Need help with lawn

Discussion in 'Lawn Care' started by villandra, Mar 11, 2007.

  1. villandra

    villandra New Seed

    Mar 11, 2007
    Likes Received:
    Austin, Texas
    Our lawn has St. Augustine's grass.

    First, is it pretty much suffering from shade stress, or should I look for
    more wrong? The grass is green and growing well where it is growing, but
    nowhere is it very thick, and there are large bare spots, and no grass at
    all grows near the tree trunks or the house.

    Second, what kinds of St. Augustine's are most resistant to shade, that I
    should be readily able to find in Austin, Texas? Our grass also has to be
    able to tolerate drought.

    I'm reading it both ways; is St. Augustine's easily killed by shade, or more
    resistant to shade than other varieties of grass?

    Third, there are photos of some runners that are distinctly above the
    ground. I'm not sure if they originally grew that way or if they got more
    exposed than they originally were in the course of sweeping up bird seed
    over the winter. St. Augustine runners grow every which way including
    straight up. Should I cover these with dirt, or put a layer of dirt
    underneath them?

    Fourth, should I till the bare patches to encourage grass to take root?
    The ground is hard but water is still able to soak in. I understand there
    are limited things you can do to loosen the earth on a lawn with St.
    Augustine's because you can damage the runners.

    Fifth, how do I prepare teh bare patches for sods of grass?


    Dora Smith
    Austin, Texas
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  3. toni

    toni Mistress of Garden Junque Staff Member Moderator Plants Contributor

    Jan 7, 2006
    Likes Received:
    North Central Texas, Zone 8a
    Hi Vilandra, welcome to the Stew from north Texas. Why don't you post an intro of yourself in the Welcome to GardenStew forum so we can get to know each other. ... staug.html ... y2202a.htm

    These websites should give you some answers you need.
    Basically, it is a thirsty grass and doesn't like much foot traffic. It is also the most shade tolerant of any of the grasses.
    You probably should start with a soil test. Most garden centers will do a soil test for free or fairly cheap.
    You could also contact your local county extension office or the Agriculture dept at UT with the questions.

    St Augustine makes a pretty lawn if don't mind the work and don't have kids or dogs running around on it.
    If you ever consider starting over, you might consider Buffalo Grass or one of the other Texas native prairie grasses.

    Good Luck

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