The Q&A Archives: St Augustene Lawn in bad shape

Question: Live in San Antonio and have a St Augustene lawn that is not doing well, (many weeds, sparce coverage, brown spots, and areas with black/gray spoting on blades). Also fair bit of thatch, but not sure how to remove with all the runners. About 2 years ago lost most of lawn to flash fire (came back but has not been the same since) Also drought conditions last few years w/ current water ratons

Answer: Sounds like renovation is necessary with your lawn. Thatching removes the dead stolons, rhizomes, stems and old grass blades. All turfgrasses have thatch but a thatch layer that is too thick can keep water from penetrating down to the roots and can keep fertilizers from reaching the soil. If your turf has excessive thatch, more than one inch of thatch, then you should dethatch your lawn. Or, it may be that the soil is compacted and in need of aerating. Compaction can happen by itself over the years, or by lots of foot traffic. By removing plugs of grass and soil, then spreading a thin layer of sand or compost over the lawn and watering it in, the sand or compost will work its way into the holes and help loosen the soil. If you are not sure which to do, you can do both. Dethatch now, then aerate in the fall, leaving the plugs on the lawn. They will dissolve with the rain. St. Augustine will spread and thicken up on its own or you can place sprigs or plugs in any bare areas to speed up the process. Hope this information helps you make the right decision with your lawn!

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