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How to inprove St. Augustine Lawn

Posted by WoodlandsMD 8 (My Page) on
Sun, Apr 13, 14 at 10:36

Hi - I live north of Houston and the lawn that we inherited is St. Augustine grass without any apparent thatch. We have not even attempted at dethatching since being here. The grass looks pretty bad with lots of yellow and dried blades among the new grass. There are also plenty of typical garden weeds. I don't want to use chemicals like W&F and I read that St. Augustines does not do well with herbicides anyway. I have heard about corn gluten meal as a preemergent organic but the weeds are unfortunately already here and I do not know if it will help the current status... What has worked for folks out there with regards to (1) weed control (2) improving health of lawn so it crowds out weeds?
Thanks for any help!

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: How to inprove St. Augustine Lawn

Your best source of information about this would be
Texas A & M Cooperative Extension Service. The link below is one article from them.

Here is a link that might be useful: Growing St. Augustine grass

RE: How to inprove St. Augustine Lawn

Hi Woodlands
We've been in Houston since '74, and I have gotten more bad advice than good concerning St Augustine grass. I think mine is good, but I DO know that the A&M advice is a little dated regarding organic methods.
So here's my two cents worth
We're in the middle of a multi year drought, which caused a lot of lawn soils to go sterile. Get some good quality compost and topdress the lawn, about 1/3 inch is enough. Add some minerals, I use greensand every 2 or 3 years.
Don't sweat the weeds, they will get crowded out, but BOAP the big ones if they bother you.
Cut 3.5 to 4 inches high, only water weekly at most but water deeply. Daily watering WILL kill your lawn, causing shallow roots that won't take summer stress.
Apply Actinovate after the compost and greensand with a soaking spray to get to the roots under the compost.
Good Luck

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