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Tuesday, October 12, 2010
St. Augustine Seasonal Maintenance - Fall 2010



St. Augustine Grass Seasonal Maintenance - Fall 2010

Video Notes:


Step 1 - Fertilization.  We recommend something with a 1-0-2 ratio. In other words, 1 part nitrogen, 0 parts phosphorus, and 2 parts potassium....like an 8-0-16 for example. Obviously the 1-0-2 ratio is meant as a starting point. A soil sample can better give you specific needs for your area. If you have trouble finding a fertilizer with that ratio, a fertilizer with a 1-0-1 ratio will also be acceptable.

Step 2 - Fungicide.  Fungus outbreaks have been particularly bad this year in the southeastern United States....Particularly large patch. This fungus appears in somewhat circular patterns...usually about 2 to 3 feet in diameter. Grey leaf spot is also another big time problem in St. Augustine lawns in the fall; easily recognizable by grey lesions on the grass blade. Whether you have had fungus or not, everyone should put down a fungicide to help the grass enter into the cold months healthier. For fungicide, you will likely need multiple applications. If you haven't had fungus problems like large patch in the past, then two applications will do just fine. If you have had fungus issues in your St. Augustine, 3 applications will be more appropriate. Remember to wait 21 days between each application.  

Step 3 - Insecticide. With the exception of the resistant St. Augustine Captiva, it's been another bad year in many places for the dreaded chinch bug....the number one lawn enemy of St. Augustine grass. Chinch bugs are about the size of the tip of a writing pen but can be seen if you get down on your hands and knees. Something else that has been bad this year are fall armyworms. They are much easier to spot as they chow down on your lawn. Heres the thing, if you have had or suspect you have pests, you can spray your lawn with insecticide to get rid of them. But if you don't have any lawn pests, and don't suspect that you do, you can hold off putting down insecticide in the fall.

Step 4 - (Optional) - Weed Control.  When the temperatures start dropping, summer weeds will start dying off and winter weeds will start to pop up. In some areas of the country, winter weeds aren't a big problem. If you haven't had problems with them in the past, forgo putting down any herbicide this fall. However, if you know that weeds in the winter time are an issue for you, get a pre-emergent herbicide from your local lawn care store and apply it to the lawn now to stop the winter weeds from popping up.

Step 5 - Mowing.  Mowing in the cooler months is slightly different. Leave the St. Augustine a little bit higher than normal to encourage deeper root growth for the winter. Basically adjust your mower settings to go up one notch.

Step 6 - Watering.  As for watering, as temperatures drop, grasses won't need as much irrigation....so adjust your watering schedule accordingly. Too much watering can lead to fungus and disease outbreaks.  

Remember with all lawn products be it fertilizer, insecticide or herbicide...read the label and follow the proper instructions.


Tuesday, October 12, 2010
EMPIRE Turf Seasonal Maintenance - Fall 2010



EMPIRE Turf - Care and Maintenance - Fall 2010

Video Notes:


Step 1 - Fertilization.  We recommend something with a 1-0-2 ratio. In other words, 1 part nitrogen, 0 parts phosphorus, and 2 parts potassium....like an 8-0-16 for example. Obviously the 1-0-2 ratio is meant as a starting point. A soil sample can better give you specific needs for your area. If you have trouble finding a fertilizer with that ratio, a fertilizer with a 1-0-1 ratio will also be acceptable.

Step 2 - Fungicide.  Fungus outbreaks have been particularly bad this year in the southeastern United States....Particularly large patch. This fungus appears in somewhat circular patterns...usually about 2 to 3 feet in diameter. If you have had fungus or not, everyone should put down a fungicide to help the grass enter the cold months healthier. For fungicide, you will likely need multiple applications. If you haven't had fungus problems like large patch in the past, then two applications will do just fine. If you have had fungus issues in your EMPIRE, 3 applications will be more appropriate. Remember to wait 21 days between each application.   

Step 3 - Billbug Control Insecticide.  One great thing about EMPIRE Turf is that Chinch Bugs don't like it. Chinch bugs are a huge problem in St. Augustine grass lawns. The main insects you have to watch out for with EMPRIE are billbugs. Hunting bullbugs are small black insects ....here is an example. As an EMPIRE lawn owner, the thing we recommend doing is to go ahead and put down billbug control in the fall and in the spring whether you have had issues with the hunting billbug in the past or not. Make sure it's a broad spectrum insecticide.

Step 4 - (Optional) - Weed Control.  When the temperatures start dropping, summer weeds will start dying off and winter weeds will start to pop up. In some areas of the country, winter weeds aren't a big problem. If you haven't had problems with them in the past, forgo putting down any herbicide this fall. However, if you know that weeds in the winter time are an issue for you, get a pre-emergent herbicide from your local lawn care store and apply it to the lawn now to stop the winter weeds from popping up.

Step 5 - Mowing.  Mowing in the cooler months is slightly different. Leave the EMPIRE a little bit higher than normal to encourage deeper root growth for the winter. Basically adjust your mower settings to go up one notch.

Step 6 - Watering.  As for watering, as temperatures drop, grasses won't need as much irrigation....so adjust your watering schedule accordingly. Too much watering can lead to fungus and disease outbreaks.  

Remember with all lawn products be it fertilizer, insecticide or herbicide...read the label and follow the proper instructions.