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Author Topic:   Palmetto with SAD
wilson
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posted 14 July 2006 22:16     Click Here to See the Profile for wilson     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I wanted to get some opinions on a problem I’m having with my St. Augustine grass. In April of 2004, I decided to renovate my front lawn. I live near Ft. Worth, Texas. I read some books and took my time with the project. I went to a small grass supplier in Bedford, TX for the sod. I was going to buy Raleigh St. Augustine, but I saw a brochure for the new Palmetto St. Augustine. The brochure from sod solutions convinced me to try it. I did, however, decide to split the yard with half Raleigh and half Palmetto. I did this to keep the cost down (Raleigh is cheaper), and I figured that if Palmetto is a stronger variety, it would eventually just takeover the entire yard.
This grass was delivered to my house, and I spent the day meticulously laying the sod. Turned out that 2004 was a good year to plant new grass in north Texas. There was plenty of rain through spring and summer. The grass responded very well, and I was pleased with my new lawn.
The next year, my grass started to green up again in the spring. The lawn was again looking great. Then my dad visited and spotted some areas of possible St. Augustine decline. I didn’t believe it, and I just figured that it was time to fertilize soon.
Now this year, the lawn is again growing well. Unfortunately, I have seen more areas of grass with spotted blades. I have closely inspected the blades, and I have done some research on the internet. The grass indeed has the classic mottled appearance of SAD, and the infected areas are limited to where I laid the Palmetto. The Raleigh is fine with no sign of the disease!
Last May, I contacted the supplier that sold me the grass. The lady there didn’t seem too surprised that my Palmetto has SAD. She wouldn’t give me any assistance with the problem I now have. Obviously, I’m disappointed that the premium grass I bought has an incurable disease. I again reviewed the Palmetto brochure from sod solutions. Although the brochure touts Palmetto as a superior grass, it cleverly omits any reference to St. Augustine decline.
I did some more research on the internet, and I found this website:
http://people.smu.edu/acambre/blog/CommentView,guid,abeed26d-e0d6-4741-bf19-c9cd0aeedfa2.aspx
This person lives in Dallas, close to me. He also bought his Palmetto grass just a few months after I did in 2004. The pictures of his grass look identical to mine.
I’m hopeful that the Raleigh will fill in as the Palmetto begins to thin. I may also plant plugs of Raleigh in the areas of infected Palmetto grass. I don’t want to tear up my lawn and start over again. My questions are:
- Do I have any recourse against the supplier of my grass?
- Does my plan of using the existing Raleigh and planting Raleigh plugs have a chance of success?
I also wanted to alert anyone who is considering Palmetto grass. This may not be the superior grass as some claim.


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Grassguy
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posted 14 July 2006 23:04     Click Here to See the Profile for Grassguy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Depending on your financial investment amount in the Palmetto it may be worth pursuing legally. In my opinion the sale was deceptive and misleading. full disclosure should of been there concerning the SAD volnurablity. Raleigh is SAD resistant, so is Floratam and seville. Just plug the ares and get it going again. Call the place you purchased the Palmetto from and tell them you are considering charging them with fraud and see how they respond. of course you have to prove it was a deliberate act but if the place selling the sod is a turf purveyor they had to know it was not SAD resistant.

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TexanOne
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posted 14 July 2006 23:56     Click Here to See the Profile for TexanOne     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
That was a very interesting and informative post Wilson. Until I read your post, I was under the belief that Palmetto was SAD resistant. Hmmm…

You probably have a good case against the supplier but the question is how much time and money do you want to invest pursuing legal action? As a suggestion, I would call the supplier to come out to the site, show him or her the proof of SAD, and then request a total refund of the money that was spent on the Palmetto. Hopefully, the supplier is local or you will probably have to submit samples. If the supplier is reputable (and almost all are), and you remain calm but firmly insistent, the supplier should not have any qualms about giving you a complete refund. I would pursue legal action as a matter of last resort, or if the supplier tells you to take a hike (or worse!). I’d bet a buck it won’t come to that though…

It will probably take several months to a couple of years before the SAD completely wipes out the Palmetto but it will most certainly be dead soon – that’s a fact of SAD. In the meanwhile, the Raleigh will spread fast enough to cover the SAD-infected Palmetto. I have experience with Raleigh and it is highly probable the Raleigh will remain SAD free. Raleigh has been recommended for years as a patch / plug-in replacement for an existing SAD infected St Augustine yard.

