WayneAyo
Newly Registered
Posts: 3
Joined: Sun Apr 24, 2016 5:03 pm

New St. Augustine Sod Care Suggestions

Hello all,

Thank you in advance for your help and advice here. We had new Palmetto St. Augustine put down about 4 weeks ago. I believe all is going well but I did have a couple questions/concerns that I was hoping you guys might help out with. A quick note: Yesterday I mowed it for the first time at a height of 3 inches.

After looking at the attached "high-level" pictures...is this about where it should look after 4 weeks or should it be "fuller"? If tested pieces around the yard and everything seems to have started rooting well (which is why I felt comfortable mowing).

I've noticed some scattered nutsedge around the yard that's not focused in any particular area. I've read that nutsedge thrives in wet marshy areas, so I'm hoping it will be slowly phased out as I continue to reduce the frequency of watering. Is there anything else I should do here, other than manually pulling these when i see them?

There are a couple of small spots that aren't growing as well as the rest. It seems focused on certain sod squares, almost like they were bad to start or something. I've included pictures of these as well as closeups.

At 4 weeks...how much water should i be putting down (removing rain as a factor). Temps here around in the low 80's during the day and upper 60's at night. Should I still be at multiple waterings per week or just once a week now?

Lastly, if after viewing the images below you think i might be over watering...please let me know that as well.

Thank you again for your help!

These first two images show a high level view. I believe pretty much everything looks good so far.
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This image shows one of two areas where it seems 1-2 of the pieces arent taking as well for some reason.
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Closeups of areas not growing as well
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closeup of healthier part of the new sod
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imafan26
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Posts: 11121
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2013 1:32 pm
Location: hawaii, zone 12a 587 ft elev.

Re: New St. Augustine Sod Care Suggestions

I have dwarf St Augustine, the good thing is that it hides nutsedge well. The bad thing is nutsedge does not die out by itself, you will have to use and eye droppe or a paint brush and sedge hammer and spot treat it. Pulling nutsedge is dicey because of the chain of nuts. It is hard to get them all and you don't want nut sedge to go to seed.

The most common things that cause barespots
1. traffic walking and compaction over the same area repeatedly -- I don't think that is the problem unless a car rolled over the grass and missed the driveway.
2. low spots - water will puddle and the ground will stay soggy and the roots need air
3. High spots - you end up scalping the lawn on high spots
4. Insect pests -- possible but St Augustine is not usually bothered by most lawn worms, they prefer Bermuda, and it is early for them to be a problem

The grass is grownig and will fill in eventually. if it is a low spot fill it a quarter inch at a time and let the grass grow up on it. If it is a high spot, you need to lower it and replant so it is even with the rest of the lawn or you will keep scalping with the lawn mower.

New grass should be fed once a month and you need to put at least an inch of water or rain a week on a lawn after it is established. Probably more in the first year.

You need to aerate, dethatch and topdress established turf twice a year and manage weeds all of the time. It is the problem with monoculture.

It is a fast growing grass so plan on mowing every 1-2 weeks. The mower height is good for St. Augustine in summer.

I only have a little grass left (HOA requires 50% lawn in the front yard, right now mine is mostly weeds. I need to renovate). My front yard slopes to the street and the mower is hard to manage on a slope and over pavers so I use a weedwhacker instead. I hate weed whackers and spools so I usually wait longer than I should to mow, but the weed whacker is easier to use on a slope and small lawn. Electric weedwhackers have less maintenance than gas mowers.
The guys who love their shindaiwa's can cut grass as nicely as a mower. I leave crop circles but it is only temporary.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

WayneAyo
Newly Registered
Posts: 3
Joined: Sun Apr 24, 2016 5:03 pm

Re: New St. Augustine Sod Care Suggestions

The spot that isn't growing as well isn't really a high or low spot. It seems fairly level with the rest of the yard around it. It just seems strange that this one small section doesn't want to grow as well.

catgrass
Green Thumb
Posts: 532
Joined: Thu Jun 19, 2014 6:56 pm
Location: Southwest Louisiana

Re: New St. Augustine Sod Care Suggestions

You could have grubs. Japanese beetles love St. Augustine. You might check with Florida ext. agency or LSUAg center. Both are very familiear with St. Augustine grass.
zone 9 Southwest La.

imafan26
Mod
Posts: 11121
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2013 1:32 pm
Location: hawaii, zone 12a 587 ft elev.

Re: New St. Augustine Sod Care Suggestions

I looked at the picture closer and it seems that there is a delineation line between the patches. I did not think that it was sodded. When you put down sod it needs to have good contact with the ground. It helps if the sod is moist and the ground under neath is also moist and fluffed. When you put the patch it, you should twist it a little to press it in and firm it in with a roller. For some reason that patch did not get established well, I don't not think it is bugs, just die out. Some of it did take so it should be able to catch up eventually.

I only sodded once with St Augustine mainly because I had so much nutsedge and after a year of trying to pull it out, I decided it was hopeless so I decided to sod instead of plug. I ordered the sod from the sod farm and they cut it after I got there and I had prepared my area in advance so all I had to do was drive down to the farm first thing in the morning, pick up the sod and lay it in as soon as I got home. The sod farm was very good. They even had written instructions on how to take care of the grass. I don't remember when I mowed it, but it was after it was well established.

I did not really like St. Augustine but it was the best choice since the city's tree cast so much shade on my yard that I needed a shade tolerant grass and St. Augustine's wide blades hid the nut sedge well.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

WayneAyo
Newly Registered
Posts: 3
Joined: Sun Apr 24, 2016 5:03 pm

Re: New St. Augustine Sod Care Suggestions

Okay. Do you guys think the rest of the yard looks as healthy as it should 4 weeks after putting it down or should it be "fuller" than this?

It was recommended that I apply corn meal to the yard to remove any fungal issues. Does that sounds like a good idea at this point?

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