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Question for central Florida LCO's

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by yourlawnguy, Jan 12, 2003.

  1. yourlawnguy

    yourlawnguy LawnSite Member
    Messages: 228

    I need info on detatching St. Augustine lawns in central Florida. I've done some searching on the internet but haven't found much. Does anyone here do it and if so how often? I've never seen anyone verticutting around here but some sites I visited mentioned it. Any info would be appreciated.
  2. Turf Technologies

    Turf Technologies LawnSite Senior Member
    from Florida
    Messages: 587

    Noone really does that down here. I wish I could get some info too.
  3. Fantasy Lawns

    Fantasy Lawns LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,912


    Fore the most part St. Augustine may require “renovation” every two years to four years …..as a result of building up a thick, spongy thatch (well it’s not a true thatch as it is above the soil line) ….power raking or a vertical mower …. Could be done in the Spring ….after wards fertilize & water to help recovery

    In true terms “thatch is accumulated organic matter that collects between the runners and the soil surface” …. more common in Bermuda lawns ….It is usually the result of letting the grass grow too tall between mowing, then leaving the clippings on the soil surface n heavy fert in the N

    Fore us we see the thick cake type lawns by home-owners using lite small push mowers on developing thick turf ( they fert n water the ^%$# out of it ) n than have to raise the height just to get a cut (thus allowing the runners to build on top of each other), mowing in the same pattern ….. all is accelerated by use of quick-release, high-nitrogen fertilizers n lots of watering ...than they have a super thick base which is "spongy" ... from July to August you'll see the runners really taking off ...it's best to cross cut at this time to reduce the "building ontop" of effect

    You can perform a “dethaching” to comb through the lawn, but this can be more damage than good for St. Augustine because all the runners are above the soil (thus above any real thatch) ….be real careful if you have no experience in this process as more damage can be performed than good ….it’s better to “scalp” or power rake the turf late spring just before growing season ..... surf the net fore more info or contact your local county extension office
  4. yourlawnguy

    yourlawnguy LawnSite Member
    Messages: 228

    Thanks Steve,
    I've already read that article. I know the proper spacing of the blades and I've run a verticutter on Kentucky blue many times. I'm just wondering if anyone really does this as I've never seen it done in the 15 years I've lived in Florida. And if I do decide to try to sell this service where can I rent the equip.?
  5. mowerman90

    mowerman90 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,491

    Verticutting used to be big business in my area but has tapered off to almost non-existent lately. The few people that I knew that were into it heavy were charging almost .10 per sq ft. Considering that you could have the your lawn sprayed with roundup and plugged with Floratam plugs for only .13 psf made verticutting a hard sell to most of the old tightwads we have here. All of the lawns I mow are Floratam and none of them have needed it since I can't remember, at least 5 - 8 years.

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