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 Post subject: My St. Augustine is not greening up!
PostPosted: Sun Apr 11, 2010 7:24 pm 
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Joined: Sun Apr 11, 2010 6:39 pm
Posts: 71
Location: Dallas, TX
It's April 11th and my neighbors have greened up 50-70% while mine still looks like its January 1st.

Additionally, I'm committing to an organic program this spring after a brief 1-year stint 2-years ago much in part to finding a copy of Dear Dirt Doctor last month.

Background.

1. I have North Dallas clay under a well established St Augustine lawn, 25% shaded / 75% full sun.
2. Last summer I noticed an iron deficiency (yellow striping within the blades) and Calloways sold me a synthetic iron supplement which helped temporarily.
3. I used a Scott's southern lawn winterizer last October, Scott's pre-emergent in Feb, and Scott's St Augustine GreenMax (Iron boost) fertilizer in March... all part of the Scott's Master Plan.
4. Now I'm pulling Henbit, Dandelion, and Annual Blue Grass weeds out of a gray lawn while cursing "The Official Lawn Care Company of Major League Baseball"
5. Dug up a sqft and only found 1 grub.

Questions.

1. Could a disease have set in over the winter with all the snow & rain? How do I diagnose?
2. Could it be high pH clay that is creating the iron problem rather than just a lack of iron?
3. If so, would aerating and applying a top dressing be a good move immediately?
4. If so, does the pH Balanced Top Dressing from http://www.soilbuildingsystems.com conform to an organic program?

Any other thoughts or suggestions would be much appreciated!


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 Post subject: Re: My St. Augustine is not greening up!
PostPosted: Fri Apr 16, 2010 2:43 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jul 25, 2009 12:42 am
Posts: 142
Location: Denton, Texas
:D


Last edited by Dirt Face on Wed Jun 16, 2010 1:07 am, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: My St. Augustine is not greening up!
PostPosted: Fri Apr 16, 2010 11:53 pm 
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Location: San Antonio,TEXAS
If you have not already read it, read this.

I agree with Dirt Face with regard to catching up. You have already spent money fertilizing grass that was dormant. What you got was very healthy weeds. I won't go into what you did wrong there because had you been on an organic program, your timing would have been fine.

Don't worry about the neighbors. I know that is hard to do, but you have to play the hand you're dealt. Yellowing in late summer is often accompanied by heavy rain. What happens is the surface acidity that St Augustine relies on to make iron available gets washed away by the rain. The iron binds to the calcium in the soil and the grass turns yellow. It will remain yellow into dormancy but then in the spring, it magically becomes deep green again. There is only one product I've heard of that can cure that yellow color. The product is greensand. Apply at a rate of 40 pounds per 1,000 square feet and your color should turn deep green again. In fact if you remain on an organic program for a few years and you do not adulterate your soil with chemical fertilizers, herbicides, or insecticides, I believe you might be able to get away with no fertilizer and just use greensand a couple times a year. Otherwise here is the 123 of good turf management.

  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 and prevent new (weed) seeds from germinating.
  2. Mulch 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.

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 Post subject: Re: My St. Augustine is not greening up!
PostPosted: Fri May 07, 2010 8:54 am 
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Joined: Sun Apr 11, 2010 6:39 pm
Posts: 71
Location: Dallas, TX
1. Water deeply and infrequently. Check.

2. Mulch mow at the highest setting on your mower. Check, but the only thing growing that tall are weeds now...

3. Fertilize regularly. Check

I've also taken a more aggressive approach since I'm convinced it is a fungus problem. (Black roots, huge areas of dead stolons, yellow growth)

1. Treated with corn meal to combat fungus problem.
2. Spread 40lb of Green sand and 40lb Lava sand per 1000
3. Applied 3/8 in. composted top dressing

We'll see how it goes.


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 Post subject: Re: My St. Augustine is not greening up!
PostPosted: Wed May 12, 2010 7:42 am 
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Location: San Antonio,TEXAS
If you are convinced it is a fungus problem, then you can add one more thing to your regimen. Spray milk at 3 ounces per 1,000 square feet. Any kind of milk will do.

I read several forums and the problems in North Texas are becoming legendary. You might be the only one on your street with a problem but there are a lot of people reporting very slow green up after last winter's snows. It could very well be they are all treating it as slow green up when in fact it is a fungal problem. I am interested to see what results you get with the corn meal and possibly milk.

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 Post subject: Re: My St. Augustine is not greening up!
PostPosted: Wed May 12, 2010 8:09 am 
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Joined: Sun Apr 11, 2010 6:39 pm
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Location: Dallas, TX
I'm seeing some St Augustine coming back in small patches. Half of those patches remain very yellow. The minority Bermuda is taking over which is fine in the interim if it will help crowd out the crab grass which is becoming exceptionally awful.

I'm also working on rooting some stolons from the back yard to restart the bare spots.

Thanks for the suggestion, I will give the milk a try. I was already planning on using that to prevent blight on my tomato plants which knocked them out last year.


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 Post subject: Re: My St. Augustine is not greening up!
PostPosted: Wed May 12, 2010 8:19 am 
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Location: San Antonio,TEXAS
And you might try greensand for the yellowish St Aug.

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 Post subject: Re: My St. Augustine is not greening up!
PostPosted: Wed May 12, 2010 1:24 pm 
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Joined: Sat Nov 28, 2009 9:32 pm
Posts: 67
Dchall_San_Antonio wrote:
And you might try greensand for the yellowish St Aug.

