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View Full Version : What maybe the cause of deteriorating grass?


Flatop
10-24-2008, 06:49 PM
Need help in figuring out why the grass in deteriorating. I have attached a picture. It has been getting worse. Need recommendation in fixing this problem.

Smallaxe
10-25-2008, 12:11 PM
Lot of shade and a lot of tree roots. Looks like you need more water and less fertilizer. forest lawn is definately a low maintenance regeime, one fert app in the fall if that. Up here we use fescue for shade, you will need a southern equivalent for Sam Antonio. Never heard of Sam Antonio, but Sam is a good Texas name.

RAlmaroad
10-25-2008, 12:50 PM
St. Augustine turf?

Runner
10-25-2008, 01:32 PM
Looks like a light problem, to me. Also, depending on what kinds of trees those are, you may want to check the soil for low PH.

GravelyGuy
10-26-2008, 12:47 AM
Lot of shade and a lot of tree roots. Looks like you need more water and less fertilizer. forest lawn is definately a low maintenance regeime, one fert app in the fall if that. Up here we use fescue for shade, you will need a southern equivalent for Sam Antonio. Never heard of Sam Antonio, but Sam is a good Texas name.

Why would you use less fert? The tree is using most of the nutrients. I have several lawns that were very bare around the trees and with proper fertilizing have really started to fill in around the base of the tree.

ProMo
10-26-2008, 09:59 AM
is there a pool being drained on the other side of that fence?

Smallaxe
10-26-2008, 10:27 AM
Why would you use less fert? The tree is using most of the nutrients. I have several lawns that were very bare around the trees and with proper fertilizing have really started to fill in around the base of the tree.

Water and light are primary here. N especially stimulates the plant to grow green , even when it is NOT in the plants best interest. At least that is the theory.

In the real world over-fert w/out adequate moisture kills off the grass. Especially in the woods.

If it works then I assume you have adequate moisture and at least some light.
You added topsoil to the base of the tree when you seeded?
In regards to fertilization: What is your definition of 'proper'?

GravelyGuy
10-26-2008, 12:28 PM
Water and light are primary here. N especially stimulates the plant to grow green , even when it is NOT in the plants best interest. At least that is the theory.

In the real world over-fert w/out adequate moisture kills off the grass. Especially in the woods.

If it works then I assume you have adequate moisture and at least some light.
You added topsoil to the base of the tree when you seeded?
In regards to fertilization: What is your definition of 'proper'?

3-4 lbs. N per year, granular only.

KACYDS
10-26-2008, 04:33 PM
Might want to aerate the soil and/or admend the soil. Looking at the pictures, the ground seems hard and there are lot of small rocks present. If you do aerate, be careful of the roots from the Live Oak trees. Also, you might want to prune out the canopy of the trees, to let in more light. Keep on a regular fertilize program with 3 to 4 lbs of N per 1000 per year. Also water deeply (long period of time) and less frequently, than less water and more frequently. By doing this, the roots of the grass will go deeper into the soil. And the more roots you have, the better chance you will have a better looking turf. Hopefully this will help. :usflag:

RigglePLC
10-26-2008, 10:06 PM
Dig down and examine the soil carefully. Check for the main 3 insects and main 3 diseases in your parts. Are any of the edges square? Straight lines--if so, probably human caused. Check the hours of sunlight as mentioned above.

Barefoot James
10-26-2008, 11:08 PM
Simple solution - get the soil tested, takes all the guess work answers of this thread and gives you your answer.

Flatop
10-27-2008, 12:42 AM
My thanks to everyone that has replied to my post. Promo, no pool on the other side of the fence. I didn't think the casue would be the way I was cutting the grass. RigglePLC, what main 3 insects and diseases are we talking about? No straight lines or or square edge. I will try putting down some fertizler and seed. Hope it will grow back.

Barefoot James
10-27-2008, 11:06 AM
Your going to seed St. Augustine turf?? New one on me - course I've only been growing grass since the early 70's. You will ne to plug it or sod it and get the soil tested to find out what you need or else I PROMISE THE SOD OR PLUGS WILL DIE AGAIN. Also change your location Sam Antonio - LOL.

naughty62
11-24-2008, 06:17 AM
Could be any of the above ,but we have a couple properties that have poor air circulation because fences do not allow air circulation .This only compounds the problems . That privacy fence in the picture looks like it was not designed with proper air circulation in mind .probably a neighbors.

Paradise Yard Service
12-06-2008, 01:13 PM
Do all of the above! Esp. soil test and get together with cooperative extension service for free recommendations. If you don't want to bother with that then....
A simple approach would be to continue your fert and raise the deck/don't use the string trim....eventually St Aug crawls back in. Low light is tuff to work with. These things can happen when the landscape starts out with a whole lot more light then what you have now.

Aloha

treegal1
12-08-2008, 08:09 PM
maybe just try and cut it taller than 1 inch tall. and stop draining the pool in it.

FYI guys SAG will grow almost in the dark..........

Paradise Yard Service
12-08-2008, 11:53 PM
Yep, ain't it amazing what you can accomplish by just raising the deck! It don't need lots of tweekin just let it grow.

Aloha

treegal1
12-09-2008, 09:15 AM
Your going to seed St. Augustine turf?? New one on me - course I've only been growing grass since the early 70's. You will ne to plug it or sod it and get the soil tested to find out what you need or else I PROMISE THE SOD OR PLUGS WILL DIE AGAIN. Also change your location Sam Antonio - LOL.

like he said figure out what is killing the grass and start there before you WASTE money with tender new shoots.

