The Q&A Archives: Lost my St Augustine

Question: Had large section of my lawn diw late last summer. What should I do?

Answer: We expect lawns to green up in the spring and when they don't we have to determine just what the cause might be. Dead patches in the lawn can be due to diseases, the problem can also be winterkill. Perhaps this information will help you to diagnose the problem:

Winterkill is a common problem in Texas. Areas of a lawn may never green up after the winter. Although your winter weather is not very severe, it can still affect your lawn. Winterkill can be worse during very cold winters, but winterkill is not just due to cold weather. Winterkill is worse on stressed lawns. Stresses to the lawn through the year weaken the lawn and the turf dies in the winter. The real problem is the stress. The cold, dry winter weather is just the straw that breaks the camel's back.

Traffic and hard soils are major factors causing winterkill. The roots are the arteries and veins of the plants and turf cannot grow strong roots in compacted soils. The best way to relieve this is to till with a tiller or disk harrow before seeding lawns. If you have large dead areas that are compacted, till them before putting grass out again.

I believe improper watering, especially during July through October, can weaken grass
leading to winterkill. Water deeply but infrequently so lawns can develop deep, strong roots.

Be sure to feed your lawn in late summer to help it through the winter months.

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