In my opinion, Raleigh is a better choice anyway. There is almost 30 years of history behind it. The only Raleigh issue you may have to deal with in the DFW area is cold tolerance. About every 10 – 20 years, a sub-zero freeze will come through and reduce your Raleigh to a yard of dead sticks. Other than that, Raleigh is an excellent, proven choice.

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jr
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posted 15 July 2006 12:08     Click Here to See the Profile for jr     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
both of you are idiots. the supplier isn't liable because this guy's grass caught a disease a year later, nor is it the supplier's responsibility to disclose every potential problem that could occur with the grass. we aren't talking about buying real estate here. this guy should have done his research beforehand, instead of relying on a sales brochure to make his decision, for heaven's sake. and if you want to go making threats or demands on the grower, they are going to tell you the same thing. the sod obviously didn't leave their farm with SAD. you think they are going to go around replacing sod for free for everybody who manages to kill it one way or another? that's not why they are in business. to assert they actively committed fraud in selling him a variety of grass they grew without mentioning the obvious (it might catch SAD or some other disease)is patently absurd. by that logic merely propagating palmetto sod for the purpose of selling it would be a criminal act.

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TexanOne
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posted 15 July 2006 13:37     Click Here to See the Profile for TexanOne     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Yeah JR I guess I am an idiot. I only spent 30 years involved in the Texas Civil Court system and heard hundreds of complaints similar to what Wilson is going through. If you think he doesn’t have a case in the State of Texas, I would submit you don’t have a clue of what you are talking about.

Wilson, if the supplier in question has a similar attitude as JR, and you spent less than $5,000 on the Palmetto, please immediately contact your appropriate local Tarrant County Justice of the Peace Court and file a civil complaint in small claims court. I will assure you a judge will hear your case. ‘nuff said…

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jr
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posted 15 July 2006 14:19     Click Here to See the Profile for jr     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
glad you agree with me texanone. i dont know what your involvement with the texas civil court system was, but i would submit it was as a janitor. i've never had a problem beating back a lawsuit by an ignorant customer who was trying to blame me for their own poor planning, ignorance, or just plain bad luck, and that is what wilson's problem is.

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TexanOne
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posted 15 July 2006 14:33     Click Here to See the Profile for TexanOne     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Well good for you JR… I can tell that you are certainly much more informed and clever than anyone else here.

Maybe the next time you purchase a defective vehicle, bad appliance, or rotten food that makes you sick, the person that sold it to you will have equal success at fighting you off.

However and notwithstanding, I did learn enough from my janitor career to know better than to waste my time wrestling with a pig.

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jodyB
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posted 15 July 2006 16:48     Click Here to See the Profile for jodyB     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
As a sod producer in another state,may I offer this info.There are some growers who will not sell Palmetto in the heat of the year for just that reason.It picks-up diseases quickly in hot weather.We try to discourage buyers from laying it.Did you apply a fungicide in a timely manner?Believe me,if you went through a summer without using it,that is certainly your problem,not the suppliers.If the sod survived laying and started growing,the rest is up to you.He supplied with a viable product,the rest is up to you.

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Grassguy
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posted 15 July 2006 17:07     Click Here to See the Profile for Grassguy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
where do individuals such as JR come from? with comments of a dilettantish nature hoping to be someone someday but is continually dissapointed
by their shortcomings and lack of ability to comprehend and understand. JR probobly lives on a Lulus area. JR, learn to get along with others and play nice so you may evolve above the Pusillanimous you currently suffer under.

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TexanOne
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posted 15 July 2006 17:41     Click Here to See the Profile for TexanOne     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
JodyB, what’s your opinion about Palmetto’s resistance to SAD? I planted a sizable part of my yard with Palmetto last year and it hasn’t done very well – the heat seems to knock it back badly in full sun.