SAG from seed, ROFL

ted putnam
12-09-2008, 12:35 PM
St. Aug can be seeded. They do sell St Aug seed. However like sowing bermuda, given the choice, sod (solid or spot sodding) is always a better option. You should have to do none of that if you can correct the problem(s). Looks like there may be combination of disease issues during cooler wetter times of the year and some drought issues during the hot dry times. The combination of the 2 has taken its toll on those areas. Common dieases to St Aug are Brown Patch and Leaf Spot. Common insects are Chinch Bugs, Spittle Bugs and Grubs. There is also a disease known as SAD ( St. Augustine Decline) Without seeing a close up of leaf tissue, I cannot tell if that might be problem. If you can get an extension agent to look at it, that would help. Otherwise, find as much info as you can on all of the above. Good Luck

treegal1
12-09-2008, 02:48 PM
Ted where do you see any around I am dieing to find some before it gets hot, any help is appreciated

KACYDS
12-09-2008, 03:03 PM
FYI guys SAG will grow almost in the dark..........

tg1,

I wish that was the case, but here in New Orleans will have many Live Oaks with some 200-250 years old (that are massive). With all the shade that they produce, even St Aug wont grow under them. Most of the Live Oaks here, have ground cover under them -Liriope, Mondo, Ardisia, Aspidistra, Asian Jasmine. I have seen many companies laying sod under these trees, but the St Aug never makes it pass the first season.

treegal1
12-09-2008, 03:06 PM
FYI guys SAG will grow almost in the dark.......... " almost"
O light = 0 GRASS

how many lumens??

KACYDS
12-09-2008, 03:11 PM
" almost" O light = 0 GRASS

I agree. Its the most shade tolerant grass we have in the area. Others found in the city are Centipede, Zoysia, and Bermuda. St Aug is the most common, with centipede in second. I personally have a centipede lawn, and even with low light, you can forget about it growing.

treegal1
12-09-2008, 03:17 PM
we have a SAG " palm beach" that is " almost able to grow in the dark" even under a 85 foot span ficus tree that never goes bare in winter. I dont know if it will grow under Louisiana conditions but we love it

KACYDS
12-09-2008, 03:20 PM
we have a SAG " palm beach" that is " almost able to grow in the dark" even under a 85 foot span ficus tree that never goes bare in winter. I dont know if it will grow under La conditions but we love it

I will do some research, and see why we dont grow it here. Thanks for the heads up.

ted putnam
12-09-2008, 06:16 PM
Ted where do you see any around I am dieing to find some before it gets hot, any help is appreciated

Treegal. It has been a few years since I have seen any. However, I haven't been looking for it either. I deal with just enough St. Aug around here that I need to know how to handle it but it is not a common grass type for this area. The last time I saw any seed, it came in a 2-3lb jug, not a bag. The company that had it was called Mid-South Seeds. You might Google them and see what you can come up with. Sorry I can't be of more help...

KACYDS
12-09-2008, 06:25 PM
Treegal. It has been a few years since I have seen any. However, I haven't been looking for it either. I deal with just enough St. Aug around here that I need to know how to handle it but it is not a common grass type for this area. The last time I saw any seed, it came in a 2-3lb jug, not a bag. The company that had it was called Mid-South Seeds. You might Google them and see what you can come up with. Sorry I can't be of more help...

Hey Ted,
I'll check my crystal ball and see what it says...........lol:drinkup::drinkup::drinkup:

I knew at one time they had St. Aug seed, but had a very low germination percentage. As far now, I dont know anyone that sells it.

treegal1
12-10-2008, 12:59 AM
C&P
Propagation. As long as St. Augustine grass has been cultivated, it has been propagated by vegetative means -- stolons, plugs or sod. Only recently has the seed production potential of St. Augustine grass been realized; but, as yet, significant use has not been made of that potential.

As reported by Long and Bashaw at Texas A&M in 1961 only a few strains of St. Augustine grass are fertile. The common strain of St. Augustine grass found in Texas is generally fertile; whereas, the strains used in Florida since before 1900 were found to be sterile.

St. Augustine grass is readily established from sod since the species is vigorous and spreads rapidly by creeping stolons. Sod plugs or stolons planted on 1 to 2 foot spacings can be expected to cover in one growing season. In commercial St. Augustine grass production 300 to 500 square yards (bushels) of sod are planted per acre. In small lawn plantings, 2 to 4 square inch sod plugs are planted on 1 to 2 foot spacings. St. Augustine grass can be successfully established from plugs anytime during the growing season if water is available.

Unlike bermudagrass, St. Augustine grass is not effectively propagated from stolons. St. Augustine grass stolons are much more prone to desiccation than bermudagrass. Also, bermudagrass roots much faster and has a faster growth rate than St. Augustine grass. As a result, St. Augustine grass is not successfully established by hydromulching or broadcasting stolons.

Some St. Augustine grass strains can be established from seed by planting at 1/3 to 1/2 pound of PLS per 1,000 square feet. The rate of establishment from seed planted at that rate would be about the same as for 2 inch sod plugs planted on 1 foot spacings. A seeded St. Augustine grass lawn should be kept moist for several weeks after planting to obtain a satisfactory stand of grass. Only after the seedlings have begun to spread can the grass tolerate dry conditions. St. Augustine grass should be seeded in late spring to early summer.

Fertilization during the establishment period (first three months after planting) is critical to developing a complete cover of St. Augustine grass. A starter fertilizer (one high in phosphorous) or a balanced, complete fertilizer should be applied at planting time. Subsequent applications of nitrogen at monthly intervals at a rate of 1 pound per 1,000 square feet will promote rapid spread of St. Augustine grass plugs. Weeds can be controlled preemerge with atrazine or post emerge with asulam (Asulox) and hormone-type herbicides (2,4-D, MCPP, dicamba).