St. Augustine Grass, First Time Home Owner, Please Help :'-(

VinceFLA904May 18, 2013

Hi All,

I live on the east coast of Florida in St. Augustine. First time home buyer and this is my first time taking care of a lawn. I've been working very hard lately trying to get my lawn back to life but I haven't had much luck.

I've had the lawn fertilized twice already, aerated, and I've been watering twice a week for 15 minutes per zone. Not to mention we just got 11 inches of rain a few weeks ago.

The sod looked great when it was put down in the winter, but never recovered from it. I have exposed roots and heavy layers of thatch sporadically around my yard which i've tried to rake up.

Any suggestions on how to help fix these exposed and bare areas would be appreciated!

This post was edited by VinceFLA904 on Sat, May 18, 13 at 15:14

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VinceFLA904

Here's a nice picture, see how the lawn is spotty?

    Bookmark   May 18, 2013 at 3:11PM
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VinceFLA904

The area closest to my home looks wonderful, I dont know why it's any different then the rest of the yard. I have built in irrigation that should equally distribute water.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2013 at 3:12PM
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joeworm

10:1 water to urine will fix it

    Bookmark   May 18, 2013 at 3:42PM
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VinceFLA904

I don't understand what you're saying. Mix urine and water and put it on the lawn? lol. I heard lime might help, perhaps measure the pH? But why would it be good in some areas bad in others....recommendations please help

    Bookmark   May 18, 2013 at 4:09PM
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ladywingr(9b/10a)

First thing I see is that it appears to be mowed too short. St Augustine should be mowed no lower than 3.5 to 4". I have attached a link to a Univ of FL publication on St Augustine care. Hope it helps.

Here is a link that might be useful: St Augustine care

    Bookmark   May 18, 2013 at 4:55PM
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starryrider(9)

You should water 2 times a week for close to an hour. You need 3/4 to 1 inch of water per watering. Short watering promotes root growth close to the surface and causes the grass to dry out quickly.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2013 at 5:28PM
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VinceFLA904

Thank you for all of the responses, I've always cut this grass with my mower at 3.5 Inches. Those patches that look low never grew to a height of 3.5 inches.

I have increased my watering, doubling it to 30 minutes, twice a day at 3am Thursday and Sunday. I don't think I can afford to water an hour per zone (I have 8 zones)

Is there anything I can do to recover my lawn that looks like photo #1 beside watering for a longer duration?

    Bookmark   May 18, 2013 at 6:08PM
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greenie1_gw

If you've fertilized and watered, seems the logical conclusion is an insect or disease issue. Chinch bugs?

    Bookmark   May 18, 2013 at 8:30PM
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slopfrog

Looks like it needs water to me. Are you SURE that the irrigation system is watering evenly? I bet it's not... Also, 15 minutes per zone is not going to work. Try 45 minutes per zone.

If you're doing it on city water, then you need to get a well installed. St. Augustine grass and Irrigating with city water won't work well for your wallet.

You might also look for chinch bug damage. Pick through the grass and look for little brown bugs between where the blades of grass come together. Look primarily at the living edges of dead patches.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2013 at 8:34PM
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saldut

Did someone use weed-killer on the grass-weeds? usually when it is, there is no sign of weeds but sometimes the grass has suffered also, I see no weeds here and usually when a lawn is this bad, there are lots of weeds...so where are the weeds?? I would suspect that weed-killer was applied and it also killed the grass.......just a guess....sally

    Bookmark   May 19, 2013 at 7:05PM
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VinceFLA904

We had scotts lawn service come out and they've treated the lawn for weeds twice, fertilized twice and aerated the lawn. However prior to doing any of that, the lawn still looked exactly as it does in my pictures. We've also had 10+ inches of rainfall and it continues to rain all this week. They mentioned no sign of chinch bugs or disease.

Perhaps I should check the pH and apply Lime if necessary?

This post was edited by VinceFLA904 on Wed, May 22, 13 at 17:12

    Bookmark   May 22, 2013 at 5:11PM
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whgille(FL 9b)

Vince, I just thought I pass the info to you, one of my neighbors had the problem with part of his lawn and looked just like yours, even the plants that he put there died till the other day that I saw the lawn is green, he said that the other neighbor told him to put gypsum and that solved the problem for him. Probably checking the ph is a good idea for you.

Silvia

    Bookmark   May 22, 2013 at 6:51PM
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VinceFLA904

Thanks so much for the suggestion! I will try that!

    Bookmark   May 24, 2013 at 8:04PM
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scogebear

Looks like chinch bugs to me. If you're not against it, put down a bug killer that will take care of them, then feed the lawn in mid June.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2013 at 10:05PM
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jctsai8b(8B)

Grass grows easy, whether it's St. Augustine or others. You are right to cut 3.5 inches. All you need to do is to apply "Bayer advanced complete insect killer" every 2.5 month during March to November. Water once a week (if have rain, no watering is needed). Apply fertilizer once a year in March. May be fungi control once every two years. You will be fine. Bottom line. No insect, no disease, no fungi, grass will grow and take care itself.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2013 at 3:26PM
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VinceFLA904

I wanted to share new pictures of my lawn, it's coming along nicely, 5 months later. There are a couple of bad spots, but that's becuase I have 2 dogs.

Thank you for all of the tips!

    Bookmark   October 12, 2013 at 11:41AM
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love_the_yard(z9A Jax FL)

The yard looks great. Congratulations!

    Bookmark   October 12, 2013 at 10:01PM
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love_the_yard(z9A Jax FL)

The yard looks great. Congratulations!

    Bookmark   October 12, 2013 at 10:11PM
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wally_1936(8b)

Looks like you need to get started raising plants and trees to add to your beautiful yard.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2013 at 11:47PM
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