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View Full Version : South Florida Guys: St Augustine growth rates?


capelawncare.com
04-22-2009, 06:34 PM
What do you guys estimate a growth rate for healthy, well fertilized, irrigated St Augustine in South Florida?

(IE: __ inches per week in the summer _____ inches per week in the winter?)

Im curious because, I have a customer who uses a National Fert Co, and they lay it on heavy, and OFTEN. Even during the winter months I am chopping off 3-5 inches after 10-14 days. The summer forget about it...Its like the amazon.

I measured today and in one spot, I took off 9 inches after 13 days, and it hasnt even started to rain yet.

Is this amount of growth excessive? And can you actually over fertilize St Aug?

Lehighlawnpros
04-22-2009, 07:57 PM
Hello from Lehigh Acres,

I don't know the exact growth rates, but I'd definately call
what you described excessive growth.

It's sometimes compounded by the customer over-irrigating.

Yes, I think that over-fertilizing/over-irrigating
can lead to a "spongey" weak rooted lawn.
Basically killing it with kindness.

Having said that, we've been seeing unusually high
growth rates on many of our irrigated/fertilized St.
Augustine lawns for this early in the season.
We've been mowing many of them weekly already
just to keep them from getting out of hand.
Although now it seems that they may be slowing down enough that we should be able to extend
them back out to 10-14 days for a while. It was unexpected growth, because like you mentioned we haven't had much rain at all.

We're mulching at a 4" cutting height.

Bob
Lehighlawnpros

capelawncare.com
04-22-2009, 08:09 PM
Bob,

No doubt there is some sponge'yness going on particularly near the culvert areas. I would agree with the little bits of rain we have had so far things are growing faster then a normal year.

Normally I dont go to weekly schedule until May 1st, And even then sometimes end up skipping, or doing drive by's on a lot of accounts until the rain starts.

I cut at 5 inches. I also forgot to mention the customer lost two royal's this past year. I know excessive fert can lead to problems in palms.

capelawncare.com
04-22-2009, 08:16 PM
When i said I took off 9 inches, that doesnt include my 5 inch cut height. So this lawn had grown to 14 inches high in 13 days.

Green Machine Mowing
04-22-2009, 08:37 PM
When i said I took off 9 inches, that doesnt include my 5 inch cut height. So this lawn had grown to 14 inches high in 13 days.

so did you scalp it on the last visit??
or were you meaning to say that lawn is 14 inches high??

yamadooski
04-22-2009, 08:46 PM
Why are you still EOW service?
Man everyone up here started weekly April 1.
He also might have reclaimed water.

capelawncare.com
04-22-2009, 09:03 PM
Why are you still EOW service?
Man everyone up here started weekly April 1.
He also might have reclaimed water.


We dont have any trees here, our lawns burn out a little faster down here. Yes we have reclaimed h2o too

capelawncare.com
04-22-2009, 09:09 PM
so did you scalp it on the last visit??
or were you meaning to say that lawn is 14 inches high??

No I never scalp anything. I set my mower at 5 inches for St Aug. The lawn grew from my regular cutting height of 5 inches to as high as 14 inches.

So it grew, or I chopped off as much as 9 inches, in 13 days.

ashelton
04-22-2009, 09:10 PM
been mowing in bradenton every week since april 1. The grass is growing thicker than expected considering the rain, however pretty much all of my cust. have irrigation, and are willing to run them.

capelawncare.com
04-23-2009, 12:10 AM
we are alittle slow down here LOL

Florida Gardener
04-23-2009, 12:32 AM
down here in palm beach county, i still have yards that are EOW and even some that are getting irrigation/fert could go EOW. we have had very little rain down here since november and i mean maybe 5 times.....

things are picking back up though.

i think 5" is a little too high for St. Aug. BUT, if you are mowing through what you described, i can understand.

justanotherlawnguy
04-23-2009, 01:54 AM
The majority of my customers right now are like every ten days. With all the fert guys going nuts and a couple of rainy days so far the spring growth is off to a good start. A few are on weekly right now, but I tend to push it a little further then most lco's in this area.

I like to mention to customers how may is usually really dry, and the extra height is good for the grass. No sense in jumping into the summer grind to soon!

sweetz
04-23-2009, 03:09 AM
The majority of my customers right now are like every ten days. With all the fert guys going nuts and a couple of rainy days so far the spring growth is off to a good start. A few are on weekly right now, but I tend to push it a little further then most lco's in this area.

