02-22-2011 03:25 PM
02-22-2011 06:22 PM
Hi Florida Mike,
Welcome to The Home Depot Community. Thank you for your question. This is Ricks Picks. I work in the Garden Department for The Home Depot. Just because you have weeds popping up should not cause your St. Augustine to have any stress. There are two things that St. Augustine grass love and that is sun and water. Since your neighbors grass is looking good and yours is not, what is your neighbor doing that you are not? You mentioned that you put a fertilizer on you St. Augustine. The Bonus S from Scotts is a great fertilizer for the St. Augustine grass and should be applied in the fall, winter and in the spring. Remember, when you put fertilizer on a lawn, you want to be sure that the grass has been hydrated sufficiently before you put the fertilizer down. A good rule of thumb to follow is to apply at least one inch of water to your lawn, the day before you plan on adding fertilizer to your lawn.
To make a weed and feed effective, another good tip to follow is to have the lawn damp at the time of application to allow the weed killing particles to stick to the weed blades. The next step is to apply the fertilizer with a drop spreader. This will allow for maximum coverage of the weed blades since the drop spreader will drop the material just above the weed blades. In my area, it is recommended that you do not water for at least 24 hours after the weed and feed application. This will allow the weed killing particles to soak into the weed blades, having more of an effect on them. Always follow the instructions on the label.
Is your lawn 100% St. Augustine? The Scotts Bonus S is not meant to be used on bahiagrass, bermudagrass, bluegrass, fine fescue, bentgrass, tall fescue or dichondra. Check out this Scotts web site for more information:
Cold temperatures are another issue with St. Augustine grass. Your location looks to be close to the beach so as long as you have not had temperatures that have dipped into the 40’s for a prolonged period of time, you’re St. Augustine grass should be doing fine. I have St. Augustine in my back yard but I am on the West Coast and my St. Augustine goes partially dormant during the winter but it is a vibrant green during the warm summer months. Since your neighbor has a nice green St. Augustine lawn and you do not, it might just be fertilization and a watering issue. I would pay him a visit and have a chat with him to see what he is doing that you are not, just a suggestion.
When you mow your St. Augustine, how short do you cut it? Do you use a reel type mower or a rotary mower? If you have your mower setting too low, you risk scalping you grass and with a bright warm sun that day and the next, you have the risk of burning your lawn. Try to keep your St. Augustine grass at about 1 1/2 inches to no more that 2 inches thick. If you let it grow any higher and then cut it back, the grass below may not have had enough sun and be yellow and not be able to withstand the hot sun. Are the blades on your lawn mower sharpe? Dull blades will actually "rip" the grass rather than cut it. Check out the tips of your St. Augustine. Do they have a smooth cut or a ragged cut? That is your homework to follow up on.
Thank you again for your question. I hope that I have given you some helpful suggestions. Be sure to take some before and some after pictures of your lawn and share them with us.
I’m a Home Depot Store Associate, trained and authorized to help people on the Internet.