mixing Centipede and St. Augustine

stbonnerJuly 19, 2010

I have a St. Augustine lawn that was sodded in nine years ago. My yard is mostly shady, but I have an area out by the road that is hot and dry. I have been treating my lawn organically for the last two years, before that we were using conventional lawn amendments. I have multiple problems going on in my lawn, including fungus in a few areas (so far this year so good), crabgrass, and a terrible, weedy area in the hot area of my yard that is consistently awful looking. Every year when it gets really hot the grass dies back, the cinch bugs move in, and we have big dead areas in the front of the yard.

My yard service guys offered to replace some of my sod out in my hot, dry area of the yard. They replaced this, we went on vacation, and when I came back the new grass looks terrific. The only problem is that they put centipede grass out - not St. Augustine. I'm not happy about this, but honestly, I've never had St. Augustine grass look this good in that area.

I guess my question is - how big a problem am I going to have in caring for two types of grass, and is it going to look disjointed? At this point, I have to say that I'm pretty burnt out with my St. Augustine grass and it's endless problems. The only year that I had really beautiful grass was the year that we paid a lawn expert to take care of spraying, etc., and I was mortified at the amount of chemicals that it took to make my yard look good. I'm not willing to go down that road again. Suggestions?

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dogwind(Z8a TX)

Organics takes a little patience, and two years isn't very long in your effort to turn a lawn around to organic. Stick with it, and you should see improvement every year.
I doubt many people will be able to tell the difference between centipede and saint augustine, so I would not worry about it.
You don't say which organic amendments you've used in the past, nor do you mention what kind of soil you currently have, but I would recommend a top dressing of compost as the best all around amendment. I would also advise you read and follow the organic lawn care FAQ. Unfortunately, I haven't seen it posted in a while, so I'm not sure where it is stored currently. Fungus is commonly treatable with corn meal applied at 20lbs / 1000 sq ft (whole ground from a feed store is best). Mow your grass high (3 inches or more), and water deeply and infrequently to help create deep, drought tolerant roots. Fertilize with a variety of organic amendments to help build your soil.
I would also recommend a soil test, either from your county extension service, or an independent one to help steer you in the right direction about what your soil needs.
Finally, post back here with any additional questions you might have on your journey. Good luck.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2010 at 7:11PM
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