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PostPosted: Mon Feb 15, 2010 8:49 am 
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Newbie here, sodded part of my back yard last May, put down 12 pallets of st. augustine, grass took off and did well until September or October, got a fungus only in the area with new sod. Front yard and pool yard have st augustine and survived without a fungus. Lawn was fertilized organically all year. When grass went dormant the rains started falling, it seems as the yard has been wet all winter, then a foot of snow the other day. I have two large dogs, they are more important to me than the grass so they get to play, rain or shine.... I now have a problem, it looks to me as the fungus/extremely wet winter weather has really beaten up the dormant grass. I have to have grass in that portion of the yard or I have a muddy house in the spring, any suggestions on what to do? Do i overseed the trampled dead looking areas in the spring with a bermuda (i normally hate bermuda mixed with st. augustine) or do I just feed and water the heck out of the st. augustine that comes to life in the spring? Bottom line, i need ground cover and dont want to re-sod with another 12 pallets. Thanks and this is a great forum! I am in Dallas TX


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 16, 2010 6:07 am 
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Location: San Antonio, Texas
I am looking forward to an answer to this as I am in the same boat (except I am not sure if I love or hate my dog :lol: ). But from my limited experience, my dormant trampled St. Agustine normally comes back very well each year, except where the dog has created a dedicated trail. No matte how much compost and organic fert I put down, it seems that this grass does not handle repeated traffic very well.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 16, 2010 7:20 am 
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Got bad news for both of you. Wet weather, turf and dogs don't mix well. The turf is having a hard enough time with the wet weather alone. When you aren't with your dogs, they need to be off the grass. Smooth concrete-floored dog runs are the best place for them to stay. If you can't buy into that, you'll just have to live with a messy turf. Aerating heavily and filling the holes with a mix of compost and zeolite (50-50) will give you the best chance of turf survival. Sorry I don't have better news. By the way, this advice comes from personal experience, not a guess.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 16, 2010 7:59 am 
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That is bad news, having had st. augustine lawns all my life and dogs I have never had this issue, i think it was just the fact that 1) it was new sod 2) brown patch wiped out a lot of the grass right before it went dormant. OK---When and what kind of grass seed to mix in with my once beatiful think st. augustine grass to ensure I dont have muddy spots all spring? Thank you for your help!


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 16, 2010 9:56 am 
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I too am praying my St. Augustine comes back. I live in Flower Mound, Tx. I have posted my problems before...so I will just say FUNGUS! and leave it at that. My plan is also organic on fertilizer. I truly believe that too much nitrogen (and my over- compulsive nature) was my yard's downfall. I too have dogs. Mine are small, but dirty feet are dirty feet on carpet! I am trying a new turf on the side of my house (also previously mentioned) and if the St. Augustine does not come back, we will replace with Celebration Turf. (It is new in my area, but has wonderful reviews. Started in Ruskin, Fl. More shade tolerant then Bermuda...and not prone to fungus..YEAH!)

I wish us ALL Good Luck!
~Char

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Char Harris,
Flower Mound, TX


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 16, 2010 10:50 am 
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A little more about my St.Augustine....

There is one thing I did to my St.Augustine last year. I read about this on another website and then did more research. Please keep in mind that I have had two years of non-stop fungus and I was desperate!
I added a top dressing of brown peat moss to my entire yard.

**I did a soil test. It was good. I had 2 aerations and immediately spread an organic 'gypson' product. I practice deep root watering. I have good drainage. French drains thru out my yard. And my gutter downspots drain directly into the french drains.**

I know that my soil was very hard. Also, we had a humid, wet Spring and Summer. The peat moss is suppose to help soften the soil and help regulate the moisture in the ground. Once I have that process, it should help with the fungus problem. :?

AND...
This top dressing should protect the roots from the cold weather and snow that we have had this winter.

I am looking forward to Spring! :D

~Char,
Flower Mound, TX

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Char Harris,
Flower Mound, TX


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 16, 2010 11:02 am 
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That is bad news, having had st. augustine lawns all my life and dogs I have never had this issue, i think it was just the fact that 1) it was new sod 2) brown patch wiped out a lot of the grass right before it went dormant. OK---When and what kind of grass seed to mix in with my once beatiful think st. augustine grass to ensure I dont have muddy spots all spring? Thank you for your help!

____________
Do you want to seed your whole yard or just the damaged area? Would it be 'doable' to resod the damaged area? It would be a quick fix and maybe handle the activity the area receives from your dogs better than grass seed.

Just a thought!
~Char

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Char Harris,
Flower Mound, TX


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 16, 2010 12:50 pm 
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I really dont want to resod and deal with a potential fungus again in this area, the rest of the yard is well established good st augustine, this area is about 6,000 feet and it really a dog run. Looking to add something tough in with the st augustine maybe. Ideally the st augustine will come back, but it sure looks like there will be a ton of areas that dont. What kind of seed and when to plant??


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 17, 2010 9:25 am 
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I really dont want to resod and deal with a potential fungus again in this area, the rest of the yard is well established good st augustine, this area is about 6,000 feet and it really a dog run. Looking to add something tough in with the st augustine maybe. Ideally the st augustine will come back, but it sure looks like there will be a ton of areas that dont. What kind of seed and when to plant??


