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 Post subject: St. Augustine is dying
PostPosted: Thu Aug 25, 2005 4:13 pm 

Joined: Sat Mar 12, 2005 6:57 am
Posts: 11
Location: Decatur,TEXAS
My intentions were to go completely organic this year. The grass has never looked worse. It is yellow and now we have a spot that looks like it is dying. It is bigger than it was 2 days ago. I am ready for anything now. What do you reccomend?
Thanks in advance~

 Post subject: Dying St. Augustine
PostPosted: Thu Aug 25, 2005 7:41 pm 

Joined: Wed Mar 02, 2005 11:32 am
Posts: 4
Location: Lufkin,TEXAS

I am by no means an expert on all of the organic products available today, but I do know biosolid compost. Biosolid compost is considered to be both natural and organic and it has a stable usable balance of nutrients as well as a healthy microbial population. All of which are desireable benefits for you lawn or flower beds.

I am a biosolid compost producer and have been in the business for more years than I care to admit. This stuff works and it works well. Just make sure that you try a biosolid compost that is finsihed or mature. You can tell by the smell because it smells like dirt...anything else isn't mature compost and should not be used.

It doesn't matter who you purchase it from, just make sure that the product meets (we have rules that we must follow and provide documentation for) state and federal regulatory standards. In your part of the world you can probably pick up a bag or a truck load in your local organic nursery or independant supply store. I personally would reccomend our biosolid compost, Soil Therapy, but Plano Pure or Dynodirt are good products as well and more importantly meet regulatory guidelines.

Ultimately, you should topdress the entire lawn but that may not be practical at this point especially if you are a skeptic. So, top dress the areas that are turning brown with about 1/4 inch of biosolid compost and water in well and leave it alone for a few days. If your lawn is only suffering from a lack of nutrients or just having withdrawals from detoxification, this should perk it right up in 3 to 5 days. Just remember not to water too much or too often, depending on the situation St. Augustine can be kinda fickle and water is expensive.


 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Aug 25, 2005 9:54 pm 

Joined: Tue Mar 18, 2003 3:45 pm
Posts: 2884
Location: San Antonio,TEXAS
Here's the three basic rules for growing great turf:

1. Water deeply and infrequently. Deeply means at least an hour in every zone, all at once. Infrequently means monthly during the cool months and no more than weekly during the hottest part of summer. If your grass looks dry before the month/week is up, water longer next time. Deep watering grows deep, drought resistant roots. Infrequent watering allows the top layer of soil to dry completely which kills off many shallow rooted weeds.

2. Mow at the highest setting on your mower. Most grasses are the most dense when mowed tall. Bermuda, centipede, and bent grasses are the most dense when mowed at the lowest setting on your mower. Dense grass shades out weeds and uses less water when tall. Dense grass feeds the deep roots you're developing in 1 above.

3. Fertilize regularly. I fertilize 4 times per year using organic fertilizer. Which fertilizer you use is much less important than numbers 1 and 2 above.

We're in the time of year where I can't just make a blanket statement that you have a fungal disease (easily treatable). Usually a growing dead spot, especially one that is nearly circular, is a fungal disease. But in the late summer there is a chance you have grub worms eating your grass roots. The organic treatment for fungal disease is to apply ORDINARY corn meal at a rate of 20 pounds per 1,000 square feet. Give that 3 FULL weeks before you decide whether it is working. Corn meal only works if you have not used any chemical antifungal agents (like sulfur, baking soda, or the commercial chemical fungicides). An alternative to corn meal is milk sprayed at 3 ounces per 1,000 square feet. Any kind of milk will do - chocolate, spoiled, powdered, 2%, skim - anything. The idea is to get some really great protein down on the soil.

The organic treatment for grubs is to use beneficial nematodes. These guys bring a disease to the grubs that kills them in 24-48 hours. The disease is harmless to people, pets, birds, reptiles, fish, worms, and most beneficial insects. The soil must be moist for these guys to survive. I like the BN from the following website. ... atodes.htm

I can get them locally (San Antonio) for about the same price as online.

David Hall
Dirt Doctor Lawns Forum

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