St Augustine + Sand = Why

Discussion in 'Florida Lawn Care Forum' started by Turf Dawg, Mar 7, 2011.

  1. It did but like an idiot it is in what I quoted you
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  2. Landscape Poet

    Landscape Poet LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,637

    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.
     
  3. Haha yea same here.
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  4. Ric

    Ric LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 11,946

    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.
     
  5. Landscape Poet

    Landscape Poet LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,637

    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.
     
  6. bugsNbows

    bugsNbows LawnSite Member
    Posts: 170

    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.
     
  7. txgrassguy

    txgrassguy LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,084

    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.
     
  8. Ric

    Ric LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 11,946

    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.
     
  9. fl-landscapes

    fl-landscapes LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,542

    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.
     
  10. Ric

    Ric LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 11,946

    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.
     

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