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When the temps drop. Why are some lawns green, and others not?

Discussion in 'Fertilizer Application' started by spray_man, Dec 30, 2010.

  1. spray_man

    spray_man LawnSite Member
    Messages: 176

    This one has baffled me in recent years. Here in Florida on lawns side by side. One lawn stays green (somewhat) and the one right next to it is straw brown. Is it water just before the temp drops? is it recent fertilizer? Anybody know?

    BTW Happy holidays to all.
  2. fl-landscapes

    fl-landscapes LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,542

    could be a lot of things

    One is bahia one is st augustine or even bermuda

    one has annual grassy weeds like crabgass the other is weed free

    one irrigated one not

    one mowed, irrigated and fertlized properly one isnt

    If they are side by side I would have to say different grass species is the most likely answer. Across the street different story, different sun exposure angles play a big part in frost damage.
  3. spray_man

    spray_man LawnSite Member
    Messages: 176

    St Augustine
  4. fl-landscapes

    fl-landscapes LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,542

    if they are both sa and side by side then it is one of the cultural practices I mentioned that differ. There are also many varieties of sa and one may be more frost tolerant than the other
  5. gunsnroses

    gunsnroses LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 266

    Tough one. Guessing on what you see.....if done by 2 different companies I would say a combo of late season ferts and irrigation. I battle with....hows the weather in the next weeks? Do I fert again and continue irrigation? Or if it looks like ideal fungal conditions I may drop the irrigation and nitrogen so I wont need to spray brown patch (as much) etc....by dropping those to I may go earlier dormant...hmmm......The guy next door has been ferting, watering, spraying fungicides like crazy but hey his grass looks better a bit longer. I would rather save resources and go dormant slightly early. To me nitro ferting, watering, and spraying that time of year is a bit gluttonous, unless it is really needed. I would be proud to explain that to a customer, and ask them to compare bills with next door, including water. Who knows though.....could be the soils are very different...ph...water source..:confused:
  6. khutch

    khutch LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 495

    I have wondered this myself - Visiting the in-laws over Christmas, one side of their drive way SA was nice and green, seemed to be in the shade a good part of the day, other side of drive way, full sun, brown as Gary Coleman's buttocks. Not a Florida guy, could not reall figure it out.....
  7. HBFOXJr

    HBFOXJr LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,712

    overseeding with rye is common
  8. Ric

    Ric LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,969

    Spray Man

    Fl landscape is on the right track BUT You said St Augustine. what you didn't say was which St Augustine. There are several cultivars of St A and each has a different cold Tolerance. St A is native to Brazil which is equally below the Equator as we are above the equator. Therefore native plants of Brazil grow wild here also. BTW You can thank John Ringling of Circus fame for bring the Brazil Pepper Tree to Florida because it has RED Berries at Christmas time. BTW Pepper trees are invasive exotics

    Bitter Blue was the first St A. cultivar brought to to USA in the 1920's. If was in fact used in the low coastal plains of the Carolina's because it has the best cold tolerance of all the St A's to my knowledge. BTW Common St A is also cold tolerance like Bitter Blue but Bitter blue has more of fine turf quality

    In 1979 the U of F in collaboration with Texas A&M release a New Cultivar of St A. that was ""AT THE TIME"" Chinch bug resistance. It was called Floratam. 1979 marks a big year in Florida Landscape because before that 95% of lawns were Bahia.

    Over the years Floratam has lost it's Chinch Bug Resistances, Possibly because everybody and their brother started a sod farm growing Floratan Today Floratam is still the # 1 St Augustine turf planted in Florida, Unfortunately.

    Back when I was in the Landscape install business I paid $ 5.00 a pallet extra for Bitter Blue, or $ 5.00 extra per 400 sq ft. The reason was Bitter Blue while not Chinch Bug resistant either was more COLD & SHADY Tolerant. Bitter Blue also gets it's name from the fact it has a beautiful BLUEGREEN color that reacts more favorably to Fertilizer.

    Bottom line is Floratam is going to be with us for a long time regardless of Bitter Blue being a Better Cultivar. The reason is cost of converting a sod field from Floratam to Bitter Blue. I am guessing 95% of the St A sod fields are Floratam.
  9. fl-landscapes

    fl-landscapes LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,542

    yup, part of my response just not as detailed
  10. Ric

    Ric LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,969


    MAY BE MORE FROST TOLERANT???? You were Guessing, Educated Guessing I will admit. I gave facts including which Cultivar was more cold tolerant than the MORE common Floratam.

    Now try and Snatch the pepple from my hand Grasshopper.

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