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View Full Version : St Augustine + Sand = Why


Turf Dawg
03-07-2011, 11:04 PM
I was just wondering why it seems like most of you in Florida have St Augustine grass and have sandy soil. Wouldn't Bermuda or say Jamur & Pailisades Zoysia be a better grass? I know in our clay soils that Bermuda has a deeper root system and is more drought tolerant, so I just figured in sand that drains/leaches like a sieve that the deeper roots and more drought tolerance of the Bermuda would be a better choice.

What am I missing?

zturncutter
03-07-2011, 11:27 PM
I was just wondering why it seems like most of you in Florida have St Augustine grass and have sandy soil. Wouldn't Bermuda or say Jamur & Pailisades Zoysia be a better grass? I know in our clay soils that Bermuda has a deeper root system and is more drought tolerant, so I just figured in sand that drains/leaches like a sieve that the deeper roots and more drought tolerance of the Bermuda would be a better choice.

What am I missing?

Nothing except the fact that sod companies and installers want to sell new installs to the same clients every 3 to 5 years. :rolleyes:

Florida Gardener
03-07-2011, 11:28 PM
That's bc most companies don't maintain SA properly.
Posted via Mobile Device

zturncutter
03-07-2011, 11:39 PM
That's bc most companies don't maintain SA properly.
Posted via Mobile Device

And the fact that SA is a huge waist of resorces to maintain on a huge sandbar that sits on top of a limestone base (Florida):laugh:

txgrassguy
03-07-2011, 11:47 PM
And the fact that SA is a huge waist of resorces to maintain on a huge sandbar that sits on top of a limestone base (Florida):laugh:

Here I disagree. St. A maintained properly requires no more irrigation input than other C4 turfgrass. Bag the clippings, hollow core aerify 2X year or more depending upon the build up of undecomposed organic matter and existent matting, deep tine rake following the core aerifying and St A is just fine as a residential turf.
BTW, this process is essentially the same for all other C4 turfgrasses except the paspalum varieties. Can't beat on it with the aerifier as much - kind of twitchy just like Buffalograss.

Turf Dawg
03-08-2011, 12:02 AM
Here I disagree. St. A maintained properly requires no more irrigation input than other C4 turfgrass. Bag the clippings, hollow core aerify 2X year or more depending upon the build up of undecomposed organic matter and existent matting, deep tine rake following the core aerifying and St A is just fine as a residential turf.
BTW, this process is essentially the same for all other C4 turfgrasses except the paspalum varieties. Can't beat on it with the aerifier as much - kind of twitchy just like Buffalograss.

But would you want to put it on sand that does not hold water or nutrients in it like our clay soils?
I will agree with you to an extinct, but it is far from my favorite grass in my area. Our soil PH is rising so the Take-all patch is happening more, grubs seem to do more damage to it, late spring early summer have to watch out for Gray Leaf spot, summer Cinch bugs and fall Brown Patch.

Keith
03-08-2011, 12:18 AM
St. Augustine, especially Floratam is well adapted to sand. It's way more suited to it than the Empire, the most common zoysia in the area.

greendoctor
03-08-2011, 02:25 AM
I have been told that st augustine is more resistant to the nematodes that would eat zoysia and bermuda alive in sandy soil in a high rainfall area. I do not have that problem here because normal rainfall is less than 15" per year in a 365 day growing season.

Having said that, I would grow bermuda or zoysia on sand that was amended with lots of compost. My ideal growing media for turf is not dirt or "topsoil". It is about 70% sand and 30% organic matter something like a USGA greens media. I never understand people that start out with a blank slate and a chance to do it right, but they choose to blow it. This prejudice against dirt comes from having to deal with dirt lawns that have compaction problems, drainage problems, nutritional issues and element toxicities.

zturncutter
03-08-2011, 08:16 AM
I will simply reiterate what I have observed over a lifetime of watching grass grow and die in Florida. I have seen dozens of clients spend thousands of dollars trying to keep SA alive and kill the Bermuda, yet the Bermuda persists and in fact usually thrives especially in sunny locations. Left alone except for some water, fert. and very occasional aeration the Bermuda almost always takes over.

greendoctor
03-08-2011, 08:19 AM
No one in their right mind keeps a st augustine lawn in full sun here. It is only in shady locations like under trees, or in courtyard landscapes.

