Problems with St. Augustine grass - Knowledgebase Question

Houston, TX
Avatar for nikolaou
Question by nikolaou
May 18, 2007
I have some dead spots (interconnected patches of 1'x1' approximately) on St. Augustine grass. I had repair sod placed in the same area last year, but the problem seems to have returned (only milder). The grass is close (about 10') to two oak trees, on the south side of them. The trees are about 25-30' tall. I have fertilized regularly (the live grass has a nice green color) and there has been enough rain in recent months to water the lawn. I suspect that the oak trees may be the culprits. They have thick long roots, visible at some spots, and they may interfere with the grass. Any suggestions?
Thank you in advance.

Answer from NGA
May 18, 2007

I am sorry for this delayed reply to your gardening question. The spring rush has brought a deluge of questions and we are working hard to catch up!

If the oak trees are the problem it is probably due to roots near the surface that make the soil under the grass not as deep for the grass to root in. Oaks do compete with turf roots but your spots seem to indicate localized problems not something everywhere around the tree. There is little you can do except provide adequate water and fertilizer. You may also want to contact your Harris County Extension Office and see about bringing in a sample for them to look over.

Thanks for the question. Best wishes for a wonderful gardening season. Please stop in again soon!

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