Went away for a week, came back to a dying and dead lawn! Panic mode!

Warm season grasses like Bermuda, Zoysia, St. Augustine, Centipede & Paspalum
klargo
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Joined: Thu Sep 27, 2018 1:35 pm
Location: Largo, FL
Grass Type: St. Augustine
Lawn Size: 5000 sq ft
Mower: Ego 21" Dual Battery

Re: Went away for a week, came back to a dying and dead lawn! Panic mode!

Post by klargo » Wed Jun 12, 2019 8:23 am

Skenny wrote:
Wed Jun 12, 2019 6:15 am
So is there much of anything I can do now? Is it worth ripping up and trying to put some sod down or do we just leave it and see if the grass creeps back in?

Next year what should I do differently?
Give it a little more time to see if it's just dead top growth or if the stolons/roots have also been killed.

A couple weeks ago, someone working on my fence left a couple concrete pavers sitting on my St. Aug lawn. I noticed them after they'd been baking in the sun for a few hours. The grass underneath was wilted and by the next day looked crispy dead. But it all grew back within a couple weeks because it was just the grass shoots that fried. The pavers weren't there long enough to kill the stolons/roots.

But I've also experienced what's happened to your lawn. Last summer (before I cared about my lawn at all) I forgot to turn my irrigation system back on after a week+ of non-stop rain. Then we had a week+ of 90 degrees and no rain whatsoever. I lost a lot of grass that never recovered and I had to lay down new sod.

Unless you start seeing some vigorous uniform re-growth, your grass is probably dead.

The fix is simple. Make sure your irrigation system is putting down enough water everywhere. Had that grass been irrigated properly, it wouldn't have died.

Skenny
Posts: 49
Joined: Mon Feb 04, 2019 2:11 pm
Location: Orlando
Grass Type: St. Augistine
Lawn Size: 5000 sqft
Mower: Briggs and Stratton Push

Re: Went away for a week, came back to a dying and dead lawn! Panic mode!

Post by Skenny » Tue Aug 13, 2019 6:47 pm

Okay so it's been two months, nothing has happened, the St. Aug has not regrown, and I finally want to do something about it. The rest of the lawn has stayed the same and the dead spots stayed dead. I was always told St. Aug grows like a weed/vine and creeps into every spot but not here, it isn't going over the dead zones.

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So here is my question, is there a seed based grass that is compatible with St. Aug care? My main problem with St. Aug is I cant just go get a bag of seed and fill in dead zones, I need to deal with sod and the care that comes with it.

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A few feet away from that disaster the lawn grows so fast I need to (should anyway) cut it twice a week just to keep up with how much it wants to be alive, so the area can support it but these dead spots just are not going away.

Also on those brown spots, the grass isn't growing back over it while the rest of the lawn stays happy and healthy. In picture two the dirt spots is where I decided to run an experiment tonight and start ripping up the dead brown matter layer to see if it helps. Right now though I just want to get this thing back in order. I don't care about a pure St. Aug lawn, I just want green and no brown so if there is something else I can do I will go do it.

ktgrok
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Location: Orlando Metro Area, FL
Grass Type: weeds
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Re: Went away for a week, came back to a dying and dead lawn! Panic mode!

Post by ktgrok » Tue Aug 13, 2019 8:34 pm

I'm hearing on a local garden show that in the summer heat the St. Augustine is needing a good 2 inches a week - at least. 1 inch twice a week, just to try to keep up with the heat.

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Redtwin
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Re: Went away for a week, came back to a dying and dead lawn! Panic mode!

Post by Redtwin » Tue Aug 13, 2019 8:51 pm

Some on here keep their own mini nursery pots of plugs to fill in any bare spots.

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jakemauldin
Posts: 249
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Location: Springtown, Texas
Grass Type: Bermuda(P77), Texas HBG SPF-30
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Mower: Toro 60" Zero Turn

Re: Went away for a week, came back to a dying and dead lawn! Panic mode!

Post by jakemauldin » Tue Aug 13, 2019 9:34 pm

That's what most yards look like in Texas this time of year. I would say shoot some water on it, It'll recover. Don't lose sleep over it
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Skenny
Posts: 49
Joined: Mon Feb 04, 2019 2:11 pm
Location: Orlando
Grass Type: St. Augistine
Lawn Size: 5000 sqft
Mower: Briggs and Stratton Push

Re: Went away for a week, came back to a dying and dead lawn! Panic mode!