abrightday
03-08-2011, 08:19 AM
Bermuda grass is the hardiest grass in Florida, however it must be maintained at a low height and cut with a reel mower, or it looks brown,zoysia grass turns brown when it gets drought stress and takes a long time to turn green again, both plants have fungus problems in the rainy season. Every grass in Florida has it's problems. We have a completely different ball game going on here than anywhere else in the country.
www.YourLandscapePro.com

Patriot Services
03-08-2011, 09:12 AM
I'm glad to see a resurgance in Bermuda lawns. It should be easy for the new lawn boys to adapt to. They already scalp SA to 2" so they won't even have to reset their deck heights.
Posted via Mobile Device

Turf Dawg
03-08-2011, 09:28 AM
I also was not thinking about yall's rainy season. Here July and August is our hottest and driest months. What sand we have in our area you need a 4x4 to drive across the field in July and August and can drive across it with anything when it is raining.

Greendoc, I feel the same about the amendments. Instead of adding to sand we need to add organic matter and expanded shale to our clay, but getting people to spend the money on that is like trying to pull teeth.

Patriot Services
03-08-2011, 10:18 AM
I also was not thinking about yall's rainy season. Here July and August is our hottest and driest months. What sand we have in our area you need a 4x4 to drive across the field in July and August and can drive across it with anything when it is raining.

Greendoc, I feel the same about the amendments. Instead of adding to sand we need to add organic matter and expanded shale to our clay, but getting people to spend the money on that is like trying to pull teeth.

As the knowledgeable FL guys will tell you. Topdressing with OM and high quality soil is largely misunderstood by the most consumers. To them its " why would you put dirt on top of the grass?"
Posted via Mobile Device

Ric
03-08-2011, 11:43 AM
I was just wondering why it seems like most of you in Florida have St Augustine grass and have sandy soil. Wouldn't Bermuda or say Jamur & Pailisades Zoysia be a better grass? I know in our clay soils that Bermuda has a deeper root system and is more drought tolerant, so I just figured in sand that drains/leaches like a sieve that the deeper roots and more drought tolerance of the Bermuda would be a better choice.

What am I missing?

Dawg

It is not what you are Missing. It is what all of Central & South Florida is missing. But there is a reason Bermuda didn't catch on in Florida.

In the early Florida land boom of the late 1940's and early 1950's, Sod cutter etc were part of the post war mechanical farming. Now instead of waiting for seed to take hold, a hold new landscape could be install today and the house sold tomorrow. Bahia was the popular pasture grass and CHEAP. Bermuda was only on Golf Course and not that available.

In 1979 Texas A&M and U of F developed a Chinch bug resistant St Augustine culivar and called it Floratam and the rest was history.

I have to give Fl Landscape credit for really opening my eyes to the real value of Bermuda as a home lawn. I have had Bermuda myself for years but he showed the real sell able features of Bermuda.

Our pH is an average of 9.5 for calcareous Sand. Bermuda will germinate and grow nicely where Bahia will slowly die off. Bermuda is the economic to sod replace in our area.

Ric
03-08-2011, 01:00 PM
BTW

I have to agree St Augustine takes less fert & Water to look great than Bermuda does to look like the same fine lawn.

However Bermuda can be totally mis-managed and can be brought back relatively simple to a utility turf.

IMHO St Augustine is still the primo Lawn while Bermuda is a great low maintenance ground cover for those with out irrigation or who don't really desire a great lawn.

greendoctor
03-08-2011, 01:13 PM
I also was not thinking about yall's rainy season. Here July and August is our hottest and driest months. What sand we have in our area you need a 4x4 to drive across the field in July and August and can drive across it with anything when it is raining.

Greendoc, I feel the same about the amendments. Instead of adding to sand we need to add organic matter and expanded shale to our clay, but getting people to spend the money on that is like trying to pull teeth.

The vast majority of the soils I deal with are clay. Now why would I want someone to throw toxic, dead subsoil on top of that? It is fast and cheap. Less than $25 a ton in most cases. To test and amend existing clay costs more than that and takes time. Why go through the time and expense? Thanks to the cheap dirt, you now have a lawn and landscape that requires professional management or it is soon dead. If it were done without shortcuts, I would have much more time at the beach.

The sand based soils on beachfront properties are also ruined by the same bad dirt. Instead of making a lawn that is a greenskeeper's dream, the dirt turns it into an ugly, high maintenance hell.

