I really need help. I don't know what to do.

Eni22August 20, 2014

Hello everybody. First of all, I am from Italy (apologies if my english is not great). I moved to south florida (Tampa Bay Area) one year ago and I got my first house few weeks ago. I don't know anything about lawns, grass, etc..
My situation is tough and I am getting different opinions by "professionals" i've contacted.

Front yard of my house is 95% weeds ( I am not sure what the previous owner did to make it look like this). Back yard is so and so but they told me that it could improve by just seeding.

The real problem is the front yard. Most of the people are telling me the only solution is to sod. I am ok with this idea but I don't have an irrigation system.

A guy from what is considered the best lawn care company of the area told me that without an irrigation system I am wasting my money and the grass will die.

Another guy from a different company told me that I could go with bermuda grass and I will be fine.

A third guy just told me to spread seeds around and, eventually, the front yard will look better.

To sod the front yard I will have to pay $1200.
What should I do?

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dchall_san_antonio(8 San Antonio)

Lawns are a lot easier than you are being told.

There are two extremely popular grasses in the south. One is bermuda and the other is St Augustine. Bermuda is a fine bladed grass which requires extra care every week while St Augustine grass is a coarse bladed grass.

There are two kinds of bermuda: one is a hybrid which only slightly resembles the "wild" varieties, and the other is common bermuda which is started from seed. This bermuda seed is the only grass seed that makes sense in the south. If you mix the two kinds of bermuda, it will always and forever look weedy. The two different kinds of grass just look different. The hybrid looks really nice most of the time. The common looks so-so most of the time unless you really spend a lot of time and money on it. Really both require a lot of care when compared with St Augustine. Bermuda is a FULL SUN type of grass. If it is in the shade of a building, fence, or shrubbery/trees, it will thin out and look poor. Bermuda can go dormant in the winter and when it does not get regular water.

St Augustine comes in many varieties. The common variety is rarely seen anymore. The others are all hybrids with different degrees of tolerance for shade, disease, and drought. St Augustine is the only grass in the south that can tolerate much shade, and it can tolerate a lot. In full sun it becomes very dense and very resistant to weeds. The Floratam variety works best in bright sun but will be a little thin in deep shade. When selecting St Augustine what matters most is what's available in your neighborhood. If you find some of a certain variety, please write back and we can explain the pros and cons for the ones you can get.

One interesting thing about St Augustine is that you can care for it such that it will wipe out other grasses. All it takes is proper water, mowing, and fertilizer. The difference between proper care for bermuda and St Augustine is slight but important if you want one or the other. If you start with just a few pieces of St Augustine, with proper care it can cover a yard in 2 years. If you want instant lawn, this won't work, but if you are patient, it will work. In fact I just bought a new home with no grass and will be doing the same thing.

Sorry I'm being called to dinner. There's more to say, but you might have some more questions.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2014 at 6:39PM
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