Input on St.Augstine Grass....

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by SouthernYankee, Jan 17, 2005.

  1. SouthernYankee

    SouthernYankee LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 789

    I have mowed fescue/bluegrass mixes my whole life and I was wondering what I should expect when I move to an area where the majority of grass is St.Augstine.

    I would assume that you would need very sharp blades?

    What ever tips , experiance or just general knowledge of this grass would be helpful and appreicated. thanks
  2. naturescaretaker

    naturescaretaker LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 854

    St. Augustine is a very good grass. We cut it at 3". Sharp blades are always good. We mulch it with John Deere's. We find that their deck works best. If it ever gets real long, the amount of clippings is unbelievable.

    Check this link out:
  3. TClawn

    TClawn LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,036

    I have had problems with "lucky boys" or blades of grass that lay down when you cut it with a rotary mower. sometimes I have to double cut it for it to look clean. this problem has mainly been at the shorter cutting heights. as you get higher the problem starts to disappear.
  4. naturescaretaker

    naturescaretaker LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 854

    The BIGGEST mistake people make with this grass is they try to cut in like a golf course green. It doesn't work that way. I get people all of the time that want it cut at 2". I say no and then educate them. If they still say to cut it at that height then I leave. Let someone else replace the yard... not me.
  5. YardPro

    YardPro LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,570


    it's a tall cut grass.
    sensitive to tri-mec rpoducts ( 2,4D, dicamba, MCPP)
    also watch for chinch bugs.
    does not tolerate traffic very well.
  6. naturescaretaker

    naturescaretaker LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 854

    One more thing... let us not forget about Brown Spot!
  7. j fisher

    j fisher LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 294

    Cut it 3 inches, should'nt have a problem. Good Grass.
  8. TClawn

    TClawn LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,036

    really, in my experience, every grass that I mow besides St. augustine does BETTER cut below 2".

    the other varietys that I mow are seashore paspalum (should be kept no higher than 1.5"), and bermuda (1.5"-2").

    with both grasses, once you get over 2" they start to "open up" and form a thinner stand of turf, this lets weeds to germinate, which not only makes my job harder (no turf and ornamental license), but makes the customer dissatisfied. I am sure that on the main land, a higher cutting height is better for the grass, but here anybody who keeps their lawns cut over 2.5" has junky looking lawns.

    btw, about 30 percent of the lawns here DO look like putting greens.
  9. cutnedge

    cutnedge LawnSite Member
    Messages: 194

    Mulch kit with sharp blades,higher deck setting,slow down. Get ready for some fantastic edges.
  10. Precision

    Precision LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,995

    I cut St augustine at 4.5 inches. Sometimes in peak season I wish my deck would go up to 5.5 inches for the first cut on over fertilize yards.

    Even in the winter I never go lower than 3.75 inches. And I train it down to that.

    St augustine has a very broad leaf and the longer it grows up to about 5 inches the better it shades out the weed seeds. Longer blades also keeps the soil moist longer which is very important here with the sand we call soil and daily highs of around 95.

    The WORST thing you can do (cutting wise) is cut close to the crown. Doing so will create a cascade effect of thin grass, weeds, bugs and eventually cutting in a dust bowl. Cutting it too short robs the plant of the ability to photosynthesize. No energy, no growth and no ability to fight diseases.

    Chinch bugs can kill your entire yard in 2-3 weeks if it is already weakened.

    St augustine will never look like a putting green, but it can look like the lushest of plush carpets and that is a great look.

    yellowing is due to lack of iron, crunchy soundling blades is lack of water. nerf turf is over watering. Growing 6-8 inches in a week is TGCL at work.

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