Patriot Services
03-08-2011, 01:14 PM
Ric
As usual you make a good point. By the time a HO calls a professional or the house gets occupied there is no saving the SA. Sodding is the only option. I am concerned the chinch bug problem has reached the tipping point where it cannot be controlled by currently available products.
Posted via Mobile Device

Ric
03-08-2011, 01:58 PM
Ric
As usual you make a good point. By the time a HO calls a professional or the house gets occupied there is no saving the SA. Sodding is the only option. I am concerned the chinch bug problem has reached the tipping point where it cannot be controlled by currently available products.
Posted via Mobile Device

Patriot

You try and talk like you are Licensed but some how you come across as not that knowledgeable to be a CPO. Chinch Bugs might be resistant to the ""Thrins"" but there are other chemical families out there that can and do control Chinch Bugs. A few years back we had problems with Sugar Cane Grubs. Bayer even took the guarantee off Merit because of them. But we learned how to control them and they are no longer a problem. Chinch Bugs are the same and I don't have a problem controlling Chinch Bugs.

Patriot Services
03-08-2011, 02:06 PM
Ric,
I have never stated I was a CPO. I have a limited and I stick to the beds. I had stated I have a local independant I network with but he is getting ready to retire.
Posted via Mobile Device

Landscape Poet
03-08-2011, 07:15 PM
IMO - Bermuda would make more sense, for it has the longest root depth, can be cut short, appears to thrive in our environment (just ask anyone who had it invade their SA).

But this is just my opinion. What would the sustainability of our green industry be here in FL, especially CFL and NFL, if we moved away from SA?

It needs to be cut year round (lawn turds) , it needs fert and of course we are all aware pesticides (L and O guys) to keep it looking nice, it needs to be watered (irrigation guys), and of course when the home owner does not do any of the above - they get to call us lawn turds to replace their lawn for them with sod, as seed is not available.

SA is the greatest gift to all of us lawn turds in FL is my opinion.

Ric
03-08-2011, 07:33 PM
IMO - Bermuda would make more sense, for it has the longest root depth, can be cut short, appears to thrive in our environment (just ask anyone who had it invade their SA).

But this is just my opinion. What would the sustainability of our green industry be here in FL, especially CFL and NFL, if we moved away from SA?

It needs to be cut year round (lawn turds) , it needs fert and of course we are all aware pesticides (L and O guys) to keep it looking nice, it needs to be watered (irrigation guys), and of course when the home owner does not do any of the above - they get to call us lawn turds to replace their lawn for them with sod, as seed is not available.

SA is the greatest gift to all of us lawn turds in FL is my opinion.

Mikey

Yes to have all Bermuda in Florida would be a great shot in arm for Certified Operator that Know what they are doing. I cut my Bermuda yard 8 times this last year and it never grew higher than 6 inches. Yep I could make a small fortune Chemically Mowing Bermuda yards and at the same time McDonald's would have a whole new list of former Yard Boys wanting to flip burgers. Can you say "Welcome to McDonald's, May I help You"

Florida Gardener
03-08-2011, 07:49 PM
How are so many guys having chinch problems??? My yards are irrigated properly, fert properly, and I have yet to have problems with chinch. Secondly, mike, if you get rid of St Augustine the guys who have plant and hort knowledge(not saying you don't) would come to the forefront as you can xeriscape or use natives in yards here and still make them look good.
Posted via Mobile Device

Landscape Poet
03-08-2011, 09:10 PM
I cut my Bermuda yard 8 times this last year and it never grew higher than 6 inches. What does Bermuda look like at that height Ric? It looks so funny growing at 4 or 4.5 inches in the SA, I figure that must look a little crazy.



Can you say "Welcome to McDonald's, May I help You"
No need to as long as SA remains the turf of choice here. It allows me to make a very comfortable living - and enjoy more vacation weeks than most folks.
If this was not the case here, I would move back to the midwest, enjoy lower real estate prices and cost of living, say goodbye to the heat, and know that juan and paco are not coming to my customers lawns because it is too damn cold in that region:laugh:

Landscape Poet
03-08-2011, 09:25 PM
How are so many guys having chinch problems??? My yards are irrigated properly, fert properly, and I have yet to have problems with chinch. Let the homeowner control the irrigation - you will have chinch bugs most of the time, Let the homeowner go with the cheapest L and O company and they will have chinch bugs at some point. Broken sprinkler head in a area close to a radiant heat such as a sidewalk or a driveway, and the homeowner either not care or not notice - you have chinch bugs. Home owner over ferts the lawn because they have not cared for it all year, but decides that they "got some catching up to do" to be the same as their neighbors - lots of new growth - you have chinch bugs.
Last year was the worst because lots of homeowners were grabbing bifen products from the box stores not knowing any better. Had one customer insist that he did not have cinch bugs when I told him because he had just did a application the week before with one of the said products - the infestation was so bad you could see them actively on the sidewalk without disturbing or roughing up the turf!