____________
Yes, that is a large area!

I have never 'seeded' so I cannot answer your questions. But what might be helpful for others to know :

How much sun does this area receive?
Does the area drain well?

We already know it is a high traffic area!
Have you noticed what grass is doing good in your neighbor's yards? Or is there a 'trusted' grower in your area that you could consult?

Good luck!
~Char

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Char Harris,
Flower Mound, TX


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 18, 2010 10:05 am 
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I have what I think is a much better idea than Howard gave you. Our local dog park is not a concrete slab but a beautifully mulched area. I don't know how deep the mulch is but it is at least 3 inches. I would suggest you find a tree trimming company that would dump a truckload of chipped branches onto your yard. Quite often they are happy to do it because then they don't have to pay to dump it at the landfill.

6,000 square feet at 3 inches deep is 55 cubic yards. That is a lot of truckloads and a lot of material to spread so you might think about hiring a guy with a tractor and landscaper's blade to spread it for you. He could do that in a morning easily. If you hire a guy with a Bobcat or Skidsteer they could spread it for you in a week. Considering both get paid by the hour, you want the guy with a tractor.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 18, 2010 1:14 pm 
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IF i were to put some seed down instead of the other good choices I have heard, what type of seed and when? Area I would be seeding would be at least 50% sun, i assume a bermuda variety of some kind? when to apply?


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 18, 2010 2:03 pm 
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Bermuda seed will rot in the ground in cool wet weather. It will not sprout until at least late May and preferably July.

50% sunlight is not nearly enough sunlight for bermuda. Bermuda likes it best when there are no buildings, trees, fences, mailboxes, or anything between it and the horizon in all directions. St Augustine is the only grass that can take some traffic and shade. But it cannot take much traffic. Dogs can rip it to shreds in a few days.

Grass is really not a good option with shade and dogs.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 18, 2010 2:45 pm 
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Thanks David, sure would be a market for this kind of grass, as most people with dogs have a yard with trees in the yard etc. All well, may just resod and roate the dogs between this yard and the pool yard when its wet out. They are mostly inside, just when its nice during the day I like to let them hunt their enemy, the evil squirrel.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 19, 2010 9:25 am 
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Hi Matt,

Last year, I spent much time online seaching for 'turf.' I found this website to be helpful.

http://www.sodsolutions.com/sod_starcel ... rass.shtml

It took me thru the whole process:

Types of turf
Preparing your ground
Planting the grass
Caring for the grass
Finding a grower in your area

____________

My dogs are small, I have 3 dachshunds and a few neighborhood cats who like to visit me. My pups are in, more than out. My point being, I do not know if this grass would do good with large dogs.
__________

After researching this website, we decided to try Celebration Turf on one side of our house. It is our most shaded area. AND we have a problem with 'moisture' along our retaining wall. I live in a sub-division where the first house on the street is the highest. Then each home was built a little lower. And the homes to our back are all higher. We were one of the first homeowerners, 16 years ago. It did not take us long to realize this plan was not working. During seasons of normal rainfall, the original Bermuda did okay. But Texas is not known for 'normal!' And as our tress grew, the bermuda died. The first thing we did was install french drains. Also, 'tubed' the gutter downspots to the french drains. Then we planted St.Augustine. It was wonderful! I love the texture, the color and the runners! Our yard was beautiful for three years. Then we had a very wet Spring and Summer. With the coming of Fall, came Brown Patch. The next year brought Summer Patch, Gray Leafspot, Take-All Patch and more Brown Patch. We removed much of our 'grass' area in the front yard and made 'plant' areas under our tress. We also made a flagstone walk on one side of the house and a plant area on the other side. We would love to see our St.Augustine come back. If it does not, we will plant Celebration.

I love working in the yard. I love to plant, pull weeds when I have to, mow...all of it. And I am trying something different this mowing season (hopefully I will have grass to mow!). I bought a push mower. I did get to try it out one time last year. I love the fact that I use no gas, no maintenance (except to sharpen the blades) and no noise!

I am SO ready for Spring! :D

~Char,
Flower Mound, TX

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Flower Mound, TX


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2010 9:58 am 
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BLAST the evil squirrel :evil: :evil:

Char for you I would suggest finding a source of ordinary corn meal and start using it now. If you cannot find it at a feed store, find it at a grocery store specializing in Hispanic foods. On San Antonio's south and west sides, I can find it at the HEB in 25-pound bags with no additives. Additives are frequently used in Mexican cooking to make it easy to make tortillas. Get the stuff with no additives.

Apply at 10 pounds per 1,000 square feet every month to 6 weeks. That should take care of your fungus problems. I get a fungus every spring because of the way my wife gardens. She likes to toss the trimmings on the grass and leave them for a week or so. That shuts off the air circulation and when we move the trimmings the grass is diseased. Once you have an infection, the corn meal dose needs to be doubled to kill the disease, so I apply at 15-20 pounds per 1,000.

Corn meal has worked for me every year since 2002. I positively swear by it. I'm not talking about corn GLUTEN meal. That is a different material for a different use.

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