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PostPosted: Sun Jan 29, 2006 1:02 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jun 16, 2004 4:45 pm
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Location: Stephenville,TEXAS
I'm looking for advice on what to do with some bare spots in my lawn which is a mix of bermuda & St. Augustine. The bare areas are mostly St. Aug. My house was built up a little to level out during construction and the soil close to the house is very fine. I've added several applications compost for the texture and corn meal for possible fungal problems to try to help with the lawn being able to get a foothold in some areas. I've even tried to add some clay soil from other areas of the property to try to "bulk up" the soil. I also thought it might be a sunlight problem since I have a red oak shading a couple of the areas, although the grass in these areas is St. Augustine, and one area gets sun until about 4 pm. The areas continue to be fine textured regardless of what I add and the grass just won't grow. My cats have decided its their outdoor litter box. :?

I say all that to say this: Would planting a cover crop like clover help build up the soil and add organic matter and would this aid with the bare spots? Would it be too late to start because of our very warm winter?


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2006 6:59 pm 
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Up by the house you might need another ground cover besides turf grass. I believe mondo (monkey) grass will grow in full shade. You might ask on the ornamental forum or at your local garden shop. There are other clovers that grow higher than Dutch white, but I'm not sure they will grow in full shade. You should be able to seed clover any time. When it sprouts may vary, but the seed will be there.

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 Post subject: Filling in St. Augustine
PostPosted: Thu Mar 16, 2006 12:34 pm 
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Location: Dallas,TX
I have remedied this problem more than once with a good layer of compost on top of the soil and a heavy dose of molasses (heavy being 1 cup to a gallon of water, then sprayed liberally on the compost). I topped it off with some shredded mulch (about 1") to keep everything where I wanted it and avoid the mud issue. This treatment added the organic material missing from the soil composition and aided in the quick increase of an active microbe population. It also kept the area from being muddy and it's now lush and beautiful. It's relatively inexpensive, immediately makes the area look better and...best of all.....it works! :D 8)

From reading your post, it sounds like the biggest issue may be a low microbe population. A soil innoculant or really fresh compost might make all the difference. Molasses is a quick feed for them and can knock up the population fast. Garrett Juice applications should help with the cat toilet issue. It got rid of the same problem in my front garden last year. I think it's the cider vinegar & seaweed. Chemically, that makes some sense.

Hope that helps! :D
Kathe


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 16, 2006 11:27 pm 
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Location: Stephenville,TEXAS
Thanks for the molasses tip. I've used compost but didn't add the microbe stimulant. We'll give it a try!


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 Post subject: Live soil
PostPosted: Fri Mar 17, 2006 2:46 pm 
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Location: Dallas,TX
Great! Let us know how it works.
There were a couple of other instances where I'd tried a variety of things and then realized that none of it would work if the soil didn't have enough life in it. Reviving the microbe population made the difference each time.
Kathe :D


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 21, 2006 3:30 pm 
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After rereading, I guess I'm a little afraid the builder brought in contaminated soil that won't allow growth. Please let us know how Kathe's suggestion works for you.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 21, 2006 10:57 pm 
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Location: Stephenville,TEXAS
Thats my concern as well. I'm planning to apply the molasses this weekend after the bizarre TX weather settles a little and see what happens.

I will post results!


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