Secondly, mike, if you get rid of St Augustine the guys who have plant and hort knowledge(not saying you don't) would come to the forefront as you can xeriscape or use natives in yards here and still make them look good.
Posted via Mobile Device This is partially true - but I am still becoming accustomed to FL landscapes, and even if I was had a great knowledge base, I am not sure that this would be a sustainable.
I think I do well compared to a lot of my competition here as far as being able to inform the homeowner about issues such as weeds in their lawn, pest issues, proper sod installation - but it is still a hard sell sometimes asking for a premium when juan and pace or joe unemployment is willing to cut their lawn for $25 dollars less a month and not charge them during the winter;)

Diamond - if I remember correctly, you are in juniper island? If so, you income level is different than most of our residents here in interior CFL. Estates which you say you target - are far and few here in comparison, not to say that there are not some, but in terms of % - there is a difference.

gregory
03-08-2011, 09:45 PM
i will take SA over other turf down here. i only had bahia looked good for the first year or so but like ric said with the high ph where i am at looked like crap in year 2 and 3. to me SA is not very hard to take care of. alot of my friends think i spend all weekend in my yard but i dont. i check my sprinklers every 6 months and i walk around my yard just to give it the once over. i can see alot and remember things when i mow like weed problems bug problems.

i laugh when i go to HD and see how much they sell bug killer for and its just bifen at a really low ai makes me shake my head and laugh. esp knowing what me and ric used to buy bifen xts for.


i dont know about bermuda so i cant say much about it. but it would take alot to get rid of my acre of SA and switch to something else.

Turf Dawg
03-08-2011, 10:13 PM
We do not have Bahia in my area [as to speak of] but we have something that looks very similar, it may even be same species but different cultivar, called King Ranch Bluestem. Our problem with it is that it will grow anywhere. The better shape the turf is in the worse it does, but that is still pretty well, and the hotter and drier the better it likes it. At one point the TXDOT used it for roadside soil erosion and it took off from there.

I am relly suprised that ya'll do not have a bunch of problems with Take-All Patch with soil PH as high as what you say it is.

Florida Gardener
03-08-2011, 10:20 PM
Let the homeowner control the irrigation - you will have chinch bugs most of the time, Let the homeowner go with the cheapest L and O company and they will have chinch bugs at some point. Broken sprinkler head in a area close to a radiant heat such as a sidewalk or a driveway, and the homeowner either not care or not notice - you have chinch bugs. Home owner over ferts the lawn because they have not cared for it all year, but decides that they "got some catching up to do" to be the same as their neighbors - lots of new growth - you have chinch bugs.
Last year was the worst because lots of homeowners were grabbing bifen products from the box stores not knowing any better. Had one customer insist that he did not have cinch bugs when I told him because he had just did a application the week before with one of the said products - the infestation was so bad you could see them actively on the sidewalk without disturbing or roughing up the turf!
Mike I dont let the homeowner control the irrigation, I do. I don't let the feet either, I do that as well. I use a tip top CPO that gets the job done right. My customers trust me and go with my recommendations. I do have one yard that the homeowner ferts and only 1 spray per year and there have been no pest or fungus issues. Only a few winter weeds. Yes, I live in Jupiter, big time moolah down here but don't think we aren't competing with juan and Pablo either.


This is partially true - but I am still becoming accustomed to FL landscapes, and even if I was had a great knowledge base, I am not sure that this would be a sustainable.
I think I do well compared to a lot of my competition here as far as being able to inform the homeowner about issues such as weeds in their lawn, pest issues, proper sod installation - but it is still a hard sell sometimes asking for a premium when juan and pace or joe unemployment is willing to cut their lawn for $25 dollars less a month and not charge them during the winter;)

Diamond - if I remember correctly, you are in juniper island? If so, you income level is different than most of our residents here in interior CFL. Estates which you say you target - are far and few here in comparison, not to say that there are not some, but in terms of % - there is a difference.
Posted via Mobile Device

Landscape Poet
03-08-2011, 10:49 PM
I am relly suprised that ya'll do not have a bunch of problems with Take-All Patch with soil PH as high as what you say it is.

