Getting rid of St Augustine grass..

sharburkMay 15, 2007

My small back yard is being invaded by St Augustine grass. Does anyone know how I can get rid of it without starting over with the lawn? I really dislike it. I now have marathon grass (mixed with invading St Augustine).

We did a remodel this past year and my yard was neglected, wasn't watered or cared for... I'm paying the price now. Everything else is coming back, but the lawn has adopted this new grass. I have considered putting new sod in the last couple of years, maybe I'll be forced to now...

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jean001(z8aPortland, OR)

Are you certain it's St. Augustine? I ask because kikuyugrass looks very similar and is far more aggressive than St.Augustine.

To tell the difference, the stems of the St. Augustine are round and slick whereas tems of kikuyu are flattened and slightly hairy.

who previously gardened for 30-some years in SoCal.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2007 at 2:15AM
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I always thought it was St Augustine that I have. Went and looked. It's kikuyu. The stuff is evil. It clambers fences and six foot tall cactus. When I pull it up I end up yanking out six feet of runner. Can't stand the stuff.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2007 at 2:36PM
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The best way to keep kikuyu out is to avoid introducing it in the first place. Use oats, millet or some similar temporary cover crop to stabilise bare ground until the native vegetation that was there originally can re-colonise the site. Avoid collecting manure or mulching materials from sites where it occurs. If you notice it becoming established, remove it quickly, before it has a chance to spread.

Kikuyu can be dug out, but this can be very laborious, unless it is growing under a thick mulch. In this case the runners grow along the surface, and are easy to pull up. It is very easy to kill with non-selective herbicide, or some grass-specific herbicides can be used to remove it from among native grasses, with minimal damage to the natives.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2007 at 2:54PM
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Thank you for your responses. I'm assuming it is St. Augustine, but am not sure. I will look up some photos of both or maybe post a photo tomorrow. I pulled up quite a few runners today. Most were maybe around 6-8 inches long. It seems worse at the edges. The gardner no longer uses an edger, just a weed whacker... I'm thinking an edger would be better at keeping this from the edges.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2007 at 8:31PM
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I just looked at some on line photographs of the two grasses. I think what I'm getting is St Augustine. Seems the St Augustine has a broader leaf blade. Mine is very broad. The kikuyugrass looks as if it has a narrower blade. Since it hasn't gotten to the whole yard, I might use Round Up on it for now before it takes over everything.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2007 at 8:42PM
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Well, St. Augustine is not as bad as bermudagrass, which can go down into the soil several feet. St. Augustine is usually in top part of the soil, maybe a couple of inches deep. I would use round up, and pull what I can by hand. Once St. Augustine dries up, it is dead, doesnt re-grow like other grasses. Catch it now before it fills up your yard. It doesnt leave seeds or anything like that... once you pull with roots, that stolon is over.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2007 at 9:59AM
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Thanks skrip. I will continue to pull out what I can and also use the Round Up. When we first landscaped this yard, in 1973, we put in hybred bermuda grass and I loved it. So short and soft and green. When we built the back porch, I wanted a more traditional look and went with Marathon. I did like the hybred bermuda a lot. I don't like the wide blades of the St. Augustine and the rough feel of it.

Thanks for the suggestions.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2007 at 6:02PM
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hoovb zone 9 sunset 23

There's selective herbicides for lawns. I know one I used will kill St. Augustine while leaving the Fescue.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2007 at 12:32AM
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I am certain I have St. Augustine coming up through my (less than 1 year old) Marathon II. How do I get rid of the St. Augy without damaging the sod?

    Bookmark   September 4, 2007 at 10:57AM
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When we bought a previous house built in 1905 we had a front yard in common with our neighbor a 1902 model. Her lawn was St.Augustine and mine was blue grass. With no border between us it was impossible to contain her grass. A professional I consulted said a solid barrier 18 inches deep was needed to separate us. I dug a trench and poured concrete with a curb about 6 inches above the lawn. It was expensive but effective and did not improve neighborly relations. Al

    Bookmark   September 4, 2007 at 9:50PM
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