St. Augustine Grass care

shear_stupidity(9B)January 15, 2013

I live in Central Coastal Florida near Kennedy Space Center. I have a 3/4 acre lawn that is comprised solely of St. Augustine grass, though I don't know the exact name. Is there anyone out there who can tell me a general weeding and feeding schedule? I don't know when to fertilize, and with what. I don't know when to put down weed prevention, and what to use. Also, I have some bare patches from the machinery and equipment used to install my in-ground pool, as well as other bare patches from letting leaves smother the grass for too long before raking them up. (My mistake) What type of seed would be good to use in my area to help the lawn look better and keep the weeds at bay until the St. Augustine recovers? I don't really want the expense of having it re-sodded in those areas. Thanks in advance.

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lou_midlothian_tx(z8 DFW, Tx)

Here's what I did with mine at the old house...

Mow at minimum 3 inches high. Maybe 4" during the summer. Fertilize on March 1st, June 1st and September 1st.

Water deeply (1 inch is 600 gallons per 1000 sqft) but you got a big yard so hope for rainfall instead of dry summer. I go as far as possible before having to water. When they are severely wilting but still green, it's time to water or they die by a bit. The longer you go, the more they die back.

That's about it. No widespread weeds because st aug was too thick for weeds to take over plus who cares about weeds? Just mow it and it looks fine. My parents had a big lawn so we just mowed. No raking. Just mulch mowed everything. Never was into watering lawn (garden/plant bed only).

For the bare patch, rye grass is often grown during the winter. They fizzle out when it gets very hot.

If your st aug have a thick purple reddish stolon, that's Floratam. Pretty tough cultivar for drought tolerance. If you don't have that, I suggest that you plug them in if you can find them. Maybe Lowe's or Home Depot or some of nursery stores have them??? Avoid Raleigh cultivar at all cost. Oh yeah, Floratam spreads out faster than any cultivars. Sapphire is the only one that can match that kind of speed but not sure about drought tolerance. It seemed pretty good for me. I don't know if it's available in Florida but you can get them at lawn plugs website.

Here is a link that might be useful: Lawn Plugs

    Bookmark   January 15, 2013 at 5:24PM
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shear_stupidity(9B)

I've got SO many weeds in my St. Augustine grass! The list includes oxalis, dollarweed, chickweed, sedges, hawksbeard, dayflower, matchweed, thistle, commelina, pliea, and spurge.
I don't know what a stolon is... but I see nothing purple about my grass?

    Bookmark   January 15, 2013 at 5:57PM
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lou_midlothian_tx(z8 DFW, Tx)

Stolon is above ground runner that spreads out. If you don't see purple stolon, then it's not Floratam. Just common. Check with big box stores if they ever sell Floratam pieces. Just throw some pieces down on bare patches every few feet and they will fill in fast when weather warms up. http://www.plantanswers.com/grass.htm

Atrazine is what used on St augustine to kill weeds. If you can find end hose sprayer, use it if weeds bothers you that much but be careful of not to get it on trees, shrubs, etc. Don't saturate ground with it. Just enough on the leaves of weeds.

Here is a link that might be useful: atrazine

    Bookmark   January 16, 2013 at 7:40AM
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shear_stupidity(9B)

I guess mine is common then. I will definitely be looking for Floratam. I've got a lot of bare patches from a pool dig. Thanks!

    Bookmark   January 16, 2013 at 8:23AM
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