Turf - the PH Ric posted of 9.5 is not common in the lawns I have checked here in CFL - the soils in my area tend to be in the 6 to 7.5 range. Some homes I do see actually lower PH leaning towards the 5ish range, which are also homes that tend to have very mature trees in them, i am assuming the leaves have made the soil more acidic.

Landscape Poet
03-08-2011, 10:50 PM
Posted via Mobile Device

Diamond,

Whatever you posted brother, did not transmit.:confused:

Florida Gardener
03-08-2011, 10:57 PM
It did but like an idiot it is in what I quoted you
Posted via Mobile Device

Landscape Poet
03-08-2011, 11:06 PM
It did but like an idiot it is in what I quoted you
Posted via Mobile Device

ahhhh, I see, got to love the phones, I just switched over to a EVO 4G shift, still getting used to it and my big thumbs are not helping that process.

Florida Gardener
03-08-2011, 11:16 PM
Haha yea same here.
Posted via Mobile Device

Ric
03-08-2011, 11:33 PM
Turf - the PH Ric posted of 9.5 is not common in the lawns I have checked here in CFL - the soils in my area tend to be in the 6 to 7.5 range. Some homes I do see actually lower PH leaning towards the 5ish range, which are also homes that tend to have very mature trees in them, i am assuming the leaves have made the soil more acidic.

Mikey

The South Gulf Coast of Florida has a lot of Calcareous Sandy but just East of I 75 in South Florida is a green belt that has produces a good proportion of Florida's 10 billion dollar agriculture industry. Go to the Ocala Forest and you will find a pH of 4.

Landscape Poet
03-09-2011, 07:54 AM
Mikey

The South Gulf Coast of Florida has a lot of Calcareous Sandy but just East of I 75 in South Florida is a green belt that has produces a good proportion of Florida's 10 billion dollar agriculture industry. Go to the Ocala Forest and you will find a pH of 4.

Ric, I was not doubting the difference in the PH you posted and did not intend for it to come across that way if it did, I was simply giving turfdawg the info on my area that I have found in response to his question about our PH. I know PH is most likely across the board depending on the area of the state you are in.

bugsNbows
03-09-2011, 11:14 AM
Please allow me to inject my $.02. I've been messing around with turf in Florida for going on 40 years. ALL varieties, that we have to deal with, have positives and negatives. Rest assured that there is no one miracle grass.

I like some zoysia varieties (i.e. Empire), and we are seeing a lot more yards going to that. The primary reasons have been: 1). resistant SCB's causing huge amounts of damage in St. Augustine grass requiring yearly (often times) replacements 2). Politicians and "greenies" touting zoysia grass as a drought tolerant miracle grass 3). aggressive sod sales folks. IMO, if you want a lovely zoysia stand, it takes about as much water as does St. Augustine grass. However, once established on site, it has much better drought damage recuperative potential. This is primarily due to the presence of both stolons and rhizomes (from which it can regrow). St. Augustine has stolons only... when it goes down from drought injury, it's not going to recover like zoysia does.

Bermuda grass in residential settings is interesting. If we are talking about what is referred to as "common bermuda", it has it's place. It can be seeded and is rather vigorous in regards to establishment. If you set about planting and trying to maintain one of the hybridized varieties, be prepared to spend mucho time and lots-o-cash. These varieties are the highest maintenance lawn grass choices. Good luck there.

Centipede grass is o.k. but is pretty much restricted to North and to a degree, North Central Florida. South of that, it's getting out of range. It has other issues too.

Bahia grass sucks. It's cow pasture grass. The more you try to do to it, the worse it gets. Yuk!

That pretty much leaves St. Augustine grass. Pick a variety, take care of pests, fertilize, water and mow correctly and it's a decent choice. BTW, nematodes DO bother it. Sting, lance, ring, spiral, stubby root, and root-Knot nematodes often show up in assays. Unfortunately, there are no control products (worth a darn) labeled for residential lawns.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

txgrassguy
03-09-2011, 11:25 AM
We do not have Bahia in my area [as to speak of] but we have something that looks very similar, it may even be same species but different cultivar, called King Ranch Bluestem. Our problem with it is that it will grow anywhere. The better shape the turf is in the worse it does, but that is still pretty well, and the hotter and drier the better it likes it. At one point the TXDOT used it for roadside soil erosion and it took off from there.

