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Old 07-29-2009, 06:14 AM
759 posts, read 3,390,740 times
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Because I'm a little worried about mine. It's obviously not the best grass for SA, but we have an almost 1/2 acre lot so re-sodding isn't in the plans right now. Our front yard looks okay as it has a lot of shade. Our backyard is a different story. It's big and gets a lot of direct sun. I think I read that St. Augustine *will* die and not just go dormant like Bermuda... just wondering how others' yards are holding up...
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Old 07-29-2009, 07:54 AM
Location: Mid South Central TX
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Since our lawn is (was) Bermuda, and our next door neighbor's lawn is SA, I have constantly battled it. They water daily (I don't). You'd think that the SA would figure out where the H2O is!!

Seriously, last summer I had a broken head on one zone, (that I did not notice), so, for most of the summer, that zone got very little water. The SA died back a bit, the Bermuda went dormant and came back.

I can't remember what the minimum weekly water is for SA to go dormant, not die, but IIRC, it's about 1/2".
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Old 07-29-2009, 07:56 AM
Location: San Antonio, TX
8,400 posts, read 20,164,026 times
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My back yard is St A and the third that isn't shaded is taking a hit, but it's still alive. Be sure to water it when you legally can--either on your watering day or handwatering. You may jack up your SAWS bill a little, and catch hell from the conserving types; but I didn't pay nearly a thousand dollars for grass just for it to die this summer!

Do not water first thing in the morning, if there is water on the blades when this intense sun hits it, it will kill the grass!

Oh, and pray for rain! Lots of it!
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Old 07-29-2009, 07:56 AM
Location: San Antonio, TX
556 posts, read 1,834,061 times
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Originally Posted by Lauren0319 View Post
.. just wondering how others' yards are holding up...
Hi Lauren! We too have wall to wall St. Augustine....and we are following the watering guidelines in place for Stage 2 water restrictions for SA residents using SAWS as their water provider. Thankfully, our front yard is doing well.....but I suspect my neighbors wonder if we're cheating, but hand watering has always been a favorite past time of mine - we have no in ground sprinkler system, so it's either a hose/sprinkler on our 'day' during designated times - or - me outside with the hose, enjoying the evening

If St. Augustine goes without water too long, it will die back. "If" we get any rain to speak of - even yards that look hopeless, will have 'sprigs' that will green up - and with diligent care - you can still bring your yard back....the difficulty is, as we approach the end of our summer and the St. Augustine goes dormant to some degree - as stressed as it is - this process will be a hard one on our yards.....

Good luck with yours....I suspect my post will not be popular, because we are a green spot on our street - but we are legally maintaining it - for now.....Stage 3 will bring a new challenge, should we go there.
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Old 07-29-2009, 08:18 AM
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We have a couple of areas of St A that the city put in when they did the sidewalks. Then they ran out of ST A and the rest is bermuda (area outside our fence, between fence/sidewalk and sidewalk/street).
That was ~ 1.5 yrs ago. The St A is pretty much dead, but then I don't water it because I don't like it Well, that is, I preferred to maintain the drought tolerant grasses for long-lasting effect, rather than this stretch. The area gets morning sun but is fairly well shaded from about noon on. The bermuda stretch, which gets more sun - some of it all day, some until about 3pm or so, has also not been watered and doesn't look pretty, but it's still alive (obvious by when it gets just a bit of rain, it greens up).

I'm considering ripping out all the grass there and putting in assorted drought tolerant/native plantings, but I think the bermuda will always survive....

My neighbor has the same St A the city put in, but in a much smaller area and in a lot of shade. His looks stunning, but he waters it daily in the early morning. Hand water, and I suspect he uses probably the same amount of water overall as the rest of us since it's such a small area.

I don't blame you for not wanting to re-sod. Our entire 1/4 acre was dirt and weeds, so we started from scratch and laid zoysia in shade and bermuda in sun with a bit of shadow turf in full shade (about 1/4 area still to be addressed - will be hardscape and garden). The zoysia has only been in since March, but I put it in right before a big rain, and now it's all doing well on once per week watering. I use a combo of a/c run-off and washing machine water to water the plants. btw- on the gardenweb forums, many of the Texas posters ranted and raved about how I'd regret zoysia and should plant St A. I could not justify the water requirements just to keep it alive, much less green. So far no regrets. So if you ever do decide to re-sod.......
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Old 07-29-2009, 08:27 AM
Location: Fort Worth/Dallas
11,878 posts, read 33,543,145 times
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I guess SA is intolerant of the heat because it has a shallow root system? My problem here in DFW (we have SA as well) is the back yard gets full sun, and with the huge amounts of rain we've been getting the grass needs to be mowed two times per week. But, you can't mow while it's raining, so the stuff is thicker than ticks on a hound dog and almost a foot high right now. The front yard (North side) where we get plenty of shade from an oak tree, is not growing nearly as fast.
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Old 07-29-2009, 08:29 AM
Location: Fort Worth/Dallas
11,878 posts, read 33,543,145 times
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Speaking of which, what is the best heat tolerant grass? Somewhere I saw an advertisement for this new type of grass that requires less than 1/2 the amount of water as even bermuda grass.

We may be getting our fair share of rain this year, but being a long time Texas resident, I know we'll have our severe droughts in the DFW again.
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Old 07-29-2009, 08:35 AM
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I believe buffalo grass is the most heat/drought tolerant, but it doesn't hold up well to heavy traffic. Bermuda does better with foot traffic.

I have an area that I have NEVER watered - it's a spot that's kind of a work area and will eventually be hardscaped. In one area I used to put an above ground pool for about 4 months over the summer which left a nice big landing-pad type ring. In the spring, the bermuda always came back there, nice and green with a few rains. Same with the rest of the bermuda area - we drive on part of it (haven't put in the driveway yet), and while this summer it's brown, every other year it's been nice and green just from what little rain we've gotten. The whole yard was also totally neglected for about 10 yrs prior, and still that bermuda comes back
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Old 07-29-2009, 08:36 AM
898 posts, read 2,620,258 times
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Our front yard looks okay, but most of the back yard is hopeless. I've been doing a lot of handwatering around the trees and shrubs and the house, too.

Our sprinkler guy came out yesterday and had to replace some of the heads, so hopefully things will look a little greener. He also had to raise some of the pop up ones because the grass was taller than the top of the head. I've been afraid to mow because of the heat, but he said to just put the mower on the highest level and go for it.

We have a huge back yard and I just don't want to go through the yearly SA die-off in the areas that do not get shade. I've decided to go the "assorted drought tolerant/native plantings" route and make large perimeter beds around the fence line. Of course I'll have to take into consideration the numerous dog trails, but hey, there was no grass on them anyway!
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Old 07-29-2009, 09:30 AM
Location: Charleston, SC
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No problems with the st augustine here. I've hand-watered heavily in the sunny areas at times. Actually I've gone for 2 weeks without using the sprinkler up until last night.
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