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About yellowish St.Augustine....

I think my SA has had every fungus so I thought I had seen it all. Something new is happening on some blades on our SA. The tips are turning yellow. I started noticing this two weeks ago. I immediately spread CM. (I do this once a month anyway). After a few days, I was not seeing more blades the yellow tips. Yesterday, they started appearing again. Not many...maybe about 20 in the whole yard. But I am curious as to the cause.. I live in Flower Mound (DFW area). We are not having much rain. The last shower was this past Saturday. I have not watered this week. The last time I watered was May 4th. I do the deep root watering when needed. I am totally organic. So I see no reason for this to be occuring. We did mow last Friday. The mower is on the highest setting. The mower was 'over-hauled' at the end of winter (new blades..we keep them sharp). And we do not bag our grass. We have a mulching kit on the mower.

I did walk around my neighborhood and look at other SA yards. There are a few yards that have 'yellowing.' Outside of that, my SA is a pretty green and I am starting to see runners. We replaced more than one half of our sod about 2 months ago (give or take). Both old and new sod is growing nicely.

I have been working on improving our soil. I have been adding molasses, composted chicken and cow manure, texas greensand, lava sand, thrive, garrett juice and CM.

Late this afternoon I am going to spread CMG. Rain is in the forecast for the next few days, starting early tomorrow morning.

I am thinking I should spray milk in the areas where I have the yellowing.

Does anyone know what is causing this...and the cure!!??

Thank YOU!

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Char Harris,
Flower Mound, TX


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 Post subject: Re: My St. Augustine is not greening up!
PostPosted: Thu May 13, 2010 7:45 am 
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Joined: Sun Apr 11, 2010 6:39 pm
Posts: 71
Location: Dallas, TX
Yellowing on the tips is new to me. My symptom is a completely yellow leaf. When closely examined there are visible green and yellow vertical stripes going up each leaf (technical term: chlorosis)

This symptom is typical of an iron deficiency, but an iron deficiency alone is not a root cause.

Iron deficiencies can happen for several reasons.

1. Not enough iron in the soil
2. Unbalanced or unhealthy soil is binding up the iron making it unavailable to the plants
3. The plant is sick and cannot absorb iron through the roots

Most nurseries will tell you its probably #1 and you should apply Dr Iron or something like that which is of course so far off of the organic program, not to mention the arsenic & lead that accommodate those products.

Anyway, I'm only speaking for my symptom, I don't know about yours. I would imagine if yellowing is occurring at the tips that it is a sign of drought stress, but that's just a guess.


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 Post subject: Re: My St. Augustine is not greening up!
PostPosted: Fri May 14, 2010 7:27 am 
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Joined: Sat Nov 28, 2009 9:32 pm
Posts: 67
Iron deficiencies can happen for several reasons.
_______________
I do not think the cause is lack of iron because is it just 'here and there.' (but you never know!) We did spread CMG last night. I had a small amount of Calloways Organic Fertilizer leftover so we put that down too. I did spread Texas Greensand after we laid our new sod (March). I will spread it again in a few weeks.

I am still waiting fro the rain! :shock:

Thank you for your reply!

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Char Harris,
Flower Mound, TX


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 Post subject: Re: My St. Augustine is not greening up!
PostPosted: Mon May 17, 2010 9:52 am 
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Joined: Fri Apr 30, 2010 9:32 am
Posts: 53
One question about applying milk, please!

Rain is forecasted this week, so does rain or watering impact when you should apply the milk to the lawn?

Thanks for any info!


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 Post subject: Re: My St. Augustine is not greening up!
PostPosted: Mon May 17, 2010 8:42 pm 
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Location: San Antonio,TEXAS
I suppose if I had a choice I would spray milk right after a rain so it will be sure to soak in. I can think of other reasons why to spray before the rain, so maybe it isn't important.

I can't think of a reason why the tips would yellow.

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 Post subject: Re: My St. Augustine is not greening up!
PostPosted: Tue May 18, 2010 8:23 am 
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Posts: 67
Dchall_San_Antonio wrote:
I suppose if I had a choice I would spray milk right after a rain so it will be sure to soak in. I can think of other reasons why to spray before the rain, so maybe it isn't important.

I can't think of a reason why the tips would yellow.

_____________
My neighbor had a 'thought' about the yellow tips.

Our grass has been very 'dewy.' The last couple of weeks we had some 'cold fronts.' Possibily the cooler temps at night on the damp grass might be the cause.

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Char Harris,
Flower Mound, TX


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 Post subject: Re: My St. Augustine is not greening up!
PostPosted: Tue May 18, 2010 3:13 pm 
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Posts: 53
Thank you so much for the info. on when to apply milk! (Please know that any information that may come to mind will be important to me!) :D


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 Post subject: Re: My St. Augustine is not greening up!
PostPosted: Tue Jun 08, 2010 9:17 am 
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I have friends on other forums trying experiments with milk. It may be that the benefit of milk does not increase by applying at a higher concentration. Just getting a little milk seems to help in a lot of ways that were unexpected. Our working theory is that it is the enzymes in milk that carry the load. Enzymes are little biological catalysts that do not deteriorate much as they work. The promote a biological "reaction" without becoming consumed in the reaction. So once they reaction is complete the catalyst is ready to go again. In other words...a little goes a long way.

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