St Augustine Grass

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  • Fertilizer and Weed Prevention
  • Organic Fertilizer & Weed Prevention
  • Background
  • St Augustine Traits
  • Watering
  • Soils
  • Aeration
  • Mowing
  • Common Management Mistakes
  • Specialty Products

St. Augustine Fertilizer and
Weed Prevention Program

January

Soil Test and Sol-u-cal (if necessary) - Soil testing available through W. P. Law, Inc.
Used to add Calcium to the soil and raises the pH to ensure necessary nutrients are available to your grass.

Feb. 15th - Mar. 15th

0-0-7 Barricade 0.38%   or   0-0-7 Dimension 0.13%
   (3# per 1000 sq. ft.)                          (3.3# per 1000 sq. ft.)
Prevents summer annual weeds such as crabgrass.

April

Bifenthrin Granular Insecticide
Broad spectrum insect control that lasts up to 3 months. Works great on fire ants.
(2.3# - 4.6# per 1000 sq. ft.)

Pillar G Fungicide (if necessary)
Systemic broad spectrum fungicide with two active ingredients for turf with a history of Large Patch.
(3# per 1000 sq. ft.)

May

19-0-6 Barricade 0.38%
   (3# per 1000 sq. ft.)
Provides nitrogen and pre-emergent for green-up and extended preventative weed control

June
20-0-10 Fertilizer
Maintains steady even growth with balanced slow release nutrients.

(5# per 1000 sq. ft.)

July

Bifenthrin Granular Insecticide
Broad spectrum insect control that lasts up to 3 months. Works great on fire ants.
(2.3# - 4.6# per 1000 sq. ft.)

August
6-1-11 with 7% Iron
Produces green color without flushing top growth in late season.

(5# per 1000 sq. ft.)

Sept. 15th - Oct. 15th

0-0-7 Barricade 0.38%   or   0-0-7 Dimension 0.13%
   (3# per 1000 sq. ft.)                          (6.6# per 1000 sq. ft.)
Prevents winter annual weeds such as annual bluegrass (Poa annua).

Pillar G Fungicide (if necessary)
Systemic broad spectrum fungicide with two active ingredients for turf with a history of Large Patch.
(3# per 1000 sq. ft.)

October

Pillar G Fungicide (if necessary)
Systemic broad spectrum fungicide with two active ingredients for turf with a history of Large Patch.
(3# per 1000 sq. ft.)

 

Organic Fertilizer & Weed Prevention Program

January

Soil Test and Verdelawn (if necessary) - Soil testing available through W. P. Law, Inc.
Used to add Calcium to the soil and raises the pH to ensure necessary nutrients are available to your grass.

Feb. 15th - Mar. 15th

0-0-7 Barricade 0.38%   or   0-0-7 Dimension 0.13%
   (3# per 1000 sq. ft.)                          (3.3# per 1000 sq. ft.)
Prevents summer annual weeds such as crabgrass.

April

Holganix
Increases soil organic content and promotes a thick fibrous root system
(Spray at 7 oz. per 1000 sq. ft.)

May
0-0-7 Barricade 0.38%   or   0-0-7 Dimension 0.13%
   (3# per 1000 sq. ft.)                          (3.3# per 1000 sq. ft.)
Prevents summer annual weeds such as crabgrass.

10-3-2
Holganix organic fertilizer
(5# per 1000 sq. ft.)

Holganix
(Spray at 7 oz. per 1000 sq. ft.)

June
10-3-2
Holganix organic fertilizer
(5# per 1000 sq. ft.)

Holganix
(Spray at 7 oz. per 1000 sq. ft.)

July
10-3-2
Holganix organic fertilizer
(5# per 1000 sq. ft.)
August
6-1-11 with 7% Iron
(5# per 1000 sq. ft.)
Produces a green color without flushing top growth in late season
Sept. 15th - Oct. 15th
0-0-7 Barricade 0.38%   or   0-0-7 Dimension 0.13%
   (3# per 1000 sq. ft.)                          (6.6# per 1000 sq. ft.)
Prevents winter annual weeds such as annual blue grass.

Holganix
(Spray at 7 oz. per 1000 sq. ft.)



***Total Holganix organic spray treatment should equal 24-36 oz. per 1000 sq. ft. per season.

 

Background

St. Augustine is a coarse warm season grass that is grown in coastal areas along the southern U. S. Because of its cold tolerance, St. Augustine is limited on how far inland it can be grown.  St. Augustine grows best on moist well drained soils found on coastal plains.  Newer varieties are available with improved cold tolerance.

St. Augustine spreads from above ground runners.  It is usually established through sodding as it produces very little viable seed.  Wear tolerance is only fair, leaving it primarily used for home lawn applications.

