always delivers the results their customers want to see. Repeat customers know they are in good hands with Pat’s Lawn Service Plus.
2) Chapman’s Services
Jacksonville, FL 32218
Chapman’s Services have been in business for over ten years and it shows. They easily work between commercial-sized lots or smaller lawns with precision and care. This is a company that is proud to serve Jacksonville.
3) Curb Appeal Will Rise
Jacksonville, FL 32208
The promised result is right in the name of the company. Curb appeal can raise the value of any home significantly, and Curb Appeal Will Rise has delivered on that promise for many years now. For quality and an eye for detail, this company is always fantastic.
4) First Coast Professional Lawn Care
Jacksonville, FL 32205
Professional is right there in the name for this well-established company, and they deliver on it every single time. Jacksonville residents know to expect a pleasant experience with First Coast Professional Lawn Care. They bring a fantastic attitude with them to every job as well as a great eye for detail.
5) D & M Lawn Care
Jacksonville, FL 32218
D & M Lawn Care has been delivering excellent results as long as it has been in business. Customers have praised them for being both reliable and affordable. If you want someone to take
6) Chan Man’s Lawn Care
Jacksonville, FL 32205
It’s not the Chandler you know from Friends who
7) Clarity Pools and Lawns, LLC.
Jacksonville, FL 32216
One of the best things about living in Florida is easy to
8) Proficient Grounds Maintenance Inc.
Jacksonville, FL 32217
With Proficient in their very name, you would hope you were getting the best. In this case, this friendly, well-established company delivers on the name. They offer a combined sixteen years of experience, regular deals and ways to save on lawn care, and
9) McDaniel’s Lawn Care & Landscaping
Jacksonville, FL 32246
McDaniel’s Lawn Care & Landscaping is truly one of the premiere services you can find for lawn care in Jacksonville. With plenty of rave reviews, this is a company that delivers excellent service with a personal touch. If you want a well-known and proven company in charge of your lawn care, it is hard to go wrong with them.
Recommended Plants for Jacksonville Landscapes
*All photos on the Wikilawn website are free for commercial or non-commercial use. Visual attribution is required.
Lemon Thyme is a ground cover plant that you can eat! It’s rich in iron and essential vitamins like C, D, and B-complex. Well known as a culinary herb for recipes that need a little lemon juice or zest.
Abelia x grandifloria
The Kaleidoscope Abelia can reach 2 to 2.5 feet in height and has a spread of 3 to 3.5 feet. Can be used as an informal hedge and loves the sun.
‘Zahara Double Yellow’
Zinnia x hybrida
Zinnias are known for how easy they are to grow and maintain. So, those who are lacking green thumbs now have their landscape solution for adding a pop of color to their design.
More Resources About Lawn & Garden Care in Jacksonville
Even without help from human hands, the Jacksonville area would bloom quite nicely. Because of its subtropical climate and plentiful rain, unique native plants abound. Home gardeners have many choices of native plants that thrive in Jacksonville to complement a...