St. Augustine in NW Georgia.

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by Cleve, Mar 3, 2002.

  1. Cleve

    Cleve LawnSite Senior Member
    Male, from Rockmart, GA
    Posts: 398

    I don't think you are supposed to be able to get St. Augustine grass to grow this far north. My Dad has about 7k sq. ft. of it in NW Georgia and it is also in the yards next to his. I believe these lawns have been active for the past 20 years or so. Is beautiful in the summer.
    My question is about proper fertilizer and when to apply it and what is best mowing height?
    My wife and I have operated a small LCO for the past 12 years i the Atlanta area and this is the first time I have attempted to care for this lawn. Everything we work with is Fescue and way different problems.
    I did check with our Lesco supplier but they don't even list a St. Augustine program for this area.
    Thanks for your help.
    Cleve.
     
  2. Ric

    Ric LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 11,957

    Cleve

    The Facts

    Bitter Blue and Raleigh are the cultivar of St. Augustine that have the best cold tolerance. They both have a course texture and good density. Both are subject to Chinch Bugs. Both have good shade tolerance and should be mowed no lower than 3.5 inches, 4 inches is better. Bitter Blue is a darker green than Raleigh but Raleigh will tolerate cold a little better. Remember these are C 4 warm season grasses. All St Augustine varieties are salt tolerance and stolomatic growers so they not only establish from plugs but also repairs itself. They requires irrigation year round. They requires verticutting (detaching) every several years. They have very poor wear resistance, forms pathways in yard where people walk. Disadvantage is some people think it looks like crabgrass ( biggest objection I hear from new to Fla. people).

    Soil- St Augustine will grow in pH 4.5 to 9.5 but likes about 6.0 It prefers a sandy loam, but will grow in heavy clay. However in clay soils it is subject to SADV St Augustine Decline Virus.

    Fertilizer- St Augustine is considered to be a moderated user of fertilizer 4 to 6 pounds of nitrogen per year. I will not give you any more info on fertilizer because with out seeing a soil report I could not give you good advice.

    Opinion

    St Augustine is a C 4 Warm season and you are in a transition zone. Therefore St Augustine will not express it self to the best of its ability. I can not recommend this turf to you it your area. However you might try cutting out a few plugs from you friends lawn and plant it in your yard just to see if I am right or wrong.

    You may visit my website at www.yardoc.com for more info or post your questions here at lawn site. You may also call me after 9:00pm most nights. Good Luck
     
  3. Cleve

    Cleve LawnSite Senior Member
    Male, from Rockmart, GA
    Posts: 398

    Ric, thanks for the reply.
    Please note that this grass is well established. My Dad's yard and one on a side along with one across the road probably total around 25k sq. ft. or more. They have been here for over 30 years as best I can tell. At least who ever planted them originally did seem to work with the soil some. Most soil around here is just red clay. These seem to be well amended to at least look black and soft with some sand in it.
    I do have a good dethatcher and a commercial coring aerator. I had no idea about how to either aerate or dethatch this type grass. Kinda thought I might damage it with either machine. When dethatching should I let the blades almost touch the soil?
    I will take a soil sample and let the county agent get it analyzed for a fert. suggettion.
    I do know that when this grass is taken care of it is like walking on a soft carpet. The color and appearance is great in the summer.
    Cleve.
     
  4. Ric

    Ric LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 11,957

    Cleve

    I am not sure of the climate in your area so maybe I spoke out of turn when I said it will not work. Verticutting is a little different than detaching. Verticutting is more like slit cutting. Blades are not hinged. I use a Ryan Mataway and it can change blades to make it a detacher. This might not be an issue because if you plant it from plugs it will take 5 to 7 years before you have to verticut it. Unless you over fertilize and over water( a big problem here because of keeping up with the Jones). Core aeration should be no problem I double pass twice a year with a Ryan IV it gives 9 holes per sq ft. I also like to (Opps can post that on net, be giving away to much to my competitors) Send you a private message.

    Cheapest way to establish St Augustine is by plugs and you can cut your own out of your dad's yard. Just put some dirt in the holes and it will grow back in no time at all. You can plug right into your fescue and the St Augustine should over take it. Hope this helps You may IM me on aol user name "Flayard" if you have more question or call me at (941) 629 ANTS or (941) 764 YARD
     

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