The southern chinch bug, Blissus inslaris, is the most prevalent and damaging insect pest of St. Augustine grass. However, you should be prepared to do some damage control. De-thatching Can Harm Creeping Grasses Left to its own devices, St. Augustine grass … Using a rotary lawn mower, lower the mowing height so that … 4. Mar 06, 2015 • Filed Under: Lawn Care. Over the years as this thatch layer continues to extend in thickness, we are going to begin to seek out our turf is slowly rising higher and better on top of the pathways encompassing our lawns clay soil. Treat for weeds after dethatching. Dethatching: Too much thatch build-up can harm your St. Augustine grass anything over ½ inch spells trouble. Like compost, a thatch layer will only decompose if it is moist, warm, and aerated. Apr 19, 2017 #1 I'm at a loss with my lawn, so please bare with me. It's really no big deal, the grass will grow back, trust me, I know. For top-dressing a St. … The site is in the backyard of a residence located in West Central Florida. Once you have a healthy, thriving St. Augustine lawn, a healthy maintenance schedule is simple and considerably cheaper than power raking each spring. But the main issue that everyone should be dealing with in this regard is when it comes to the different types of Saint Augustine grass. Grass clippings decompose quickly and return significant amounts of nutrients to the soil. Mar 06, 2015 Lawn Care. When St. Augustine grass suffers from this type of fungus, the movement of water and nutrients is unable to get to the roots of the grass, making its leaves turn yellow and die. Use dethatching rakes, core aeration, and healthy maintenance practices to keep thatch at a manageable height. A thin layer of dead plant material will help retain moisture, and as the leaves decompose, they return nutrients to the soil. If you take off a considerable amount of top growth and cut the remaining growth to 1”, your lawn will have little chance for survival. Oddly, dethatching St. Augustine grass is a hotly-debated question in the horticulture world. The tall canopy shades and cools the soil and blocks the wind. Thatch is the decomposing layer of organic matter like grass shoots and stems that collects between the soil and your lawn’s grass blades, and it can choke your grass by limiting its access to necessary nutrients, air, and water. Thatch is acidic, so if needed, an application of agricultural limestone will help prevent the development of thatch and reduce soil acidity. Your grass will also be absorbing fertilizer and putting a lot of energy into new growth, so it will use more water than normal. St. Augustine does not handle power-raking, but you can use a hand rake each spring to remove an unhealthy thatch layer. If you already have a few inches of thatch buildup, you can encourage decomposition by changing your maintenance practices. Floratam St. Augustine grass was released by the Florida and Texas Agricultural Experiment Stations in 1972 as a SAD virus and chinch bug resistant selection. Thatch is an almost impenetrable mat of tangled, intertwined grass and other material on the ground surface. Irrigate your lawn the day before you rake. St. Augustine grass provides a lush green lawn and is recommended for U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 8 through 10. Compacted soil will make it difficult for dead plant material to break down and incorporate into the topsoil, so take a moment after dethatching to collect some soil samples and get a soil test at your local extension office. If the thatch in a grass … Welcome to Saint Augustine Lawn Care. This will deprive the new grass of both nutrients from the soil as well as a reliable water supply. Floratam is a vigorous, coarse textured St. Augustine grass … The main concern after dethatching is root growth because healthy roots create healthy lawns. You may even be able to avoid renting a power dethatcher after a growing season of healthy upkeep. St. Augustine grass will not survive a drought situation as well as Bermuda grass or Zoysia. Q: We need to buy a lawn mower soon. Many homeowners will confuse this rot with take-all root rot because of the yellow coloring of the leaves. St. Augustine grass is semi-drought tolerant, and does best when watering is done only as needed. St. Augustine grass is one of the most popular grasses used for lawns in South Florida. Thick thatch is a good habitat for insects and disease-causing agents. Go. Comprised of leaves, stems and roots – some living, some dead – thatch forms as a natural part of turf’s growing process. Thatch is a very common of layer of decomposed plant material that shows up in turf grass such as Augustine grass. Making the problem worse is when much of the water which is