I like to mention to customers how may is usually really dry, and the extra height is good for the grass. No sense in jumping into the summer grind to soon!

How are you doing a 10 day schedule?

capelawncare.com
04-23-2009, 05:10 PM
I was wondering that myself, that would throw my whole schedule outta wack.

DennisF
04-23-2009, 06:10 PM
Up here in Citrus county mowing is still EOW. No rain to speak of and watering restrictions are 1 day per week. Most of the chemical guys haven't applied fertilizer yet so growth rates have been slow. May is usually the driest month for this area so I think things will be slow until the rains begin. I'm in no hurry for the spring growth spurt that always hits around Memorial day. After that the mowing goes full tilt.

billslawn89
04-23-2009, 06:27 PM
same here in southwest florida, still on a every other week schedule but some are going to weekly starting next week. ya the st. augustine lawns! bahia lawns, forget about it, still dry. temps are warming up plus we been having alot of mornings with fog and dew on the lawns, so there's the moisture. getting busy again!

fl-landscapes
04-23-2009, 07:17 PM
we started every week last week here in Charlotte County. If it's growing to 13" inches I would say for this customer you should have too.

ElliottsLawn&LandscapeInc
04-23-2009, 08:30 PM
Cutting St. Augustine at 5" is ridiculous... no wonder it grows so high so fast. I cut my st. augustine lawns at 3.75" and I am only cutting off MAYBE 4" growth after 14 days on well fertilized/irrigated lawns...

capelawncare.com
04-23-2009, 09:32 PM
Cutting St. Augustine at 5" is ridiculous... no wonder it grows so high so fast. I cut my st. augustine lawns at 3.75" and I am only cutting off MAYBE 4" growth after 14 days on well fertilized/irrigated lawns...

You guys dont understand, this lawn gets soooo much fert, its nuts. I have had this account going on two years. When I first got it, it was mix of weed/ and St Aug, mainly weeds. I started cutting it at 3.75, then I bumped to 4. then 4.5 Then I went to my top setting which is actually 4.75. I actually had to "rig" a higher setting of 5 inches, or when I cut it, it will scalp.

It needs vericutting badly because its so thick. Just for shits and giggles I tried to "make" my own lawn grow like this customer's. When I layed down fert, I did back to back apps with 32N, and watered everday for the last two months. It recovered nicely from the frost, but still didnt come anywhere close to what my customer's grows like.

I cant even imagine how much nitro actually goes into this lawn. Its nuts.

justanotherlawnguy
04-23-2009, 11:59 PM
How are you doing a 10 day schedule?

Easy, right now I am not running my normal growing season schedule. My normal Friday people will get done tomorrow then skip next Friday and do them on Monday. It just rotates like that.
Then once everybody goes to weekly, probably in the next couple of weeks I will switch to my normal routine. I do the same thing in the fall.

They from every 3 weeks, to every 2 weeks, to every 10 days, then to weekly.
That system has worked great for years now.

Florida Gardener
04-24-2009, 12:22 AM
its the same down here in Palm Beach County. April and May are kinda dry and while things are growing, weekly isn't absolutely necessary. HOWEVER, once june rolls around june-september is absolutely nuts. Rain like 3 times/wk tons of humidity. You need to cut every 4 days on aug., 3 days for bahaia.....i did my friday lawns today which are my nicest accounts and they get adequate water and i fertilized all 3 and they could still go EOW.

sweetz
04-24-2009, 12:44 AM
Cutting St. Augustine at 5" is ridiculous... no wonder it grows so high so fast. I cut my st. augustine lawns at 3.75" and I am only cutting off MAYBE 4" growth after 14 days on well fertilized/irrigated lawns...

The shorter you cut grass, the faster it grows. Not the other way around.

ElliottsLawn&LandscapeInc
04-24-2009, 09:45 AM
The shorter you cut grass, the faster it grows. Not the other way around.

If you say so. Ive had lawns that would kick your ass in the summer they would grow so fast in the summer like this guy, and I used to do the same thing, cut higher. Then on these same lawns i started catching the grass and cutting the st. aug at 3.75" and the lawns have become greener, healthier, stronger root system , and dont put out more than 4" growth.

unkownfl
05-13-2009, 02:45 AM
I guess you will be dethatching soon or he will have cinch bugs and dead grass.