Live Oak's Lawn Journal

Warm season member lawn journals
Topic Author
Live Oak
Posts: 60
Joined: Fri Sep 18, 2020 3:00 pm
Location: Houston, TX
Grass Type: St. Augustine
Lawn Size: 3000 sqft
Mower: Rotary

Live Oak's Lawn Journal

Post by Live Oak »

Welcome to my lawn journal. I'm a DIY-oriented homeowner in the Houston area who has really gotten into lawn care since moving from a townhouse with no lawn to a ranch-style house with ~3000 sqft of lawn space. I've lurked on TLF for quite some time and have learned a ton in the process. The purpose of this journal is to share my experiences so that others can learn things that they can apply to their own lawn, and to document seasonal progress and obstacles so that I can be prepared in the following years. I'll add some pictures in time, but just to start with the lawn specs:

- Front lawn size and grass: ~1500 sqft, ~80% Floratam SA, ~20% Bermuda
- Back lawn size and grass: ~1500 sqft, 100% Floratam SA

Equipment:
- Fiskers 18'' reel mower
- Toro 22'' rotary mower
- Hand-me-down edger and blower

Fertilizer and Chemicals:
- Milorganite (primary fertilizer)
- Prodiamine (pre-emergent herbicide)
- MSM (post-emergent herbicide, going to replace with Celsius once finished)
- Dismiss (post-emergent herbicide for sedges)
- 3336F (fungicide)
- Talstar biphenthrin (insecticide)
- BT (insecticide for worms)

Timeline:
April: move in. Lawn is in great shape, but decide to apply weed and feed (rookie mistake) in case the previous owner did not fertilize.

May-June: all good, no problems.

July: fertilize with Milorganite in front and back. Notice lawn moths starting to appear in the back yard. I will later learn the hard way that I have a sod webworm infestation. The back lawn is starting to get patchy where the worms are feeding. No real weed problems, just thin and patchy turf.

August: the front lawn is also showing signs of webworm injury. At first I think it's chinch bug damage and apply Talstar to affected areas. Luckily for me biphenthrin controls sod webworms too. However, Virginia Buttonweed and Dollarweed quickly colonize in the webworm-injured turf (front yard only), prompting me to spray MSM over the area.

Early September: I come back after a week-long vacation to find that half my front lawn has been consumed by webworms. There is a little bit of discoloration in the weeds I sprayed with the MSM, but there are plenty of new weeds that took over as the webworms ate the turf. I immediately put down BT and alternate with Talstar every week - it is clear that one spray does not eliminate webworms; repeated applications are needed for full control.

Mid September: it has been a couple weeks since spraying MSM and I'm not seeing a lot of change in the Buttonweed. I decide to do a little experiment (partially out of frustration) and hit one Buttonweed patch with glyphosate. Within a couple days it gets roasted, but leaves a bare spot behind. I'm hoping some turf will colonize there soon.

Late September: Houston receives ~11 inches of rain over 4 days with the passage of TS Beta. The original forecast was a much more reasonable 2-4 inches, so I had put down Prodiamine granular ahead of time. My lawn holds water pretty well (does not run off) so hopefully it stayed intact, but maybe not. I guess we'll find out by the amount of Poa I get in the winter.

This past week: the rain has done wonders for both the front and back lawn. There was a bit of chlorosis yellowing from all the rain but it has greened up nicely with the sun coming out. Still doing weekly biphen apps and the turf is finally coming in. The MSM finally seems to be working on the Buttonweed, especially after a follow-up app. I regret using Round-up, but glad I kept it to one patch.

Today: I find a couple patches of Green Kyllinga in the back yard and hit them, along with some dollarweed in the front yard, with Dismiss. Will update in a couple days with the progress. Apparently sulfentrazone kicks in very quickly for a selective post-emergent (a couple days instead of a couple weeks).

ionicatoms
Posts: 647
Joined: Sat Mar 07, 2020 6:38 pm
Location: North Florida
Grass Type: St. Augustine (Palmetto)
Lawn Size: 7100 sq. ft.
Mower: Toro 21386

Re: Live Oak's Lawn Journal

Post by ionicatoms »

Great write-up! Make sure you rotate the Clearys with something else! Resistance risk is high with thiophanate-methyl.
Want to know more? Review my Lawn Journal

Topic Author
Live Oak
Posts: 60
Joined: Fri Sep 18, 2020 3:00 pm
Location: Houston, TX
Grass Type: St. Augustine
Lawn Size: 3000 sqft
Mower: Rotary

Re: Live Oak's Lawn Journal

Post by Live Oak »

