Lawn Care Help - Knowledgebase Question

Indialantic, Fl
Question by charlesawolp
April 5, 2010
I live in Indialantic FL 32903. My front yard faces West and has a large Oak tree that shads most of the lawn. My lawn has been dieing off for years now. I believe it's St Augustine. What can I do to bring it back?

Answer from NGA
April 5, 2010


It's difficult to keep turfgrass growing under an oak tree. Not only is shade a concern, but the soil is often dry and the grass must compete with the tree roots for moisture and nutrients. You can try aerating the soil to reduce compaction. A core aerator will remove one inch by three inch plugs from the lawn. Leave the plugs on the lawn and they will dissolve in rain or water from the sprinklers. After aerating spread a thin layer of sand or compost over the area and water it in well. The sand or compost plus the soil from the plugs will work their way down into the holes left by the plugs and help loosen the soil. You might consider replacing your turf or at least plugging some shade tolerant grasses into your existing lawn. One of the most shade tolerant St. Augustine grasses is 'Bitterblue', a variety that has a fine, dense texture and dark blue-green color. It has good cold and shade tolerance, but is not resistant to chinch bugs or gray leaf spot disease. It is also susceptible to the herbicide atrazine, making weed control difficult. It is what is referred to as a ?standard? cultivar, with a mowing height of 3.5 to 4 inches. 'DeltaShade' has good shade tolerance, but not as good as the dwarf varietie 'Bitterblue'. It appears to have good cold tolerance, although no university studies have been done to verify this. In some landscapes, it tends to have a lighter green color than some cultivars.

Best wishes with your lawn.

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