I am relly suprised that ya'll do not have a bunch of problems with Take-All Patch with soil PH as high as what you say it is.

A couple of points. First all Bahiagrass is the common name for Paspalum spp - I believe Notarium or some such. Bluestem is a completely different family of pastureland turf. Cultural practices for each are based upon their intended primary use as forage for cattle/sheep, secondary as a soil stabilization/roadside seeding mix.
TXDOT doesn't use solely Bluestem in it's roadside stabilization mix, actually the last I looked the recommended seed mixture comprises over eight different Bermudagrass, Buffalograss, Paspalum and Bothriochloa, aka Bluestem - the idea being whatever turf becomes dominant in a particular area is encouraged.

I still prefer St. A as a homeowner turf as long as no children or dogs will be tramping around. A series of trials I conducted over the course of several growing seasons with the equivalent cultural practices across Cynodon spp, Paspalum spp, Zoysia spp, Stenotaphrum - aka St. A spp revealed the St. A. to be the overall best turf due to:
Density, color, disease resistance, irrigation input, ease of maintenance and overall durability with the understanding wear resistance wasn't included. Factoring in wear tolerance then the Cynodon spp was the clear winner yet required much more aerification and aggressive raking. The worst turf was Zoysia hands down except at one residence where the estate owner insisted on Buchloe dactyloides - aka Buffalograss . Ended up ripping the Buffalograss out less than two years later and replacing with St. A.

A part of my maintenance program is removing the homeowner/property manager from irrigation programming as with any turf the common misconception exists that if a little water is okay a bunch more is better. This proved to be especially true when these people would insist that watering during the hot part of the day was preferred to 'cool' the turf.

Since I maintain no sites where interference is tolerated this works for me.

Ric
03-09-2011, 01:03 PM
bugsNbows

A few Commends::

First I am sort of with Steve (txgrassguy) on the Zoysia. I find I have to scalp Zoysia every spring or it clump grows and builds thatch. Any regrowth or grow ins take forever and so I perfer to resod zoysia even as a patch job.

Common Bermuda yards are not popular in my area right now. But It does have value as affordable Bahia replacements. It can be either totally mistreated and survive or it can be managed to look reasonable good. One thing about Bermuda it is as easy as it comes, controlling weeds.

I agree the less you do to Bahia the better it looks TO A POINT. Bahia doesn't like my high pH soil and dies out in about 5 years.

If they wouldn't take all the good chemicals off the market, St Augustine would be a lot easier to control weeds. Years ago I had a 3 way cocktail that controlled 99% of the weeds. Today only one product remains on the market, Basagram. Atrazine is now an RUP and the Label Rate is half what it was. Asulox of course is now only a AG product and don't get caught using it if you value your license. The State BEPC has vowel to pull certs of any company using it.

fl-landscapes
03-09-2011, 03:51 PM
Please allow me to inject my $.02. I've been messing around with turf in Florida for going on 40 years. ALL varieties, that we have to deal with, have positives and negatives. Rest assured that there is no one miracle grass.

I like some zoysia varieties (i.e. Empire), and we are seeing a lot more yards going to that. The primary reasons have been: 1). resistant SCB's causing huge amounts of damage in St. Augustine grass requiring yearly (often times) replacements 2). Politicians and "greenies" touting zoysia grass as a drought tolerant miracle grass 3). aggressive sod sales folks. IMO, if you want a lovely zoysia stand, it takes about as much water as does St. Augustine grass. However, once established on site, it has much better drought damage recuperative potential. This is primarily due to the presence of both stolons and rhizomes (from which it can regrow). St. Augustine has stolons only... when it goes down from drought injury, it's not going to recover like zoysia does.

Bermuda grass in residential settings is interesting. If we are talking about what is referred to as "common bermuda", it has it's place. It can be seeded and is rather vigorous in regards to establishment. If you set about planting and trying to maintain one of the hybridized varieties, be prepared to spend mucho time and lots-o-cash. These varieties are the highest maintenance lawn grass choices. Good luck there.

