How to Care for a Lawn in Tampa

Overview

The Gulf Coast city of Tampa, Florida, boasts warm and sunny weather that's ideal for growing a wide variety of lawn grasses. Though general lawn care principles apply to Tampa like they do the rest of the United States, several Florida-specific strategies help take into account the area's warm climate and hot soils. Provide your Tampa lawn with the care it needs to keep it healthy, lush and green all year.

Step 1

Wait to water your Tampa lawn until the lawn takes on a bluish-gray color of the lawn's leaf blades begin folding inward, according to the University of Florida. Many Tampa homeowners water their lawns regularly regardless of the lawn's water needs, which the university says wastes water and encourages shallow lawn root growth.

Step 2

Water the lawn early in the morning--7 a.m. or 8 a.m. is ideal--as early irrigation helps hydrate the grass before Florida's hot sun heats up the soil. When irrigating, use enough water to moisten the soil to a depth of 10 inches. If you use a sprinkler, a moisture depth of 10 inches typically requires using approximately 3/4 inch of water across the lawn surface for most of Tampa's regional soil types, according to the University of Florida.

Step 3

Mow the lawn every seven to 10 days for most lawn species grown in Tampa. Cut the grass at the highest recommended mowing height for the specific lawn species you're raising. A higher height helps keep the turf more resistant to drought stress. The University of California has a full list of recommended cutting heights for commonly grown lawn species (see Resources).

Step 4

Fertilize the lawn twice annually, first at the start of summer and again at the beginning of fall. For all areas of the state, the University of Florida recommends using any all-purpose complete lawn fertilizer--the university suggests a 16-4-8, 10-10-10, 12-4-8 or 6-6-6 product--at the rate required to distribute 1/2 lb. of nitrogen per 1000 square feet of lawn surface. Follow the application calculations on the specific fertilizer's label, as nitrogen concentrations vary widely by brand.

Things You'll Need

  • Water
  • Lawn mower
  • Fertilizer

References

  • "The Lawn Bible"; David Mellor; 2003
  • University of Florida: Drought Conditioning Your Tampa Bay Area Lawn
  • University of Florida: General Recommendations for Fertilization

Who Can Help

  • University of Florida: Florida Lawn Handbook
  • University of California: Recommended Lawn Mowing Heights
Keywords: Tampa lawn care, Tampa lawn maintenance, Florida lawn management

About this Author

Josh Duvauchelle is an editor and journalist with more than 10 years' experience. His work has appeared in various magazines, including "Honolulu Magazine," which has more paid subscribers than any other magazine in Hawaii. He graduated with honors from Trinity Western University, holding a Bachelor of Arts in professional communications, and earned a certificate in applied leadership and public affairs from the Laurentian Leadership Centre.