Winterize st augustine?

Discussion in 'Florida Lawn Care Forum' started by j-ville native, Nov 25, 2011.

  1. j-ville native

    j-ville native LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 349

    I don't normally apply fertilizers, but one of my customers asked me about winterizing. Do you winterize st. augustine? If so what kind do you use and when do you apply? The customer hasn't had their lawn fertilized at all this fall and while their grass remains green, there are quite a few weeds present. Is there a winterizer that controls weeds also? Is winterizer even worth doing in this case?
     
  2. jvanvliet

    jvanvliet LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,939

    Might be a little too cold up there to fertilize now; follow this link http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/lh010 for more information.

    Maybe Ric will chime in with some first hand practical application advice (IE it ain't in the book).

    We do our last fert in October; 50% slow release. Fertilizer requirements are different in Jacsonville. The link provided willget you started.

    As far as the weeds are concerned check with your pest control guy.
     
  3. j-ville native

    j-ville native LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 349

    Thanks, I've read that article before and it does have some good info but it is very unspecific about when to fertilize, calling for "2-6 applications per year". Doesn't saying anything about winterizing either. Only says don't fertilize too late in the year and never after the first frost.
     
  4. Ric

    Ric LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 11,956

    Sorry I am too far south and have a grass growing in January to know anything about winterizing any thing. Snow plowing is a very poor market in my area and I have yet to have a customer request that service.

    Bitter Blue is a cultivar of St Augustine that is supposed to be more cold tolerant than other cultivars of St Augustine. I can only assume Jacksonville and North & South Carolina plant cultivars of St Augustine that are Cold Tolerant.

    ..
     
  5. jvanvliet

    jvanvliet LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,939

    Thanks Ric...

    What I read between the lines was check your cultivar and then research it's fertilizer requirements and suggested time tables.

    My guess would be that with temperatures consistently in the 60's or below... St. Augustine cultivars will move towards dormancy and ferilizing would not be indicated until spring. Sometimes you are better safe than sorry.
     
  6. RAlmaroad

    RAlmaroad LawnSite Silver Member
    from SC
    Posts: 2,185

    I generally fertilize with 1lb/K of 14-0-46. The potassium strengthens the roots and stores a little nitrogen for the green up. I also put down some compost and manure mix in Early February at about 1/4" and a little thicker under the trees since they zap everything. It makes a difference. The St. Augustine does not go fully dormant in SC.
     
  7. Ric

    Ric LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 11,956

    jvanvliet

    The only cold damage I have seen on St Augustine is a Purple color on the Leaves after a hard freeze in my area which doesn't happen very often. It can be interesting to watch the Purple pattern on the grass at different sides of the house where wind blew or the Canal water kept the area warmer etc. That Purple Color on the leaves is cut off on the next mowing. The last 3 winter we have had hard freezes. Before that it had been many years since our last freeze. I know Jacksonville and the St Augustine Area are more of a summer tourist area and too cold in the winter for a big tourist season or Grass to grow. Therefore regardless of Cultivar, Fertilization schedules for all plants will take on a more local schedule to coincide with active growth cycles. January is my coldest month, so, Oct is the last time I want to fertilize ornamentals heavy. Late Feb I will start fertilizing again since March is my No Freeze date. Young flush growth doesn't take cold very well.
     
  8. jvanvliet

    jvanvliet LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,939

    Yah, that's what I thought. RAImaroad in SC says he fertilez but not when... that would be helpful to the original poster.

    October is the last time we fertilize until end of March...
     
  9. bug-guy

    bug-guy LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 966

    people are here will use either 0-0-62 (can be spread or sprayed) or a fert like 9-0-24 covers 12000 sft so that's a lb of K per 1000
     
  10. RAlmaroad

    RAlmaroad LawnSite Silver Member
    from SC
    Posts: 2,185

    Whenever the mower guy start to only have to work two weeks or more between cuttings, that is the sign that grass is going dormant whether centipede or St. Augustine. I then wait at least two weeks and apply "Winter Fertilizer" Doing this gives the roots a little time to metabolize the sugars and store them for spring. It's all about timing. Temps at nights are generally cooler and daylight hours are shorter that slows the uptake. Some years we might get into November but most of the time late October is the better time to get your winter feed down.
     

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