st augustine being overtaken (by bermuda?)
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Author:  gspremington [ Thu May 15, 2014 5:35 pm ]
Post subject:  st augustine being overtaken (by bermuda?)

I had a mostly St Augustine lawn in North TX. But have seen my backyard half overtaken in the last 2 years by what i believe is Bermuda grass. Thinner, whispier. Mainly in the sunnier section.

Now seeing a circular patch of this "invasive" grass in the front yard in a spot where my St Augustine suffered the past year or so. I treated that area last year with hort corn meal, compost, etc and it looks better, but its not St Augustine any more.

Any organic soil amendment to promote the St Augustine over the bermuda or whatever it is? Seems that its thriving in sunnier areas where STA is no. Dont want to apply a chemical to it which some suggest.

I've read that tarping off an area using shade to kill the bermuda is an option. Same with mowing tall to let STA crowd it out ... but i dont think it will ever get tall enough.

Anything else to consider?

Oh. I planted some St Augustine squares last year in the summer in the backyard and they seem to be getting crowded out again.

edit: thanks in advance for any insights.

Author:  northwesterner [ Sat May 17, 2014 8:14 am ]
Post subject:  Re: st augustine being overtaken (by bermuda?)

Nothing short of a hydrogen bomb will kill Bermuda grass. I've seen St. Augustine crowd it out (my front yard has a lot of St. Augustine from next door mixing with my Bermuda and weeds). I had that happen before and decided I liked the St. Augustine better so simply took care of the St. Augustine the way it liked best. It was still a bit of a mix, but most St. Augustine.

Information about turfgrass.

Author:  gspremington [ Wed May 21, 2014 2:53 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: st augustine being overtaken (by bermuda?)

So my best bet is to mow infrequently and patiently let the tall STA crowd it out?

Any conclusions to be drawn that this seems to be flourishing and spreading from prior problem areas (that also happen to be sunny)? A patch where the STA had root rot or some fungus problem. I was thinking it might be a soil deficiency or problem in that area.

Author:  northwesterner [ Wed May 21, 2014 3:23 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: st augustine being overtaken (by bermuda?)

Keep an eye on this thread, David Hall is our turf moderator and next time he swings by the site he may have a number of suggestions for you.

Author:  user_48634 [ Sun Jun 22, 2014 12:59 am ]
Post subject:  Re: st augustine being overtaken (by bermuda?)

northwesterner has my number. I don't get here often enough, and look what time it is. What am I still doing up??

I have reclaimed St Aug from bemuda many times. Here's the fastest way to get there.

  1. Mow every other week at the mower's highest setting. If you can go to 3 weeks, do that.
  2. Water weekly a full inch. If you allow the St Aug to dry out, it will die and bermuda will take over immediately.
  3. Fertilize only the St Augustine with alfalfa, corn gluten meal, Milorganite, or (last resort) corn meal. Rate is whatever you want but at least 20 pounds per 1,000 square feet. When the St Aug sends runners into the bermuda, drop some fertilizer right along the runner trying not to fertilize much of the bermuda. Fertilizer is critical to the success. Without it the St Aug will never become dense enough to choke out the bermuda.

Bermuda must have full sun or it thins out. If you have full sun, this process can take more than a couple seasons. Anything you can do to encourage shade over the bermuda, do that. For example pitch a canopy up 6 feet off the ground to allow light in from the sides but not direct sunlight.

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