ClassicSod

All Florida Lawn Service
  
6299-142 Powers Ave.
Jacksonville, Fl. 32217
Main Office (904) 982-6075

Red Mulch

 

Cypress Mulch
Gold Mulch

 

Pine Bark

St. Augustine Sod

Brick Patio

 
Grass Plugs
 
 
 
Weekly Lawn Care all Year
 Starting at $100 per Month
  • Classic  is a proprietary cultivar released in the early 2000 by Woerner Turf. It has good cold tolerance and is used throughout Florida and other states. It should be mowed to a height of 4 inches. It has a dark green color.
  • Floratam is an improved St. Augustine grass It is a coarse-textured cultivar that has poor cold and shade tolerance relative to other St. Augustinegrass cultivars. It does not persist well in environments that receive less than 6 hours of sunlight daily. It grows vigorously in the spring and summer.
  • Palmetto  was a selection found by a Florida sod grower in 1988 and released in the mid-1990s by Sod Solutions.  It is sometimes referred to as drought tolerant, but research has not shown that it has any greater degree of drought tolerance than other St. Augustine grasses. It is not resistant to insects and sometimes has problems with disease, particularly in Florida's humid environment. It tends to have a lighter green color than many other cultivar. It should be mowed to a height of 3–4 inches.
  • Seville is a fine-leaved variety with a dark green color and a low growth habit. It is susceptible to chinch bug and webworm damage. Like the other dwarf cultivars, 'Seville' tends to be prone to thatch. 'Seville' performs well in both shade and full sun, but is cold sensitive. It is not as common as 'Delmar', but is also a good choice for shady sites.

Establishment of St. Augustine grass

Although St. Augustinegrass can be planted year-round in warmer sections of Florida, the best time to plant any warm-season grass is during its time of active growth. Allowing the grass to develop a deep root system before it experiences temperature extremes helps it establish more quickly and with less water. In South Florida, the optimal time for establishment is late fall, winter, or spring.

It is important to provide irrigation on the correct schedule when grass is newly planted. 

A newly planted lawn should not be fertilized until 30–60 days after planting

Maintenance

Proper lawn maintenance practices are the best means for avoiding pest or stress problems and for maintaining a healthy lawn. St. Augustinegrass requires inputs of fertilizer to maintain good cover and healthy growth characteristics. During certain times of the year, it generally requires supplemental irrigation. Pesticides may be needed periodically, but their use can be minimized if other cultural practices (mowing, irrigation, fertilization) are done correctly.

Fertilization

Proper fertilization is very important for sustaining a healthy lawn.

A soil test should be done to determine what nutrients are available to the lawn and what the soil pH is.

Mowing

Mowing grass too short, can injure the lawn. Always mow at the highest recommended height for the cultivar and species.

Proper mowing practices are necessary to keep any lawn healthy and attractive. Standard St. Augustinegrass cultivars should be maintained at a height of 3.5–4 inches. Repeatedly mowing at lower heights increases the stress on the lawn, discourages deep rooting, increases the chance for scalping if a mowing event is missed or postponed due to weather, and may increase susceptibility to pest problems. To obtain the correct height with most home rotary lawn mowers, use the highest wheel height setting. Maintaining the right height helps the grass develop a deep root system and gives a better appearance to the turf.  If possible, mowing height should be increased during periods of moisture stress or if the grass is growing in shade.

It is important to keep the blades sharp and well adjusted for a clean cut. Dull blades give the lawn a brownish cast because a ragged cut shreds the leaf blades rather than cuts them. During the growing season, blades should be sharpened monthly. St. Augustine grass requires weekly mowing during the growing season and less frequent mowing during the cooler months of the year. In North Florida, mowing may not be required during winter months.

Grass clippings should be left on a lawn that is mowed at the proper height and frequency. Under these conditions, clippings do not contribute to the thatch layer. Clippings put nutrients back into the soil system and may reduce turf fertilization requirements by up to 25%. If clippings are excessive, let them dry out and then disperse them over the lawn.

