St. Augustine Help! SAD or Brown Patch???

Discussion in 'Organic Lawn Care' started by jackal42601, Mar 13, 2008.

  1. jackal42601

    jackal42601 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 0

    Hey guys newbie here just trying to figure out what is the deal with my lawn/weed patch. Grass has become very thin with little thatch an some stolons and roots are dark brownish color, but no bugs and also new stolons are starting to emerge but I don't want them to die off just as fast. Any help would be much appreciated.

  2. tamadrummer

    tamadrummer LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,102

    How much water are you putting down? Are you in a swamp or in a swampy area? To my untrained eye it looks like it could be "Take all root rot" and managing it is not simple.

    More than likely you are going to need to tear out the sod and start over. I don't know if there are any soil treatments that a Fertilization company can apply prior to new sod going in to help prevent Take all rot again. If you are in a swamp, or swampy after rains, you will also want to bring in a landscape contractor/architect to regrade and add some type of drainage to keep the turf area in the proper conditions.

    I may be going overboard if this is not take all root rot. There are many, many experienced Fertilization and Pest control guys here. Probably some in your area that would be able to come and work with you.

    Good Luck,
  3. Military Lawns

    Military Lawns LawnSite Senior Member
    from Florida
    Messages: 323

    Right off the bat, looks like too much water. Root rot as someone else also suggested. I have a customer too lazy to fix a leaky pipe and this is what that part of the yard looks like.

    Lay off the water a little bit. Dig the old grass up, grade it, put down some top soil making sure that the spot is deeper than the current grass in order to be flush with the new sod. Put some fresh sod down, light water for the next 30 days. Just my opinion.

  4. quiet

    quiet LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 720

    Whoa! Whoa! Slow down! It's still early. I'm just south of you in Williamson County. You had snow there last week in Temple, and it was in the mid 20's Saturday morning. The lawns are still really slow to get going this year.

    First rake all that old crap outta there, then mow it (better bag it, too) at 2". If you want the workout, top dress the lawn with peat moss now. When the lawn gets actively growing in a couple of weeks, give it it's first fertilizing with Ammonium sulfate - 21-0-0. Pick some up at Lowes. Also add Ironite. (for the iron and manganese, fellas!)

    Then let us know whats happening! Good luck! BTW, watering should be a deep soak, the let it dry out. MAKE THE ROOTS GO DOWN AND GET IT!
  5. quiet

    quiet LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 720

    OOOPS! Sorry! Organic forum here! Delete Ammonium Sulfate and substitute Milorganite or Houactinite. Find some Greensand and apply it for your K source. Finding organic fert blends with a high K source is difficult.

    BTW, TX A&M is stating that St. Aug doesn't really need fert for its color, but it needs it for its vigor and health.

    Here in our area (our soils) for St. Aug: 3 Lbs of N per 1000 sf/yr. Iron. Potassium (K). Sulfur. Sulfur. Sulfur.
  6. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 18,335

    I would lean towards winter damage given the time of year (I think that is what quiet was saying). Put down some good finished compost and as suggested, make sure your irrigating properly. See what happens in a month or so then decide if further action is necessary.
  7. Elden

    Elden LawnSite Member
    Messages: 137

    Quiet, do you have any links from tx a&m about the color of St. Aug?
    You must have high soil pH in your neck of the woods to need all that sulfur sulfur sulfur lol
  8. quiet

    quiet LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 720

    Elden - I'm not ignoring you. The link isn't working (it was on our County Extension Service's web page), and I can't find the study in TX A&M's web site list of studies.

    But it was a 3 yr study on ferts to determine if N only ferts were adequate for our high P, high K soils. They set test plots using 3-1-2, 1-1-1, and 1-0-0 ratio ferts. The St. Aug control (no fert) plot stayed virtually as green as the fertilized plots, but was much more subject to disease and drought stress - as you would expect.

    BTW the control plot for bermuda was nothing but a weed patch after 3 years of no fert. Bermuda needs N!

    I'll keep hunting for the link.
  9. treegal1

    treegal1 LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,911

    looks like our frost damage when we get it, if fungus is a distant suspect add CMG ,the Trichoderma fungus will usualy dominate this feed "CMG" and it is like a mercinary to other fungus in the lawns,angel spots or halos dont stand a chance.

  10. sancho_man_orlando

    sancho_man_orlando LawnSite Member
    Messages: 216

    Did you check for chinch infestation?

    That would be my first guess.

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