Joined: Sat May 14, 2011 2:14 pm Posts: 4 Location: tyler,TEXAS
Our partly shady St. Augustine lawn in east Texas has progressively been dying the last couple of years. It has started with small dead areas and spread out to 1/3 of our yard.
We've lived here 5 years, and the people before us most likely used toxic fertilizers and pesticides. We've only done organics, but not nearly enough, it turns out.
Our soil is sandy, but right now much is very hard and compact. Soil test showed a pH of 6.0 in the front and 5.0 in the back. Nitrogen and Phosphorus were low, Potassium was high. We had a lawn guy come out and his opinion was that our lawn had stayed too wet in areas and we had fungus. He recommended lime and peat moss. (I know HG doesn't recommend peat.)
I have dug through many articles here and just want to make sure we're following the most updated advice. We don't have a fortune to spend, so we will have to prioritize.
We have just put the lime, dried molasses and corn meal on for starters. We were hoping to plant some St. Aug. plugs soon, but know we may need to wait for the corn meal to hit the fungus.
So, several questions for those patient enough to read through this!
* What else should we be doing now? Soil detox? (5 years later?) Aerate? How long do we need to wait before planting grass? What is the best cheapest fertilizer we can apply and when? What else should we apply? Also, any tips for keeping a digging dog (ours) out of the new grass is appreciated!
Joined: Sat Mar 08, 2003 9:01 am Posts: 961 Location: Dallas, TX
Forget the peat moss completely and don't add any more lime. Send soil samples to Texas Plant and Soil Lab to get a good base line for the on-going fertility. For now apply dry molasses at 20 lbs per 1000 sq ft and spray Garrett Juice Plus and Turf Thrive, both at label directions. Nothing on the market will do more good for the property for the cost.
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