Centipede grass is o.k. but is pretty much restricted to North and to a degree, North Central Florida. South of that, it's getting out of range. It has other issues too.

Bahia grass sucks. It's cow pasture grass. The more you try to do to it, the worse it gets. Yuk!

That pretty much leaves St. Augustine grass. Pick a variety, take care of pests, fertilize, water and mow correctly and it's a decent choice. BTW, nematodes DO bother it. Sting, lance, ring, spiral, stubby root, and root-Knot nematodes often show up in assays. Unfortunately, there are no control products (worth a darn) labeled for residential lawns.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

unless you actually want to use your yard and not just look at it. SA has horrible wear tolerance. But has its place in some cases. I think a well maintained common variety Bermuda is overall a better choice. Just my opinion but its more drought tolerant, can be repaired cheaply with seed, excellent wear tolerance (all fl golf course fairways are bermuda). proper cultural practices with less input than sa and you can (cause I do) have a really good looking common bermuda lawn.

Ric
03-09-2011, 05:29 PM
unless you actually want to use your yard and not just look at it. SA has horrible wear tolerance. But has its place in some cases. I think a well maintained common variety Bermuda is overall a better choice. Just my opinion but its more drought tolerant, can be repaired cheaply with seed, excellent wear tolerance (all fl golf course fairways are bermuda). proper cultural practices with less input than sa and you can (cause I do) have a really good looking common bermuda lawn.

Fl Land

while I agree St A is very poor wear tolorance, It is a great lawn for the PGI & BSI retiree Canal homes. It is easy to keep the GREENEST GRASS and be the Jones that other must keep up with. Yes Your Bermuda yard looks great ""MOST"" of the time. St A is more forgiving of missed application of fert than Bermuda. I have no problem admitting You have Taught me the value of Bermuda and made a believer out of me. But each turf has it's value and I am not giving up on St A by a long shot.

Yep if the homeowner walks to his back yard from the garage there is a wear line in the turf where they walk.

Florida Gardener
03-09-2011, 11:02 PM
Let's compare apples to apples. People get SA bc they want it to look good. People wouldn't get common Bermuda for the same reason. Hybrid cultivars, yea, but as others have said they require tons of work. Really though, how many high end homes with zoysia or Bermuda is the turf used for wear tolerance??
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Florida Gardener
03-09-2011, 11:40 PM
Plus most St Augustine problems are induced by people. Overwatering brings in all the water weeds and fungus. Overfertilizing fungus and insect. Cut too short crabgrass takes over. St Augustine managed properly is pretty easy and looks great.
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Turf Dawg
03-10-2011, 12:13 AM
I will agree that St Augustine is easy for the mowing aspect but that is about as much as I like it and would sure not want it on a sand base [in my area] which is right on the TX and OK border. I have never seen or messed with Empire Zoysia but I love the Jamur and Palisades Zoysia. I have planted several pallets and have had great luck with it. The Bermuda I like the Celebration but hate to try and take care of the Tiff 419 that they put on most of the lawns around here because I do not have a reel mower and I can not cut it every 3 days. I know some may laugh at me but my favorite Bermuda to take care of is some Coastal Bermuda that was once pasture.

bugsNbows
03-10-2011, 04:37 PM
Plus most St Augustine problems are induced by people. Overwatering brings in all the water weeds and fungus. Overfertilizing fungus and insect. Cut too short crabgrass takes over. St Augustine managed properly is pretty easy and looks great.
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LMAO, man is his own worst enemy. :hammerhead:

fl-landscapes
03-10-2011, 08:29 PM
Fl Land

while I agree St A is very poor wear tolorance, It is a great lawn for the PGI & BSI retiree Canal homes. It is easy to keep the GREENEST GRASS and be the Jones that other must keep up with. Yes Your Bermuda yard looks great ""MOST"" of the time. St A is more forgiving of missed application of fert than Bermuda. I have no problem admitting You have Taught me the value of Bermuda and made a believer out of me. But each turf has it's value and I am not giving up on St A by a long shot.

Yep if the homeowner walks to his back yard from the garage there is a wear line in the turf where they walk.

I agree ric 100% thats why I started my post with "unless you want to use your yard" In our area most people dont so yes sa is probably the best overall choice....maybe...when it comes to a yard like most people in the world outside of retirementville, they actually go out and use it, and when that is factored in SA is probably a poor choice.

rob7233
03-10-2011, 10:06 PM
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