It was cold. Really, really, cold. Or was it? While it was sunny and in the mid 70’s in Central Florida today, two weeks ago it was a different story.
I remember the moment so vividly. We had just stopped by Ward’s, our local (and favorite) grocery store to pick up some things for dinner. On the way into the store we commented on how cold it was, and I mentioned that I might need to pull out a heavier jacket. We quickly made our way into the store where I began looking for the broccoli. Just then a gentleman came into the store, made eye contact with me, and said something that really struck home. He looked directly at me as I stood there, hands in my pockets and shoulders hunched trying to warm up, and said “This cold weather is getting old. If it doesn’t warm up pretty soon I’m going to retire and move to Florida where it’s warm.”
You see, at that point we were about 3 days into what would turn out to be one of the longest consecutive number of days with temperatures below freezing. The previous record was set in 1960 at nine days. We made it to eleven this time around. Being a bit of a weather junkie I had a couple thermometers set out around the yard and recorded a low temperature of around 17 degrees.
For those of you up north who are laughing a this point, you don’t get it. We live in Florida. It’s not supposed to get that cold!
Now we have friendly reminders of the cold all around us. Nearly every lawn you drive by from here to Orlando which would normally have at least a hint of green in it at this time of year has turned to a nice toasty brown color. If your lawn falls into this category, do not be alarmed. You are not alone.
Here is a picture that I took at Disney last week. They normally pride themselves on carefully manicured landscapes. Even they, with all their magical powers, could not escape the cold.
Of course, they had a response to this situation. It appeared that they “fixed” the problem and recreated paradise by laying new sod in the high-traffic entrances to the resort as you can see in the pictures below.
Don’t worry though if your grass is still brown and you lack the unlimited budget that would allow you to run out an hire someone to lay new sod next week. There is a good chance that the grass is simply dormant. Very, very, dormant. That is why it is brown.
The good news is that dormant grass will green up in the spring. Keep your eyes open for the first signs of green once we have had two or three weeks of warmer weather. If, however, you do not see any signs of life by the first of April, it might be time to be concerned.
Until then, just sit back and enjoy the fact a brown lawn does not need to be mowed! The alternative would be living up north and shoveling snow. I don’t know about you, but I’ll take brown grass in Florida over a snow shovel any day.