By Pam Brown, Urban Horticulture Extension Agent
The new water restrictions released a few weeks ago by the Southwest Florida Water Management District (SWFWMD) state that lawn renovations are to be avoided. There has been some confusion about this issue. Now SWFWMD has clarified this by stating that there is a prohibition against planting sod for lawn renovation, and they have asked governments to enforce this point. Robyn Felix, a spokes women for SWFWMD has stated that anything that causes you to need more water is unacceptable.
We sometimes forget that Pinellas, Pasco and Hillsborough Counties are suffering from drought and this fact puts our drinking water at risk. We are now in the dry months of the year and do not expect any significant rain until next summer.
All this being said, some exceptions do exist. You can plant sod in communities that use reclaimed water that comes from a municipal treatment plant. This does not include irrigation water that comes from surface water sources like lakes and ponds, and also does not include well water. Also, sod can be planted for new construction homes and along roadways that have bare soil.
Grass does not grow as much during our colder weather, so waiting until warmer weather is a probably good idea. However, homeowner associations may ask you to re-sod if your lawn looks unacceptable. Ms. Felix said that SWFWMD will intercede with the homeowner association if the homeowner sends them a copy of their citation or letter requiring a renovated lawn.
Please see my November 4th blog post below for discussion of the complete water restrictions.