Grass - Knowledgebase Question

Austin, Te
Question by chrisvotaw
February 3, 2011
I live in Austin, TX and have St. augustine grass. I am wondering about basic care and fertilizer. When do I need to first put down fertilizer? Also, do I need a pre-emergent? I was told to look into that? I would appreciate and other info you can supply regarding this type of grass and my climate. Thank you


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Answer from NGA
February 3, 2011

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Here are some general guidelines for helping your lawn become, and stay green: WATERING Your lawn should be watered thoroughly; it needs about an inch of water per week. Less water is needed during periods of rainy or cold weather. Watering is best done during the overnight hours. The hours between 10:30pm and 2:00am are best. This limits the amount of time the grass blades are wet, thus reducing the threat of disease establishment. Watering during the heat of the day will not damage the grass, but too much of the water is wasted through evaporation before the grass ever has a chance to use it.

Your lawn should be fertilized with a slow-release fertilizer 3-4 times per year. The most important application is in early September. A second application is November is the next most important. Spring fertilization is not recommended. This has been shown to enhance fungal disease activity during the summer months. Besides, the largest portion of the energy is directed into top growth. This just translates into more frequent mowing. Who needs that?

Always set the mower at 2 inches and mow frequently enough that you never remove more than one inch at a time. Keep mower blades sharp for the cleanest, safest cut. Lawns cut with dull blades loose moisture more rapidly, are more subject to disease, and take on a lighter, almost grayish cast. This comes from the shredded ends of the grass blades drying out and turning a pale brown in the sun.

A pre emergent will keep weed seeds from sprouting. In your neck of the woods, February or March are good months to apply pre emergent products. You can use Scott's Turf Builder and Lawn Pro, Vigoro Ultra Turf Weed and Feed, or Scott?s Bonus S Southern Weed and Feed if you want the benefits of a pre emergent plus fertilizer.

Best wishes with your lawn!

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