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jr
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posted 15 July 2006 17:45     Click Here to See the Profile for jr     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Grassboy, if I read other posts of yours correctly, you are either still in college, or just getting out. I've already done that, started a business, and attained the credentials of ISA certified arborist and PCO in lawn and ornamental and termite in Florida. You have a long way to go before you ever come close to being my equal, and your nonsensical remarks with your flowery language about me don't get you any closer.
Also, I believe Jody made my point about the original issue here.

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wilson
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posted 15 July 2006 18:47     Click Here to See the Profile for wilson     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks for the replies. I noticed a link to the Palmetto brochure at the top of this webpage. I looked at the brochure yet again, and I see a disclaimer at the bottom. I don't think I have any legal options for a refund. I spent about $250 for the Raleigh and about $280 for the Palmetto. This isn't devestating, and I'm sure I can fix the problem using Raleigh plugs.

I did want to get the word out about Palmetto. Everyone I talk to is quite surprised that I have St. Augustine decline in a new lawn. This was a problem in Texas back in the 70's. After Raleigh was developed, SAD is now rare. Anyway, sod solutions says "Palmetto St. Augustine has demonstrated superior disease tolerance". And I say it hasn't.

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Grassguy
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posted 16 July 2006 14:13     Click Here to See the Profile for Grassguy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
JR, All that training and all you can come up with is calling someone an idiot? (thats the mark of a professional)You better cut back from a 12 pack to a 6 pack a day. You my friend are a legend in your own mind. you are high on your self in a narcissistic way. Dont let my flowery remarks hurt your feelings, afterall you have no clue what any of it means anyway. I apoligize to other forum followers but I wont stand by and let a Belligerent stranger call me an idiot.

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Grassguy
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posted 16 July 2006 14:44     Click Here to See the Profile for Grassguy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
wilson, every thing I have studied and read have no mention of Palmetto being SAD resistant. I guess this day and time you cant rely on (claims) anyone but yourself.

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jr
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posted 16 July 2006 17:52     Click Here to See the Profile for jr     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I had a lot more to say than pointing out your ignorance, but apparently you were so insulted by the word idiot that you lost your ability to read after that. Learn to spell while you're at it. That's about the only problem I have understanding you. Plus, you were still wrong, so get over yourself already, child.

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TexanOne
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posted 16 July 2006 18:56     Click Here to See the Profile for TexanOne     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I was going to drop this, but:

It’s ok Grassguy, he called me the same thing too. Although JR claims to have some credentials that are of some importance to himself, I did notice he left out the most important ones a man can have:

1: He does not claim to have any insight in the importance of interpersonal relationships.

2: He has failed miserably to learn common respect, manners, and all aspects of social graces.

3: He is a scared little boy that never knew how to make and keep friends.

4: He never learned how to disagree in a civil manner, does not respect anyone whose opinions differ from his, and can only find bravery in indiscriminately hurling insults to perfect strangers – all via the comfort and security of remaining anonymous.

Does it really matter and does anyone really care if you know how to poison termites or prune trees if you lack common sense and decency? How pathetic…

I hope and pray that JR will soon find healing for his troubled mind. After all, you have already been forgiven…

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Grassguy
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posted 16 July 2006 19:44     Click Here to See the Profile for Grassguy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
eloquently spoken TexanOne..

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Tungsten
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posted 25 July 2006 21:21     Click Here to See the Profile for Tungsten     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
wow...

Palmetto with SAD! I live near Ft Worth as well. Hmmm... So far i don't have any problem but then again I mow my lawn with my own mower.

It seems that it's the lawn services that spread it around along with harmful fungi... apparently that's what might have happened to my mom's lawn! She lives too far away for me to maintain her lawn regularly. Oh well...

[This message has been edited by Tungsten (edited 25 July 2006).]

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acambre
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posted 29 August 2006 21:51     Click Here to See the Profile for acambre     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
I did some more research on the internet, and I found this website:
http://people.smu.edu/acambre/blog/CommentView,guid,abeed26d-e0d6-4741-bf19-c9cd0 aeedfa2.aspx
This person lives in Dallas, close to me. He also bought his Palmetto grass just a few months after I did in 2004. The pictures of his grass look identical to mine.

