Turfgrass

Help with dead spots

Help with dead spots

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zero610 – posted 25 September 2011 17:58

I have St. Augustine grass and with the drought we’ve had in Houston, I have patches of dead grass. It was my fault for not watering like I should and I’m now paying the price. I have since installed a sprinkler system and need to get the grass back and healthy.

Couple questions for the experts on here:

1. Can I lay the new sod directly over the old, dead St. Augustine? I’ve run a rake through the old stuff to at least take up as much as I can. I will also use a tamper (if you all think necessary) to make sure the new sod is in contact with the ground.

2. It is now late September. Am I too late to start this?

3. Some weeds have grown up in the dead patches. I’ve pulled some but there are just too many. Any suggestions how to get rid of them? Chemicals?

4. Any other tips to get my grass back up to green and beautiful?

Thanks in advance.

seed – posted 25 September 2011 23:11

quote:Originally posted by zero610:1. Can I lay the new sod directly over the old, dead St. Augustine? I’ve run a rake through the old stuff to at least take up as much as I can.Raking up the old stuff will help considerably.

I will also use a tamper (if you all think necessary) to make sure the new sod is in contact with the ground.Tamping won’t do much good.

2. It is now late September. Am I too late to start this?If you get winterkill (winter minimum temperature between 16 F and 20 F), it will probably kill regardless of how long the sod has been in the ground. St. Augustinegrass does little or no dormancy. Safer not to fertilize until next year.

3. Some weeds have grown up in the dead patches. I’ve pulled some but there are just too many. Any suggestions how to get rid of them? Chemicals?Weeds if they are extensive or perennial should be sprayed with a nonselective herbicide such as glyphosate (Roundup) and you can use this also to kill any surviving St. Augustinegrass. Let the chemical kill down to the roots, at least 1 week with no disturbance after spraying.

4. Any other tips to get my grass back up to green and beautiful?

Don’t overirrigate.

zero610 – posted 26 September 2011 09:35

Thanks for the reply. After doing some more research, how do you feel about plugs instead of sod? Are they worth it?

Finally, will adding sod in only select portions of my lawn ruin the grading of the ground – since the new sod will be higher than the existing grass? Will the new sod eventually settle down to approximately the same level as the existing grass? This is what made me consider using plugs – since I think they will not affect the grade of the lawn as much as sod pieces.

I guess I could always rent a tiller or something from home depot if that would be worth the extra cost – to further get the patches ready for new sod.

seed – posted 26 September 2011 09:48

Plugs may save you money, especially if you use a machete to cut your own from sod slabs. It’s late in the season to get much growth.

You are correct about the grade, plugs will blend in to the elevation, and sod will stick up higher for many months, although you can feather it in around the edges of the area and once it gets leafy it may not be too noticeable.

If you want to rip up what is there, a tiller will go too deep and bring up problems and take a while to settle. A power rake would be more appropriate.

Plugs that you cut yourself may give you a low cost alternative to get through the winter and see what happens next year. Typically they take 5 months of growing weather to cover.

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