@ionicatoms Thanks, good to know. I was planning on adding DiseaseEx (Azoxystrobin) and Eagle 20EW to the rotation soon.

ionicatoms
Posts: 647
Joined: Sat Mar 07, 2020 6:38 pm
Location: North Florida
Grass Type: St. Augustine (Palmetto)
Lawn Size: 7100 sq. ft.
Mower: Toro 21386

Re: Live Oak's Lawn Journal

Post by ionicatoms »

:thumbup: those are the 3 modes of action I use.
Want to know more? Review my Lawn Journal

Topic Author
Live Oak
Posts: 60
Joined: Fri Sep 18, 2020 3:00 pm
Location: Houston, TX
Grass Type: St. Augustine
Lawn Size: 3000 sqft
Mower: Rotary

Re: Live Oak's Lawn Journal

Post by Live Oak »

Updates with pictures.

Here are the front and back yards currently.

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Front yard at the height of webworm damage.

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Sulfentrazone (Dismiss) is making quick work of Green Kyllinga (picture below), but does not seem to be as effective on dollarweed and clover. It's only been 5 days since application, so I'll give it another week or two before full judgment.

Image

I think my biggest issue now is that there are patches in the front yard with thin St. Aug blades and a lot of dried up blades surrounding them, giving the area a general brownish color. Not sure if this is brown patch or plain old drought. We haven't had a drop of rain in 10 days and the forecasts show nothing on the horizon for the next week. I just irrigated 0.5'' yesterday morning, but didn't seem to help. Also applied 3336F a week ago, which didn't really improve anything. Any thoughts would be appreciated.

Image

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Topic Author
Live Oak
Posts: 60
Joined: Fri Sep 18, 2020 3:00 pm
Location: Houston, TX
Grass Type: St. Augustine
Lawn Size: 3000 sqft
Mower: Rotary

Re: Live Oak's Lawn Journal

Post by Live Oak »

Bit of bookkeeping here so I remember application rates for my spring pre-emergent (mid to late Feb?)...

Applied Prodiamine granular at a rate of 4.5 lbs/1000 sq ft, keeping it slightly under the 10 lbs/1000 sqft maximum annual limit (two apps of course). Per instructions, I put my Scott's spreader on level 3.5 and found that it was much too slow, indicating that either I was walking too fast or my spreader sucks. If I don't upgrade my spreader by next spring, I will need to adjust the spreading level higher.

ionicatoms
Posts: 647
Joined: Sat Mar 07, 2020 6:38 pm
Location: North Florida
Grass Type: St. Augustine (Palmetto)
Lawn Size: 7100 sq. ft.
Mower: Toro 21386

Re: Live Oak's Lawn Journal

Post by ionicatoms »

I sold my Scotts DLX because it, essentially, dropped product right between the wheels. I was walking that stupid thing all over my lawn like a drop spreader. Drove me crazy.
Want to know more? Review my Lawn Journal

Topic Author
Live Oak
Posts: 60
Joined: Fri Sep 18, 2020 3:00 pm
Location: Houston, TX
Grass Type: St. Augustine
Lawn Size: 3000 sqft
Mower: Rotary

Re: Live Oak's Lawn Journal

Post by Live Oak »

ionicatoms wrote:
Wed Oct 07, 2020 7:14 pm
I sold my Scotts DLX because it, essentially, dropped product right between the wheels. I was walking that stupid thing all over my lawn like a drop spreader. Drove me crazy.
I noticed the same thing with my spreader, especially when getting towards the end of the application. Any recommendations for an upgrade?

ionicatoms
Posts: 647
Joined: Sat Mar 07, 2020 6:38 pm
Location: North Florida
Grass Type: St. Augustine (Palmetto)
Lawn Size: 7100 sq. ft.
Mower: Toro 21386

Re: Live Oak's Lawn Journal

Post by ionicatoms »

I'd say the next step up from Scotts is the Echo RB-60. I have this one and it is meeting all of my needs very well. It has very favorable reviews, but I don't think it would really the best choice if you need to spread lime, salt, or seed.
Want to know more? Review my Lawn Journal

Topic Author
Live Oak
Posts: 60
Joined: Fri Sep 18, 2020 3:00 pm
Location: Houston, TX
Grass Type: St. Augustine
Lawn Size: 3000 sqft
Mower: Rotary

Re: Live Oak's Lawn Journal

Post by Live Oak »

Quick update: Dismiss does indeed work against clover, but it takes a little longer (10-14 days) to see effects in comparison to sedge/kyllinga (5-7 days). I'll probably pull the trigger on getting Celsius within the next week or two... I'm hoping Celsius and Dismiss will keep me happy for a long time.

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