Hello. I am the person whose site you quoted. I laid my grass in early September 2004, well after the heat of the year. I have to admit that for now, the appearance of SAD has diminished but has not 100% gone away. I don't have huge patches of SAD, but I do have areas here and there with the spotted appearance. I don't know if SAD's visible manifestations are more prominent in cooler weather?

Aren Cambre

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TexanOne
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posted 30 August 2006 01:58     Click Here to See the Profile for TexanOne     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Actually the symptoms of SAD appear most evident during hot weather. Heat stress, lack of rainfall, or any stressful condition seems to accelerate the disease. The latest research from TAMU also stated “an insect vector” is now believed to be the cause of most SAD cases but there is still much that is not understood about the disease.

SAD infected lawns will respond to feeding and care, but the inevitable result will be a gradual thinning of the turf with invasion of other, and probably unwanted turfgrass types and weeds in 2 to 5 years. For the North Texas area, Raleigh St Augustine is currently your only SAD-free option, but it too has some temporary yellowing problems during the high summer heat of Texas.

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acambre
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posted 30 August 2006 21:19     Click Here to See the Profile for acambre     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by TexanOne:
Actually the symptoms of SAD appear most evident during hot weather. Heat stress, lack of rainfall, or any stressful condition seems to accelerate the disease. The latest research from TAMU also stated “an insect vector” is now believed to be the cause of most SAD cases but there is still much that is not understood about the disease.

SAD infected lawns will respond to feeding and care, but the inevitable result will be a gradual thinning of the turf with invasion of other, and probably unwanted turfgrass types and weeds in 2 to 5 years. For the North Texas area, Raleigh St Augustine is currently your only SAD-free option, but it too has some temporary yellowing problems during the high summer heat of Texas.


Interesting. My SAD symptoms have reduced greatly since the spring. Is it possible for fungal infestations to look like SAD in certain cases? A good amount of my grass--both new and old--has that appearance where yellow stripes are running down the blade.

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TexanOne
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posted 02 September 2006 23:27     Click Here to See the Profile for TexanOne     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Yes it is very possible to mistake other diseases for SAD – downy mildew being the most notable. SAD affects all parts of the infected St Augustine plant, young and old leaves alike. Downy mildew affects older leaves while the younger leaves and stolons are still healthy. Downy mildew is commonly misdiagnosed as SAD:

http://plantpathology.tamu.edu/Texlab/Lawns/dm.html

The photos you posted on your link above do look like SAD except for one, which looks like downy mildew.

Since you said the SAD symptoms appeared to improve during the heat of the summer, I would suspect you actually may not SAD, but downy mildew. I would certainly take a “wait & see” approach about doing anything drastic to your lawn (i.e. – ripping it out and replacing it) until you have time to observe it more to find out for sure.

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acambre
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posted 05 September 2006 19:25     Click Here to See the Profile for acambre     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by TexanOne:
Yes it is very possible to mistake other diseases for SAD – downy mildew being the most notable. SAD affects all parts of the infected St Augustine plant, young and old leaves alike. Downy mildew affects older leaves while the younger leaves and stolons are still healthy. Downy mildew is commonly misdiagnosed as SAD:

http://plantpathology.tamu.edu/Texlab/Lawns/dm.html

The photos you posted on your link above do look like SAD except for one, which looks like downy mildew.

Since you said the SAD symptoms appeared to improve during the heat of the summer, I would suspect you actually may not SAD, but downy mildew. I would certainly take a “wait & see” approach about doing anything drastic to your lawn (i.e. – ripping it out and replacing it) until you have time to observe it more to find out for sure.


Thanks. I do seem to have more of this in shaded areas than the sunny areas. If it is downy mildew, is it ultimately a self-correcting situation?

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TexanOne
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posted 05 September 2006 23:53     Click Here to See the Profile for TexanOne     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I don’t know if downy mildew is self-correcting or not. One of the most important aspects of St Augustine culture in the Metroplex is making sure the St Augustine is in good enough shape to take on a potentially cold and severe winter because your area is very near the northern edge of St Augustine limits. The winter of 1983-1984 was the last time most St Augustine throughout Texas from San Antonio northward was almost completely wiped out by sub-freezing (and sub-zero) cold for several weeks on end. Even healthy St Augustine died during that winter.

