Will my St. Augustine lawn recover

davidinswfloridaApril 7, 2010

This winter we had 13 nights of hard freeze in southwest Florida. My acre of St. Augustine grass turned brown as it has in past winters, but this Spring most of it is not recovering. I would say that less than 50% has come back - the rest appears dead. In the 50% that is green, carpet grass has taken over about 1/3. What do I need to do to the areas that are still brown? How do I get rid of the carpet grass? Until this Spring my lawn was the envy of my 350 neighbors - but now my lawn is the worst of them all - HELP!

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fruitjarfla

I am in mid-Florida and have a similar situation - but not near as large as your dead zone. My largest area is about 400 square feet - in the center of my back yard, and about 150 in my front yard. I do not think the back yard St. A will recover. I also have the creeping Bermuda starting to fill in some of the rest of my yard. I do not think that there is much you can do about the Bermuda since the herbicide for that will also wipe out the St. A. Last fall I planted some patches of Empire Zoysia and it survived better and if I must replant the areas of the St. A, it will be with the Empire Zoysia.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2010 at 8:21AM
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texas-weed(7A)

Well it sounds like you had freeze damage and killed a lot of your SA. Nothing you can do to revive it, it is dead. So you have a choice to make. Either re sod the area, or let whatever fill is take over.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2010 at 9:12PM
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botanicalbill(9b SWFlorida)

Well my comment to you differs, how do you have 350 neighbors?
Go with zoysia, I soded my yard 3 weeks ago and it has rooted in very nice. Should start to spread in about a month. Its difficult to kill too.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2010 at 11:27AM
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dchall_san_antonio(8 San Antonio)

How hard could your freeze have been? Was it worse than 19 degrees for several nights in a row? Year after year we get many nights of "hard freeze" and I've never seen a lawn that did not recover. I do see many people renovating their lawns this spring. After not watering for two full years, a lot of lawns were lost and became weed patches. Even the guy down the street who never waters ever renovated his lawn. Now he's diligently watering every day. It will be interesting to see what happens when he reverts to not watering.

I suspect you have other problems. How often do you normally water? How low do you mow? How often do you fertilize?

What is carpet grass? Around here St Augustine is called carpet grass.

Bermuda will not be a problem unless you mow the St Aug low. If you let it get high, the bermuda will disappear. As long as St Aug gets water regularly, it will predominate.

And how do you have 350 neighbors? Let's see, 350 neighbors at 1 acre each is 350 acres or 30 acres more than half a section. I suppose that is possible.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2010 at 5:51PM
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alabamatreehugger(8)

I doubt it got any colder in south Florida than what it gets in the panhandle every year. I have never seen St Augustine grass damaged by freeze up here, and I'm talking 14-15F for a couple of nights.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2010 at 11:52PM
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lou_midlothian_tx(z8 DFW, Tx)

Mine are coming back after low or mid teens for several nights. It was completely brown by March. Now there's decent amount of green slowly popping up everywhere... Sure, there's a lot of winter damages but they should recover quickly when it warms up a bit more. Sapphire and Floratam varieties are known to be very fast to fill in so I'm not too worried. It's not like we get this kind of winter often anyway. No big deal.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2010 at 12:31PM
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botanicalbill(9b SWFlorida)

In zone 9b, South West of Lake O, in Florida, we had two nights of 26. That was our lowest for about 10 years.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2010 at 4:04PM
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lou_midlothian_tx(z8 DFW, Tx)

I saw many nights of mid 20s since I moved here in 2005. That's nothing for st augustine but in the low-mid teens for several nights, that's entirely different story which rarely ever happens. Significantly more winter damage so it'll take me a bit longer than usual for the lawn to completely green up. If you have Sapphire or Floratam, they will quickly fill in compared to Raleigh or Palmetto even though they are more cold hardy, in the end, it doesn't matter. Sapphire and Floratam seems to perform the best in hot weather compared to Raleigh. I haven't had Palmetto long enough because it got hit by SADV. So far, Sapphire and Floratam aren't affected by SADV otherwise I'd be growing Palisades zoysia which looks like dwarf st augustine grass.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2010 at 7:42PM
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lvmaryann_usapathway_com

Our sprinklers did not water a section of our SA grass. We live near Dallas, Texas and it has been very hot here. Before we knew it the lawn turned straw colored. Will it revive with extra water and fertilizer?

    Bookmark   July 4, 2011 at 9:50PM
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texas-weed(7A)

Our sprinklers did not water a section of our SA grass. We live near Dallas, Texas and it has been very hot here. Before we knew it the lawn turned straw colored. Will it revive with extra water and fertilizer?

Straw colored SA in Dallas this time of year = dead. Pull up a few runners and break them open to see if you see any sings of life or tinge of any thing green and moist. IF it is dry, brittle, and crunchy it is dead and no amount of water will bring it back.

SA is not like Bermuda where it goes dormant in very hot dry weather, it just dies.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2011 at 10:52PM
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