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Laying St. Augustine in the Cold

Discussion in 'Landscape Maintenance' started by Landscape Poet, Dec 6, 2010.

  1. Landscape Poet

    Landscape Poet LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,638

    I also knew that he had worked here previously FL-Landscapes, but that was not my concern, my issue was getting his input because he has a grasp on soil mgmt for sure - and I knew he would be a good source of information if he posted, the 1 thing about Kiril you can always count on, is if he puts it out there other than saying IMHO, he can back it up with peer reviewed research. So his advise is usually pretty reliable IMHO.

    I do also value your guys input also...trust me I know you guys see the same things I see day in and day out...but I have learned to follow some guys on the site because they obviously have a greater than common knowledge. Like I said before I respect ric and his knowledge...and would of valued his opinion...that is why I asked for it too. I just not need to be lectured about not being "smart" and being a "lawn boy" because I do not hold the same license that he does.

    I know that Kiril can see harsh at times...but generally what that in my experience with him has been this, he provides links to support his information or opinion to creditable sources. Then when people still want to argue the point it can get ugly, because he has put the proof up and they just want to argue. Do not get me wrong - Kiril - can be a little hard to follow at times to - but I personally have never found him to be degrading to me personally.

    This was not my mistake - I told the client it was best not to due it during the heat of the summer - as it would not be facing the heat pressures we have - or the pest pressure - I was specifically talking about a fall install not a winter. But the client did not ask until as I have said less than a month ago and then he thought about the price tag and got back to me, but even with this late install I was not expecting the frost to even be present because it happend early this early.
    And I would consider sod solutions a pretty credible source of info wouldn't you?

    As you can see they list sod as being able to be installed anytime of year - and that the summer period is not the idea time the suggested - http://www.sodsolutions.com/palmetto_faqs#248
  2. Landscape Poet

    Landscape Poet LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,638

    I am looking into your info know and seeing your point of view here I think.
    I will let you know if I am not following what you are saying.
  3. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 18,308

    Aside from getting your source of water from rain (which would be preferred on a site without automatic irrigation), there is nothing wrong with laying sod now in FL. If you look at the soil temps on that site I posted a link to, 7 days ago (Dec 1) the soil temp was 68 F. Given root growth for C4 grasses starts to slow when soils temps fall below 50 F, IMO you were not entirely out of line to suggest a fall/early winter install. Contrary to what some might want to believe, slowed/halted top growth does not necessarily mean slowed/halted root growth. Will it take longer to establish sod at this time of year ..... yes. Is it impossible to establish sod at this time of year in FL .... no. Is it the best time of year to establish sod .... no. Irregardless, the job is either done or in the process of being finished, whether or not it is the best time is irrelevant.

    BTW, I may as well point out, given some people on here seem to think we don't use St. Augustine in CA, that SA has been used in CA for over 200 years, very nearly as long as it has been used in FL.

    Consider how thick the sod soil/roots is (probably 3/4" +/- 1/4"), this is what you are concerned with keeping moist and what your calculations should be based on. Making up for the irrigation inefficiencies will most likely provide more than enough water to keep the underlying soil moist. Once again, your low quarter is going to determine how much water you need to apply to keep all the sod moist (not sopping wet). Remember, St. Augustine doesn't deal with water logging very well.
  4. CkLandscapingOrlando

    CkLandscapingOrlando LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 652

    Brother just put the green side up and kick. I layed 15 pallets 3 days before our week long freeze last year. Took a bit longer to florish but as we have discussed a few times this year, everything took a while to florish. Between recored cold and dry summer it was a bad year. But the grass has done just fine.

    Who ever was talking smack a few pages back really dont know MGLW.
  5. Landscape Poet

    Landscape Poet LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,638

    I figured as much - I do not see it being any worse than laying it during the peak of summer with the heat and insect pressures at that time - yes you can make it live then to but at the cost of what inputs - More water? More Fungicides? More ...More....More?????
  6. Landscape Poet

    Landscape Poet LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,638


    Let me clear up that there is irrigation in place - there is a system on the property - the issue is that he is on reclaimed - which in our location has been suspect as of late as weather you will actually be able to irrigate on your assigned day because it has been exteamly dry....so a lot of times ---you go to irrigate you lawn -and there is no pressure.

    I went by and visited the property today - other than the initial watering we had put down right after install (1 inch) there has been no additional water applied. The base is still good and moist...the soil surface is good and moist.. the turf is looking good...no additional irrigation is needed at this time.

    The homeowner should be leaving work in less than a half hour...I am planning to call him and explain that there is not a need for extra watering at this time....we are out of the freeze warning now....temps getting higher the next few days again...should bring soil temps back up again. Then appear they will be in good shape.

    Thanks to all that have supplied input.
  7. Landscape Poet

    Landscape Poet LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,638

    By the way - good to see you back on here....will be in touch soon...need to get together with you.
  8. Landscape Poet

    Landscape Poet LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,638

    So many months have past since the installation the night before the first freeze.

    Just updating this for those that may search for info on this in the future on the site.

    The sod did not take any longer than sod installed in the spring/summer time frame. The irrigation that was most likely much less than what would of been used during the heat of summer as the home owner and I worked closely on checking the base daily and only watering if appeared not to be moist. The sod did not have any issues coming out in spring not also experienced in homes in the area with the same exposures.

    I have included a couple of photos of the property taken yesterday during a visit, as you can see the turf is in good shape.

    Semmel 4.jpg

    Semmel 3.jpg

    Semmel 2.jpg

    Semmel 1.jpg

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