After a “normal” winter each spring in North Texas, there are some St Augustine yards that don’t come out of dormancy, or come back spotty and weak. Many of the affected lawns were weakened during the previous summer from a whole host of problems with fungal problems being one of the major culprits. Yellow Patch / Take All Root Rot are also major contributors to significant winter St Augustine loss – which are also fungal related. The grass is just too weak to survive even a mild winter.

I do think that one of the problems with any fungal disease is that it may spread rapidly in the right environment, such as cool, wet, rainy conditions in fall, which may greatly weaken the St Augustine. I would also think it would be reasonable to assume the fungi would over winter in dormant sod to return the following year even if you did have winter survival.

Downy mildew is easily controlled with fungicides containing Mancozeb (trade name “Fore”), or other fungicides containing Fosetyl-Al, or Metalaxyl. You can apply the fungicides yourself, or have a lawn service contractor spray it for you – preferably one that knows what they are doing and at the correct mixtures. I have found a contractor locally that knows what he’s doing, does an excellent job, and treats my St Augustine for $35 / 1000 sq ft using Fore fungicide. Downy mildew has been especially severe this year for some reason in West Texas.

Some folks swear by cornmeal as a remedy, but I don’t know anything about using it. One of the more common natural methods of fungal control that seems to work for Texas conditions is to use peat moss spread at a rate of 3.8 cu ft / 1000 sq ft. I use a mixture of peat moss, composted cow manure (80 lbs / 1000 sq ft), and ammonium fertilizer 21-0-0 with 24% sulphur (1 lb of nitrogen / 1000 sq ft) to create a more acidic condition that really keeps Yellow Patch and TARR in check.

http://www.plantanswers.com/root_rot_fungus.htm

If you have downy mildew, your St Augustine will also be prime for Yellow Patch / TARR.

Hope this helps…

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hankhill
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posted 06 September 2006 00:10     Click Here to See the Profile for hankhill     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
What's your opinion of Myclobutanil-based
granular fungicides? It's one of the few
that's labeled for TakeAll Patch.

With the dropping temps, I'm starting to
see some circular-ish areas that look
like fungus. (Yes, TAP isn't circular,
I was just commenting on its strength.)

[This message has been edited by hankhill (edited 06 September 2006).]

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TexanOne
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posted 06 September 2006 23:11     Click Here to See the Profile for TexanOne     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I haven’t tried granular fungicides so I really can’t say one way or another.

As it was explained to me, water-based fungicides are better because they will coat the entire plant if applied properly during application. At some point in time, the granular fungicides will have to dissolve in order to attack the fungal infection.

This is just my opinion, but I would tend to believe the granular types would be more effective on a tight-knit, low growing turfgrass like Tif-Bermuda because you are only talking about ¼” or so from soil level to the top of the plant. With a course, 3” high St Augustine, how would the granular types be effective if it just simply falls several inches down to the soil/thatch layer (and away from the active infection) waiting to be dissolved?

Just my opinion, but do you see the logic behind the opinion? The only advantage of the granular types that I can see is cost. The liquid-based fungicides generally are not cheap, but they are effective.

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hankhill
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posted 07 September 2006 23:02     Click Here to See the Profile for hankhill     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
My understanding is that myclobutanil is
systemic--it's absorbed by the plant and
translocated through it (like roundup).
The fungus then can't chow down on the grass.

I'll report back how it worked.

BTW, it's quite expensive, even though
it's granular--more expensive than granular
insecticides and fertilizers. Not only
is it more expensive for a small 10lb bag,
you also have to crank up the spreader
to a high setting according to the label.

The only saving grace is that, unlike
insecticide, fertilizer, and pre-emergent,
you don't have to blanket the lawn with it.
(At least I don't; I wait until I see
a circular area, and then put it down.)

A circular or "crescent moon" area is a dead
giveaway for a fungus, IIRC.

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TexanOne
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posted 08 September 2006 01:00     Click Here to See the Profile for TexanOne     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Yes, I’d like to know how it works out for you hankhill. I have only tried the contact types – not the systemics.

