Need help with Lawn, Please.

Discussion in 'Florida Lawn Care Forum' started by RoboMike, Jun 23, 2012.

  1. RoboMike

    RoboMike LawnSite Member
    Messages: 24

    Hi All,

    We bought a house in south florida and the lawn is completely taken over by weeds. I've used a selective herbicide ortho weed b gone and it works on the less problematic weeds like dollar weeds. For the more problematic viney broadleaf weeds that form a dense carpet / mat close to the soil the grass doesn't even have a chance and I really hate those lite purple / pink flowers. Other weeds are like trees with long tap roots. So for those I am using Roundup since it only kills the plants it touches on the leaves and does not leave much residue in the soil.

    The problem is that my entire back yard has a weed problem.

    We have St. Augustine grass.

    So I would like you opinion as I'm not sure if my approach is the best way.

    My approach:

    Systematically use weed killer on the weeds where I can find them, as often as I can. Then when most of the dense populations of weeds are killed (perhaps most of my lawn) then fertilize the grass every 6 weeks or so in attempts to get the grass to grow and crowd out other weeds.

    If I was living back up north, I'd buy seed and over seed.

    Which is why I have another question... since you can't get St. Augustine grass in seed, should I combine it with another grass type that I can get in seed? I was thinking Caterpillar grass which is similar to St. Augustine...

    Re-sodding, plugs, etc.. is too expensive.

    I'd love your help!
  2. mjlcare2

    mjlcare2 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 200

    With what your going to spend on chemicals and fertilization to MAYBE have an "ok" yard in a year.. I'd save up for the new sod, instant yard.. Some weeds you simply cannot get out of a yard without killing everything around it.
  3. Ric

    Ric LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,969


    Nothing is easier to take care than BlueGrass in Pa. Cold Hardness Zone 5. But South florida is Cold Hardiness Zone 10 not 5 and St Augustine is nothing like Bluegrass.

    I strongly suggest you hire a professional Lawn Care Company. I believe it will cost you less in the long run.

  4. Patriot Services

    Patriot Services LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,500

    Caterpillar grass? I think you mean Centipede. In that case you will still spend a ton of money getting it to establish. Most bang for the buck is Common Bermuda. Cheap, looks great, easy to establish and maintain. Overseed with Annual Rye in fall for equally cheap year round green.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  5. carriedrewdog

    carriedrewdog LawnSite Member
    Messages: 68

    Prolly' shouldn't be posting on this 'cause I can't spell, but-
    broadleaf weed killers for St Augustine grass are atrazine and penoxsulam (trade name LockUp). I don't think Weed-Be-Gone is for St Augustine. Check the upper temp limit for these chemical applications. Sedges will need a different control chemical.

    Really may be cheaper to RoundUp and start over.
  6. Landscape Poet

    Landscape Poet LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,638

    Ric has it correct. I know it is hard to accept but as he put it and you have found out, caring for turf here simply is not as easy as throwing down some seed and watch it grow like the cool season turfs you are used too.

    With our humid , warm season here there are many pest and diseases that can take out any progress your turf may make after spending good money trying to make that progress.

    At the very least what I would do is consult with a professional (NOT a TG rep) but rather a smaller local lawn company that will be honest with you and tell you if your turf is even worth attempting to save at this point. They can also look as many factors that you may have overlooked like is your irrigation set up properly and getting proper coverage? IMHO this is something that really should be considered in the home inspection progress especially for those from up north as our turfs can go downhill really quick without proper irrigation and care from a fert and squirt company.

    It is very common for those of us that have been in the industry to know when someone from up north has moved into one of the neighborhoods we work in. We first notice you mowing the St. Augustine like it was a BG or Fescue and murdering it, then we see you pounding the heck out of it with the Turfbuilder program and your speedgreen, we then watch you freak out of your first water bill and reduce or shut down the water, we then watch your growing out of control St. Augustine create new tender growth before going into drought stress. Then we watch the chinch bugs relocate and populate in your lawn, watch you guys move your manual sprinkler around to all the new "drought spots" in your lawn and water your little hearts out before one of us in kind enough to take time out of our busy schedule to inform you that those drought spots are actually chinch bug, we take time to inform you that need a pest control company to assist you in this only to watch you not take our advice and go to Home Depot only to get a bag of pesticide, spread it with your speedygreen, only to have us stop by again after watching your lawn further decline because your chinch bugs are resistant to bifen but the guy at home depot did not bother to inform you that was possible.

    I am not trying to be rude to you but rather just advising you to take Ric's advice and have a professional get you in the right direction as you can and will spend hundreds of dollars and countless hours trying to resolve the issues. So save yourself the headache and don't be the like the people I described and run into every year. Save yourself money and headache and just find a local smaller Fert and Squirt guy and have him get you off to a right start or tell you if it is even worth attempting with what you have.

    By the way - I know that bottle of weed-b-gone says safe for St. Augustine on it...but do read the directions fully and it will advise you not to apply to Floritam St. Augustine as it could injure it. How much of a possibility that is I do not know ..but that is why I let the Professionals handle the lawn care applications...because they do.

    Good luck and don't be one of those guys.
  7. RoboMike

    RoboMike LawnSite Member
    Messages: 24

    Thanks for the responses so far guys! So far I am getting good points and some of you are funnier than others. :)
  8. Patriot Services

    Patriot Services LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,500

    It sounds like the SA may be beyond even the best chemical attack. I totally agree with needing a great CPO for the best lawns. However he already threw out the budget word. Can't get thar from here problem.
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  9. RoboMike

    RoboMike LawnSite Member
    Messages: 24

    Also, the only local companies I can find around 33498 is Scotts and another large chain, the smaller lawn mowing companies won't do it because they need an additional license or something. I had people come and give me quotes for whitefly for my ficus, and they all told me that the ficus couldn't be saved. After a prune, fertilizer, and granular insect control I only lost 5 ficus. The rest are beautiful... so I have little faith in any local or national company; If you know of a good company I'm interested. Until then it's a DIY project.

    I don't care if I kill a small amount of grass along a large patch of weeds. My assumption is that the grass will grow new runners as long as I keep the weeds out.

    I really like the idea of over seeding with Common Bermuda..... Thank you Patriot.
  10. bug-guy

    bug-guy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,032

    that viney weed google skunk vine or doveweed
    triclopyr can be found in some vine and stump products look at active ing. check small area on st aug reaction

    i believe celcius is lavbel for doveweed.

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