St. Augustine will tolerate more shade than most of the warm season turf grasses, although it may become thin and spindly under heavy shade conditions.  Like most grasses, it prefers full sun.

Helpful Tips

St. Augustine lawns are prone to many problems during the growing season.  One of the major problems we see with St. Augustine lawns are customers using inappropriate herbicides.  Before applying any herbicide, read the entire label and make certain it is labeled for St. Augustine.  If your lawn species is not written on the label, do not assume that the product is safe.

Yet another problem with St. Augustine is fungus. There are two fungus problems which become evident on most St. Augustine lawns during the summer.  The first fungus is Gray Leaf Spot.  This fungus presents small circular lesions on the leaves. Although unsightly, Grey Leaf Spot is not life threatening to the lawn.  Brown patch, however has become a major disease on the lawn during mid to late summer.  Brown patch will look as if someone poured hot oil on the lawn the night before. Within a few days, these areas will die and the infected area will continue to grow in size. Both of these fungus problems are easy to treat with a granular fungicide such as Eagle.

St Augustine Traits

  • Fertility - Medium
  • Drought Tolerance - Medium
  • Shade Tolerance - High (Like most grasses, prefers
  • full sun)
  • Disease Problems - Gray Leaf Spot, Patch Diseases
  • Insect Problems -Chinch Bugs
  • Recuperation Rate - Good
  • Density - Medium
  • Texture - Coarse
  • Wear Tolerance – Fair

Watering

The watering requirement for your St. Augustine lawn will vary greatly due to constantly changing weather conditions.  During the growing season, it may need anywhere from 0-1.5” of water per week.  The professionals at W. P. Law, Inc. suggest using an irrigation controller with a weather station or soil moisture sensors to compensate for these changing conditions.

Studies have shown these types of controllers can save 20-50% on your water bill over traditional time based controllers.  Existing controllers can also be fitted with this water saving technology.

In addition to saving water and money, there is no need for continual adjustment.  The result is a better looking lawn with less effort.  Because these “smart controllers” only apply water when needed, they will usually pay for themselves in water savings within the first year.

Soils

A practical understanding of your soil is essential in managing your lawn.  Soil pH is perhaps the most crucial element. Most turf grasses perform best when the soil pH falls between 6.3 and 7.0.  If your soil pH does not fall within this range, essential nutrients will not be available to the grass.  We recommend that a soil test be performed annually to check the pH values as well as other nutrient levels within the soil profile.  To obtain assistance with soil testing, contact your local Clemson University Extension office.

Aeration

Aeration has two purposes. The first is to simply loosen the soil. The second is to prune the roots. Core aeration is the recommended method and should be performed every 2 years on a typical home lawn during the growing season.  If your lawn receives heavy foot traffic, it is advisable to aerate every year.  Aeration should be performed during the growing season of the turf.

Mowing

St. Augustine performs best when mowed between 2 and 3 inches.  This height of cut should be easily obtained so long as the lawn is smooth. If there are severe irregularities in the grade, be careful not to scalp certain areas.  A good rule of thumb is to NEVER remove more than 1/3 of the leaf blade during mowing.

Common Management Mistakes

  • Over-watering
  • Mowing height too low

St. Augustine prefers a higher mowing height than most grasses.  Adjust mowing height to avoid scalping.  It performs best on moist, well drained sandy soils. 

Chinch bugs are a major insect problem and can transmit viruses.  Regular scouting should be done throughout the growing season to monitor for this insect.  Brown Patch disease has become more prevalent on St. Augustine in recent years in addition to Gray Leaf Spot.  Preventative fungicide applications should be made during hot, humid periods of the growing season.  Over-watering will increase the severity of these diseases.

 

UPDATE

Spring Dead Spot is a disease that is specific to Hybrid Bermuda.  This disease attacks the grass in the fall prior to dormancy.  Symptoms are not recognizable until spring when the grass begins to green up. 

Brown circular patches from 6” to 1’ are typical indicators of this disease.  Proper cultural practices with  last season potash applications and preventative fungicides in the fall can help prevent this disease.

Specialty Products

  • Sol-u-Cal  - Used to adjust soil pH. When applied at a rate of 12 pounds per 1,000 sq. ft., Sol-u-Cal will raise the pH as much as one point in as little as 4-6 weeks.
  • Disarm fungicide - Provides both curative and preventative control of more than 30 turf diseases.
  • Confront 3 Mini Granules - Excellent broadleaf weed control that can be used anytime of the year.
  • Bifenthrin - Broad spectrum insect control that lasts up to three months.  Works great on fire ants.
  • Eagle fungicide - Systemic broad spectrum disease control.
  • Aloft insecticide - Excellent grub control along with surface feeding insect control.