applied to the lawn no longer reaches into the soil and instead stays trapped inside the thatch layer. It is vulnerable to chinch bug attacks which can destroy your lawn rather quickly and is difficult to control unless immediately treated. A thick accumulation of thatch in St. Augustine grass can cause suffocation and the slow death of grass. Soil pH problems can be another. Most sod-forming grasses spread through above-ground stolons and below-ground rhizomes. St. Augustine Grass St. Augustine grass is extremely popular in this country along the Gulf Coast, as well as in Hawaii. It is also best to avoid temperature extremes if possible, especially if freezing temperatures are forecast. This layer of organic matter is caused by … Saint Augustine does not have underground runners, and if the top layer of living grass were to be removed, only the old dead thatch would be left in its place, and the lawn would be finished. Delta Shade: As the name states, this grass has a good shade tolerance. Dethatching should be done once your lawn has broken dormancy and begun to actively grow. Examples provided of tested products are actual products owned, tested, and used regularly by the author. Its one… Show Show. Delmar: A dwarf St. Augustine grass that has good shade tolerance, but does well in full sun too. Therefore, if you use a power dethatcher, you will end up removing most of the top growth, which is how it spreads and fills in bare patches of soil. If an old Saint Augustine lawn has reached unmanageable heights in its thatch layer, there is simply nothing which can be done to remove the thatch while still keeping the lawn alive to regenerate itself again after thatch removal. St Augustine lawn is made of thick above-ground stems with large open space between stems and a tall stiff canopy above the stems. Overgrown thatch is often characterized by large, unhealthy brown areas of the lawn. You really can't kill St. Augustine grass in Florida. Treating St. Augustine Grass Fungus. Rental Aerators, Can You Dethatch A Lawn With A Leaf Rake? Dethatching: Too much thatch build-up can harm your St. Augustine grass anything over ½ inch spells trouble. Dethatching Options, How To Clean Up After Dethatching: A Practical Guide. Some fast-growing grasses like St. Augustine grass and Kentucky bluegrass are more prone to thatch than other varieties, especially when grown in compacted or heavy clay soil. St Augustine grass is one of several grasses that can create thatch. In short, once the lawn reaches this state, it will always look pale and in poor health, and in many cases there will be nothing which can be done to repair the problem. Floralawn: Has poor shade and cold tolerance; performs best in mild environments; Common Issues in St. Augustine Grass. The best way to prevent the need for a power dethatcher is to use a hand thatch rake (link to Amazon). Use a core aerator in the spring. Recommended Next Read: Will St. Augustine Choke Out Bermuda Grass? When treating your lawn for fungus, avoid using nitrogen fertilizer, as it encourages fast growth. Thatch is accumulated organic matter that is persistent, meaning it doesn’t decompose as fast as it builds. Thatch. It has resistance to chinch bugs. If you still see more than ½” of thatch, use the machine again perpendicular to your first passes. St. Augustine thatch. Continue to remove thatch until you can see the soil. Dethatching works best when the clippings are moist. The recommended depth to water St. Augustine grass is 4- 6 inches. The total annual rate depends upon desired quality, length of the growing season, recovery from traffic and a number of other factors. Whatever you say. Next Last. St. Augustinegrass is a desirable turfgrass because of its shade tolerance and relatively low input requirements, but it has poor cold tolerance. For St. Augustine, this will be in mid to late spring. If you cut through and remove a majority of the runners above ground, the grass will regenerate from the rhizomes down below. Continue to irrigate deep and infrequent, but you may need to irrigate longer or decrease the amount of time between watering. Lush, colorful flower beds increase curb appeal while attracting bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds. Once your grass has grown enough to need to be mowed, it can handle dethatching. Once a Saint Augustine lawn reaches this state in its life - it must be accepted by the homeowner that some Saint Augustine lawns may have a limited lifespan, and once that lifespan has been reached, it will be time to remove the lawn completely and plant a new lawn in its place. The thatch in Saint Augustine lawns has always been a concern for owners of this grass type. 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