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 Post subject: St Augustine die-off?
PostPosted: Tue Apr 18, 2006 4:06 pm 
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Joined: Mon Apr 05, 2004 8:31 am
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Location: Dallas,TEXAS
My front lawn is refusing to green up! It is almost 100% St. Augustine, and last year it was a beautiful, thick turf. There are tufts growing here and there now, but huge areas are just dead. I use only organic fertilizers, and I don't think the earth is compacted (except where the mailman walks every day). I also watered about once a month during the winter since it was so dry. Did I kill my grass? Anyone have ideas/suggestions?

Thanks!
Christy


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 23, 2006 9:12 am 
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Location: Denton,TEXAS
christyp wrote:
My front lawn is refusing to green up! It is almost 100% St. Augustine, and last year it was a beautiful, thick turf. There are tufts growing here and there now, but huge areas are just dead. I use only organic fertilizers, and I don't think the earth is compacted (except where the mailman walks every day). I also watered about once a month during the winter since it was so dry. Did I kill my grass? Anyone have ideas/suggestions?

Doesn't sound like what you're experiencing, but neighbors around me have had a terrible time with grubs this Spring. Entire chunks of their lawn has been coming up exposing bare dirt with just going over it with the mower. Three lawns around me have had this problem this Spring, but so far I haven't seen it myself. Like last Spring I applied some beneficial nematodes from hydro-gardens.com.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Apr 23, 2006 3:25 pm 
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Well, I haven't seen any grubs, but I have seen an unusually high number of pill bugs. Do they kill grass?

Christy


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Apr 24, 2006 9:17 am 
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Nevermind. I guess pill bugs don't eat grass. I wonder if I have brown patch.

Christy


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Apr 25, 2006 4:08 pm 
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While you are thinking about what to do, get some ordinary corn meal down at a rate of 20 pounds per 1,000 square feet IMMEDIATELY! If the problem was grubs, the damage was done last year, so there's nothing you can do about it. If the problem is fungal disease, then the corn meal will cure it in 21 days. Then it will green up and start to fill in.

Corn meal is cheapest at the feed store. A 50-pound bag should be around $6. If it is $20 then you are looking at corn GLUTEN meal. You don't want that for the fungus.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Apr 26, 2006 6:42 am 
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Thanks for your responses! I will put down some corn meal (I got some yesterday at Redentas) and I'll put it down ASAP. I'm curious why my grass may have a fungus while my neighbors don't?? Did I water too much? I also hear sometimes about having too much thatch - My grass was really dense compared to my neighbors', but I'm not sure that's what people mean by 'thatch' (really dense, dead grass!).

Christy


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon May 08, 2006 12:19 pm 
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The way I understand thatch is like this. When you water your grass for 10 minutes per day, every day, the grass roots never need to emplant themselves into the soil. They get enough water from that 10 minutes to make it until tomorrow. Quite often they end up growing and living on top of the soil with very little bit of plant actually rooted into the soil.

There are some cool season grasses where they die back a lot all at once and return nicely. If your soil is relatively sterile, or lacking in the beneficial microbes, it might take more than one season to digest that dead grass. That could look like thatch. By and large, organic lawns don't have thatch problems.

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