Watering

Irrigating on an “as-needed” basis is the best way to water any established, mature grass, as long as the proper amount of water is applied when needed. Irrigation is needed when leaf blades begin to fold up, wilt, or turn a blue-gray color, or when footprints remain visible after walking on the grass. Apply ½–¾ inch of water per application. This applies water to roughly the top 8 inches of soil where the majority of the roots are. Be sure to follow any local watering restrictions.

To determine the amount of irrigation supplied by a sprinkler system, place several straight-sided cans (e.g., tuna fish or cat food) throughout each irrigation zone and run each zone to determine how long it takes to fill the cans to the ½- or ¾-inch level, then record the time. Each zone will likely take different amounts of time to give the same quantity of water. 

Proper watering practices help maintain a lawn that requires less mowing and has little thatch buildup. Proper watering also helps develop a deep root system and makes the lawn less susceptible to damage by pests and environmental stresses. If large (brown) patch or gray leaf spot diseases are a continuous problem, excessive watering and nitrogen fertilization may be responsible. Certain weeds, such as dollarweed and sedges, also thrive in soils that are continuously wet.

Pest Management

Weeds

The best approach to weed control is a healthy, vigorous lawn. Weed problems in a lawn indicate that the turf has been weakened by improper management practices or damage from pests. Proper management practices can eliminate many weed problems. If weeds are a persistent problem, herbicides labeled specifically for St. Augustinegrass should be used. 

Insects

The major insect pest of St. Augustinegrass is the chinch bug. Chinch bugs are foliar-feeding insects that suck plant juices through a needlelike beak, causing yellowish to brownish patches in turf. Injured areas are usually first noticed as the weather begins to warm in areas along sidewalks, adjacent to buildings, and in other water-stressed areas where the grass is in full sun.

Check for chinch bugs by removing the ends of a coffee can, inserting one end into the soil at the margin of suspected damaged areas, and filling it with water. Chinch bugs will float to the water surface within 5 minutes. In areas where chinch bugs are a serious problem, a single, thorough insecticide treatment may offer only temporary control. Therefore, repeat applications may be required. 

Other insect pests, including webworms, armyworms, grass loopers, and mole crickets, can damage St. Augustinegrass. Mole crickets damage turfgrass areas primarily by creating tunnels or soft mounds while searching for food. Additional damage may result from small animals digging through the soil profile in search of the mole crickets as food. Check for mole crickets by examining an area for tunnels or by applying 2 gallons of water mixed with 1½ ounces of detergent soap per 2 square feet in suspected damaged areas. Mole crickets will surface in several minutes.

Diseases

Large (brown) patch and gray leaf spot are two major disease problems of St. Augustinegrass. Large (brown) patch occurs in warm, humid weather and is encouraged by excessive nitrogen. It is generally most noticeable during the spring and fall months. Gray leaf spot occurs during the summer rainy season and is primarily a problem on new growth. Both diseases can be controlled with fungicides.

Other Problems

Other factors can also decrease the quality of a lawn. Excessive shade, compacted soils, over- or under watering, improper mowing, traffic, and high or low pH can all cause a lawn to perform poorly. It is important to recognize what the source of the problem is and to correct it if possible. 

Thatch Removal

Thatch is the layer of undecomposed leaf blades, stolons, roots, and crowns intermingled with soil. Leaving mowing clippings on the lawn does not cause thatch because clippings are readily broken down by microbes in the soil. Thatch development is greatest in grass that is overfertilized or overwatered. An excessive thatch layer reduces water penetration and can bind up fertilizer or pesticides. In severe cases, roots may be seen actually growing aboveground and rooting into the thatch layer. This is a very unhealthy condition and leaves the lawn vulnerable to many stresses.

Cultivars

Mowing height (inches)

Cold tolerance

Shade tolerance

Chinch bug resistance

Green color

Texture

'Classic'

4 - 5

Good

Medium

Unknown

Dark

Coarse

'Floratam'

4 - 5

Poor

Fair

Slight

Dark

Coarse

'Palmetto'

4 - 5

Fair

Fair

Unknown

Lighter green

Fine

'Seville'

4 - 5

Fair

Good

Slight

Dark

Fine

Can vary per yard. 
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