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Shade solution in St Augustine lawn

Discussion in 'Homeowner Assistance Forum' started by Smokindog, Oct 17, 2017.

  1. Smokindog

    Smokindog LawnSite Member
    Messages: 233

    I've got about 1/2 acre of St Augustine lawn back in the trees. Most of it gets enough sun to do very well. There's a 10 yard stretch at one end that will show signs of growth at the beginning of each season when the sun is lower but ends up the year as dirt.

    Looking for something that will grow in heavier shade and hopefully "blend in" with an otherwise nice St Augustine lawn. The area is irrigated.


    View attachment 350876


  2. ed2hess

    ed2hess LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 15,282

    First grind mulch...
    Smokindog, AGRinATX and hort101 like this.
  3. CorgiTurf

    CorgiTurf LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 456

    Well, st Augustine is one of, if not the most shade tolerant warm season grass...
  4. Smokindog

    Smokindog LawnSite Member
    Messages: 233

    Ya, that's what I've been trying to tell the better half for a couple years!
  5. greendoctor

    greendoctor LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,820

    Forests and lawns do not mix. Trees need to be introduced to Mr Husqvarna or Mr Stihl. If not, the area not growing grass will have to resemble the understory of a forest with shade tolerant shrubs.
    RussellB likes this.
  6. weeze

    weeze LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,762

    always good to cut down trees in yards. let them be in the woods where they belong :D
  7. Blainethompson

    Blainethompson LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 469

    It's not the shade. It's the soil. The runners will spread out across the bare area at the first of the summer and then die out right? Ground is to hard for the roots to dig in. Till up area and add some goooodddddd dirt. I use some old manure compost that has been sitting for 3-4 years. St Augustine literally spreads runners over it in a week and was solid with 2 months. Did this trick on 6 different yards this year all thought it was because of shade in a few spots it only received sun for about an hour a day if that.
    weeze and hort101 like this.
  8. Smokindog

    Smokindog LawnSite Member
    Messages: 233

    I hear what you're saying about soil but the entire yard is the same soil. This really is a shade issue in this area IMO. The growth in the Spring is more from the ground and less so from runners. More than half this yard was sparse/bare like this 7 years ago when we purchased because the previous owners never raked the leaves. The first Spring I cleaned things up and removed a half dozen trees from the space to open things up.

    Took one season for the grass to spread to a dense turf after that.

    This section of yard in picture 1 (current picture) over the fence behind the reddish chairs is about 10 ft above the runoff creek and I want to keep the trees on this edge by the creek to hold the plateau from eroding. That creek is typically dry but will get deep and fast very quickly in a heavy rain. I've actually built a 3 foot bag wall down at the base to push the creek away and stop some undercut that was going on.

    Off behind my wife in picture 2 (taken winter year 1 after the cleanup) on the other side of that fence is 100 year flood plain so I can't touch anything per the Town ordinance.....

    I've wanted to mulch or rock this small area for 5 years but have to deal with the boss ;)
  9. Blainethompson

    Blainethompson LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 469

    St Augustine will grow in shade. I have it growing in yards where it's almost 100% shade in a few places. However it's harder for it to do so. Also harder for it to spread. Add in hard ground and you get your bare spot. Yes your entire yard has hard ground. Grass is doing better in the less shaded areas right? So yes, call it a shade problem. You also have a hard ground problem. my suggestion from past experience. Solve the dirt problem or get your chain saw out.
    weeze and hort101 like this.
  10. Steve

    Steve LawnSite Bronze Member
    Male, from NE FL
    Messages: 1,551

    The first pic where the fire pit, chairs, and dog. St. Augustine grass does not do well in high traffic area.
    hort101 likes this.

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