I try to avoid any systemics because the St Augustine is growing under pecan trees, but there are other areas that I could use it.

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TexanOne
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posted 15 September 2006 01:07     Click Here to See the Profile for TexanOne     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Last year I planted about 100” sq ft of Palmetto. The plan was to have it take over a 1000 sq ft area of thin, sick Zenith Zoysia in the back yard.

The entire Palmetto planting is now showing very severe St Augustine Decline symptoms. At first, I thought the mottling symptoms might be downy mildew and I treated the Palmetto with fungicides without no effect.

If anyone is planning on sodding Palmetto in a known SAD infected area, I would recommend you consider otherwise – it is NOT resistant!

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hankhill
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posted 15 September 2006 02:23     Click Here to See the Profile for hankhill     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Wow, no way I'm going to use Palmetto now!
How do I identify the variant I have?
It was installed by the homebuilder, so it's
probably the lowest price variant--raleigh?
(Austin area)

(I was thinking of using it for its
superior root structure, but no more!)

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TexanOne
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posted 15 September 2006 15:51     Click Here to See the Profile for TexanOne     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I don’t know of any way to tell St Augustine varieties apart without an expensive DNA test.

The variety you have will depend much on when the home was built and when the sod was laid down. Here’s an informative St Augustine page that indicates when some of the varieties were released:

http://www.tropicalforages.info/key/Forages/Media/Html/Stenotaphrum_secundatum.htm

It could be Raleigh if the house was built after 1980 and no other sod has been planted since?

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hankhill
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posted 15 September 2006 22:54     Click Here to See the Profile for hankhill     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Doesn't the "inode" separation on the stolons
(distance between shoots) help identify
the variant?

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TexanOne
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posted 16 September 2006 00:39     Click Here to See the Profile for TexanOne     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I suppose it could but personally, I don’t think so. I’ve seen wide variation in internode length within the same plant – much less the variety. In almost all SA varieties I have seen, the internode length will vary by a very wide margin within the same variety. I know that Sod Solutions states the internode length of Palmetto to be 19.1mm. I haven’t actually measured the internode length of the Palmetto in my yard, but I would estimate many of the stolon internodes are easily >30mm.

I have however noticed their does seem to be some consistency within a variety in stolon internode width and color. Palmetto seems to be fairly consistent with an internode width of 4.1mm / dark green color. Texas Common has a very narrow internode width – more like 1.5mm with a light green color. This is all my conjecture and there is nothing I can find in research documents to back up my idea. Then again, internode length width, length, and color may be influenced by nothing more than local / regional environmental conditions. Who knows?

I’m convinced that there are probably dozens, if not hundreds of different Texas Common sub-varieties growing throughout yards in Texas and the Southeast USA – some of which are naturally SAD-resistant. All of these sub-varieties are yet to be “discovered” for commercial development.

If you are fortunate enough to have an unknown St Augustine variety that doesn’t have the PMV-SAD virus in an area of known infection, consider yourself one of the lucky ones!

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hankhill
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posted 16 September 2006 01:52     Click Here to See the Profile for hankhill     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Too bad your Supergrass (see the thread "New St. Augustine Grass Varieties")
doesn't have SAD resistance in its collection of superpowers! (i.e. MSMA tolerance,
cold tolerance, catcus-like water requirements, etc).

Perhaps you can get a big area sodded with it in an isolated location, and then
intentionally infect it with SAD. Whatever survives will be resitant...

[This message has been edited by hankhill (edited 16 September 2006).]

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TexanOne
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posted 16 September 2006 11:06     Click Here to See the Profile for TexanOne     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Essentially that is what has already happened – but it happened about 15 – 20 years ago. What survives today has been and is still infected, but the infection doesn’t seem to cause any real harm.

The problem is, who would want St Augustine grass with a known SAD-infection? I sure wouldn’t. However, it continues to thrive, spread, need little water, and look good.

There is a lot of university research that explores the infection vectors and virology of SAD, but little or no research regarding infected St Augustine types where the disease causes no real damage. The SAD virus ran rampant through this area about 20 years ago and most SA yards eventually died out from cold, insects, etc (the virus itself is not fatal). There were several that survived and continued to thrive – mine was one of them. Most of the SA yards that didn’t survive were sodded with Raleigh, which is still king of the SA grass here.

