Is it too late to plant St. Augustine sod?

nicole007April 29, 2013

At this point, would it be better for me to wait until fall? Also, I was told by someone that I didn't need top soil. He just looked at the dirt and (he has a lot of experience with yards) and he said it looked good. But, I don't know ... it seems like everyone recommends top soil and compost. Do you have to do this to have the super thick yards? My yard has blackish soil but it's very flat (there are a few exposed tree roots) and it slightly slants in towards the house so that when it rains, dirt builds up underneath the front step. I keep hearing about compost helping drainage. Does it sound like I need that or should I just stick with his advice. He acts like he knows what he's talking about.

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bostedo(8a tx-bp-dfw)

St. Augustine can go in any time it's available from the sod farms. The difference is how much you will need to water it while it's roots take hold. So the answer depends: do you have a sprinkler system? Are you under any watering restrictions? Small enough lawn to hand water if necessary or too big? Probably still fine with at least two time per week watering, but will need additional watering in the sunny spots as the season progresses until established.

A bigger concern is water draining towards your house. Lot should be contoured so that water flows away from the foundation some distance on all sides before the lawn is put in.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2013 at 8:21PM
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roselee z8b S.W. Texas

I agree; you can sod St. Augustine now, but you have to keep it watered and that goes for anytime you plant it.

Look into the Floratam variety of St. Augustine. It's much more drought tolerant and vigorous than the 'regular' kind, Raleigh St. Austustine. We bought pallets of Flortam a few years ago, cut it into sections and plugged it into our existing St. Augustine. It only took it a year to take over. Love it.

Floratam grows best in sun. If you have a lot of shade another variety might be better.

Lou, who posts on here, has pictures of his yard which he sodded with Floratam pretty much right on top of caliche and it took. He recommends fertilizing it organically with things like soy bean meal, cotton seed meal, and alfalfa meal or pellets, which I've been doing. Works much better than commercial fertilizers.

Hopefully he'll see this and post his pictures and some recommendations.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2013 at 1:59PM
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bostedo(8a tx-bp-dfw)

Floratam is good stuff, but may not be hardy in zone 7. Typically not even sold north of Dallas because we're classified on the fringe of it's range. Believe Lou had good results as far up as Midlothian and it would probably do fine even further north until that twenty year deep freeze.

Palmetto is the variety many of the sod farms up here are now selling (promoting?) as a more drought tolerant alternative to Raleigh. Unfortunately there is not a lot science yet on the "deeper root" claims, SAD resistance, and other concerns, so don't know that I'd trust a whole yard to it at this point.

We did a Palmetto/Raleigh mix when giving part of our lawn a makeover 18 months or so ago, but too soon to tell if the Palmetto performs any better with the same or less water than the established (Raleigh) lawn.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2013 at 2:48PM
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Thanks for the input! Some people have scared me that it's too late. Roselee, the Floratam sounds really interesting. And Bostedo, I'm going to look into Palmetto too. Thanks.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2013 at 7:13PM
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