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PostPosted: Sun Aug 31, 2003 6:08 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jul 26, 2003 2:57 pm
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Location: Lago Vista, TX (Austin Area)
We bought a house in Lago Vista, TX (just outside of Austin, in the hill country on the north shores of Lake Travis) back in April. When we moved in, we learned that the entire landscape had been routinely treated with chemical fertilizers.

We have bermuda, and we have tried all summer to get it in shape through the use of Medina Soil Plus and deep, weekly waterings. However, the grass in most of the yard is extremely thin. I have also noticed that at least 50% of the yard is made up of what I think is Goose Grass. The Goose Grass was so prolific that I bought a weed popper and started pulling. I have pulled nearly the entire yard, and I am sick of it!!!

I don't really like bermuda anyway, so I am considering just renting a sod cutter and replacing the entire yard with Saint Augustine sod. I forgot to mention that about half of the front yard is shaded by 9 large oak trees.

So, my question is....how do I go about this? When is the best time to do this, and what is the optimal process to establish a beautiful organic lawn?


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 01, 2003 11:06 am 
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Location: San Antonio,TEXAS
Renovations are always interesting. First, they're not my yard, and secondly, they are always so differerent, and third, I can never really tell what it looks like from a description. Thank you at least for giving very specific directions to where you are located :D :D :D

Here's what I think I would do based on what you've said. I would let the bermuda grow and get ugly and tall. Any obvious weeds I would continue to pop out for now. When the bermuda is about 4 inches tall and spindly and ugly as can be, come in with a full inch of really good (Garden-Ville quality) compost to completely smother it out. Dillo-Dirt would be perfect if you don't mind the fact that it was made from Austin's sewage. I would use it in a heartbeat.

Bermuda cannot tolerate any shade at all. The shade you have is what makes it ugly. The additional shade it generates by growing tall makes it worse. Then the mulch will pretty much take it down very hard for the next 18 months.

Then you can lay St Aug sod right on top of the compost. Now is not the best time to do all that but it is not the worst either. The same day you lay the sod, you can apply corn meal or afalfa pellets at 10-20 pounds per 1,000 square feet as an organic fertilizer. Start your deep watering program and reset your mower to the highest position. You should be in great shape from then on. Repeat the corn meal about early to mid March and again next fourth of July.

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 Post subject: Best time?
PostPosted: Mon Sep 01, 2003 1:33 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jul 26, 2003 2:57 pm
Posts: 6
Location: Lago Vista, TX (Austin Area)
David:

Thanks so much for the direction here. I think St Aug will look TONS better, and I really don't like bermuda much anyway. I had a feeling that the shade was the problem.

If now is not the BEST time, when is it? I don't have a problem waiting for a little bit...even until late winter/early spring if necessary. Obviously, I would like to do it as soon as possible, so if fall is a good time, I will do it then.

So, are you saying I should apply dillo-dirt and allow the bermuda to die for the next 18 months and then come in with St Aug, or were these steps supposed to be concurrent? Please let me know because I want to do this right!

THANKS AGAIN!

Robbie Wright


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 02, 2003 12:08 am 
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I think St Aug sod goes down very well in the spring. But it should knit in well now, too. Just don't expect spectacular performance in the spring because you will still be developing roots. No problem doing it now, though.

Sorry for the confusion. If you just used a heavy application of compost and did nothing else, the bermuda would be weakened for 18 months. If you put the compost down now followed by the sod, it should fill in okay. The reason for letting the bermuda get long first is just so it will lay over nicely and not be pushing the mulch up. Technically the turf managers will tell you you should kill the bermuda first, till it, and then plant. But I don't think that is always necessary.

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 06, 2003 1:05 pm 
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Joined: Sat Apr 19, 2003 12:12 pm
Posts: 110
Location: Garland
Speaking of St. Augustine...

Does anyone know the best place to buy st. augustine near the Garland, TX area?

Also, what variety is best to plant in North Texas? I have heard much discussion over Raleigh versus Floratan (sp?) in San Antonio, but not much once I moved to Garland.

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