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wilson
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posted 22 September 2006 19:59     Click Here to See the Profile for wilson     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Update - the blades of the palmetto grass are now heavily mottled / spotted. The grass has not started to thin yet. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to find any raleigh plugs. I think raleigh is sold out for the year, and I'll have to wait until next spring.

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acambre
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posted 22 September 2006 20:22     Click Here to See the Profile for acambre     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I have posted more pictures of my grass at http://people.smu.edu/acambre/blog/2006/09/23/Sick+Grass.aspx . Most of these pictures are from the Palmetto grass planting from 2004, although I have significant areas of the rest of my yard now starting to look like this.

I would be intersted in what the rest of you think this is. I am leaning towards downy mildew, but the very last picture suspiciously has telltale symptoms of SAD.

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acambre
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posted 22 September 2006 20:50     Click Here to See the Profile for acambre     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
By the way, Mr. TexanOne, if you want an ultimate test of your St. Augustine, send some to me and I'll see how it works in the crappiest yard in Dallas! :-)

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TexanOne
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posted 23 September 2006 14:18     Click Here to See the Profile for TexanOne     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I don’t know acambre, those photos look like a classic case of St Augustine Decline if I ever saw one. One of the early symptoms of SAD is the green-ribbed chlorotic leafs with the green strips running the length of blade. You also have a good case of grey leaf spot fungus chewing on the Palmetto.

If it’s any consolation, I planted Palmetto in my SAD infected yard in 2005 and almost all the Palmetto is now showing full-blown SAD infection. I have since transplanted Raleigh to eventually take over the sick and dying Palmetto. Last week, when I went to buy more Raleigh from the local sod vendor, he told me he quit handling Palmetto altogether. He wouldn’t say why, but he did say many of the growers / suppliers in Texas have stopped shipping Palmetto indefinitely – go figure…

If you want some of my St Augustine, you are welcome to it. It’s unmarketable, so what the heck. I have an 18-plug tray of it ready to go that needs to be planted before it freezes in a few weeks anyway. It is also SAD-infected, but it has been handling the effects of the virus for 15 or 20 years with no problem. The infection is really hard to locate (<1% of the leafs show symptoms) and only appears from September until it goes dormant in the winter. Seeing that you probably already have a SAD infection going on, what could it hurt to try it? In the Metroplex area, it may even be able to survive and thrive on natural rainfall. It’s actually a very good-looking, dwarf St Augustine and grows much tighter and lower than Palmetto with a dark bluish-green color.

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acambre
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posted 23 September 2006 15:30     Click Here to See the Profile for acambre     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by TexanOne:
I don’t know acambre, those photos look like a classic case of St Augustine Decline if I ever saw one. One of the early symptoms of SAD is the green-ribbed chlorotic leafs with the green strips running the length of blade. You also have a good case of grey leaf spot fungus chewing on the Palmetto.

If it’s any consolation, I planted Palmetto in my SAD infected yard in 2005 and almost all the Palmetto is now showing full-blown SAD infection. I have since transplanted Raleigh to eventually take over the sick and dying Palmetto. Last week, when I went to buy more Raleigh from the local sod vendor, he told me he quit handling Palmetto altogether. He wouldn’t say why, but he did say many of the growers / suppliers in Texas have stopped shipping Palmetto indefinitely – go figure…

If you want some of my St Augustine, you are welcome to it. It’s unmarketable, so what the heck. I have an 18-plug tray of it ready to go that needs to be planted before it freezes in a few weeks anyway. It is also SAD-infected, but it has been handling the effects of the virus for 15 or 20 years with no problem. The infection is really hard to locate (<1% of the leafs show symptoms) and only appears from September until it goes dormant in the winter. Seeing that you probably already have a SAD infection going on, what could it hurt to try it? In the Metroplex area, it may even be able to survive and thrive on natural rainfall. It’s actually a very good-looking, dwarf St Augustine and grows much tighter and lower than Palmetto with a dark bluish-green color.


Can you contact me? aren@cambre.biz

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