Post by Skenny » Wed Aug 14, 2019 5:43 am

Well about the rain this is Florida during rainy season so we are getting what feels like an inch a rain a day, so water isn't a problem, the grass refusing to grow into those areas is the problem.

I guess I can try sod again if there is no care compatible grass types to St. Augustine. It's just that I have such bad luck with sod, seed works so much better for me.

ktgrok
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Re: Went away for a week, came back to a dying and dead lawn! Panic mode!

Post by ktgrok » Wed Aug 14, 2019 11:00 pm

might also check for chinch bugs, billbugs,etc

Green
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Re: Went away for a week, came back to a dying and dead lawn! Panic mode!

Post by Green » Wed Aug 14, 2019 11:43 pm

If everything checks out well (insects, etc.), why not consider using a plugger to transplant plugs into the dead areas? It'll be slower than resodding, but is another option if done properly. I've seen some posts where people have successfully plugged with SA.
Last edited by Green on Wed Aug 14, 2019 11:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Front: Northern mix - mostly TTTF, KBG, TTPR. Back: Firecracker and Bullseye TTTF with America, Rugby 2, Bewitched KBG. Upper Side: Mostly TTPR, KBG. Lower Side: similar to front. Low-input: TF/FF, KBG, PR. Always seeding somewhere or fighting Triv.

Carrie-Waltz
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Re: Went away for a week, came back to a dying and dead lawn! Panic mode!

Post by Carrie-Waltz » Wed Aug 14, 2019 11:45 pm

Oh, God! :o :o It looks burnt, that's why lawn sprinklers are musthaves during hot summers!

Skenny
Posts: 49
Joined: Mon Feb 04, 2019 2:11 pm
Location: Orlando
Grass Type: St. Augistine
Lawn Size: 5000 sqft
Mower: Briggs and Stratton Push

Re: Went away for a week, came back to a dying and dead lawn! Panic mode!

Post by Skenny » Thu Aug 15, 2019 5:53 am

I am pretty sure there are no bugs, we checked for them back when all this started and everything was fine. I also keep up with the insecticides on a set schedule and use Arena (https://store.doyourownpestcontrol.com/ ... nsecticide) twice a year for chinch bug control. The dead spots arent growing larger, its just that the grass isnt growing back over them either, so they are just stuck.

A plugger.. does that take my own grass and plug it into the dead spots?

Bermuda_Newbie
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Re: Went away for a week, came back to a dying and dead lawn! Panic mode!

Post by Bermuda_Newbie » Thu Aug 15, 2019 8:32 pm

Yep. Check out a pro plugger. It's like a giant pogo stick with a hole on the base. You take some of your healthy grass and put it in a hole in the empty area. It helps it to spread faster.

Green
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Joined: Sun Dec 24, 2017 12:27 am
Location: CT (Zone 6B)
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Re: Went away for a week, came back to a dying and dead lawn! Panic mode!

Post by Green » Fri Aug 16, 2019 12:31 am

And then once you plug, assuming no fert restrictions are in affect in your area, you can hit it with Nitrogen in small doses regularly to help it spread. LCN has many videos relevant to this topic of rehabbing warm season grasses. Grass Daddy has videos on using the ProPlugger itself, but he has Kentucky Bluegrass in RI. in Orlando, you still have plenty of time to get the SA lawn into halfway decent condition by plugging before you go semi-dormant over the Winter. And then it should fill in totally next year.

Btw, if your mower only goes up to 3.5-3.75 in max (guessing), there is a big difference between that range and 4 in., because you can let it grow out longer between mowings and still only remove 1/3.
Last edited by Green on Fri Aug 16, 2019 12:34 am, edited 1 time in total.
Front: Northern mix - mostly TTTF, KBG, TTPR. Back: Firecracker and Bullseye TTTF with America, Rugby 2, Bewitched KBG. Upper Side: Mostly TTPR, KBG. Lower Side: similar to front. Low-input: TF/FF, KBG, PR. Always seeding somewhere or fighting Triv.

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