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Fill dead St. Augustine patches with something else?

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by ryanin909 on April 20, 2006 08:36 AM
I have St. Augustine in my back yard with a fairly large section that died off. That section is down to bare dirt.

I was thinking about throwing some seed out in the dead area so my lawn will look half-way decent for the summer. My question is, what type of seed would be appropriate?

Ideally, I'd rather have something that didn't take over the whole yard. Instead, if the St. Augustine started doing well it would take the dead zone over again...

I live in La Verne, CA (91750)


by johnCT on April 20, 2006 10:21 PM
I would first find out what caused that area to die off. Is it very shaded? Insect problems? More info please.

There are very few, if any, warm season turf varieties that aren't "invasive". Bermuda, zoysia, St. Aug or centipede are all spreading varieties of warm season turf that can be invasive if not kept in check. It is simply their nature to spread.

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John - Zone 6
by ryanin909 on April 21, 2006 01:54 AM
My theory was that it was some sort of disease. It seemed to start in one area and appears to be spreading. The area isn't terribly shaded, but during the winter it's not especially sunny either.

Yesterday I was checking on sprinkler coverage, and it seems like that might be an issue. It just doesn't seem like it was designed very well. Some areas get soggy, while others are nearly dry!

As for the grass varieties you listed, which could potentially fill in the area fastest? Now that the sun is shifting, that part of the lawn should have sun a good part of the day.

Way too much to learn! I'd love to just bring in a professional, but now's a bad time when it comes to money :/

Thank you!!
by Jiffymouse on April 21, 2006 08:54 AM
bermuda would be fastest, but most folks in CA don't like bermuda because once you get it, you have it. period.

i'd top dress the spot with some potting soil (don't work it in), and then spread more st. augustine seeds. spread hay or straw over the seeds after sowing to discourage birds from feasting.
by johnCT on April 21, 2006 07:58 PM
Your county extension office may be able to help you identify a disease problem by sending them plant tissue samples and having a soil test may identify a pH or nutrient deficiency of some sort that may be present. Can you post a close up picture? Its hard to say which variety would be fastest, but using bermuda to fill in a spot in a stand of st aug turf would look horrible. They are two very differently textured turfgrasses. I wouldn't go spreading potting soil and re-seeding either. It may be the easiest thing to do but it doesn't fix the problem. SOMETHING caused the grass not to thrive in that area.

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John - Zone 6
by Christianc on April 21, 2006 10:34 PM
I had that issue and just plugged and plugged it!!! The plugs are growing and spreading now...after just a week or so.

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My little one is growing like a weed!
by jonni13 on April 21, 2006 10:41 PM
Hi Ryanin909 from another Californian. No matter what you end up using as far as grass, you will need to fix your watering coverage. That could clear up the whole problem.
You have gotten good advise from everyone, now I'm going to add my favorite solution. I use ryegrass as a patch. It is really quick and isn't as invasive as the creeping kind of grasses (although it does self-sow a bit into your flower beds, etc.It is easy to pull.) I like the potting soil as a starter and seed super heavy so the birds leaves me some. If the Augutine is going to grow back, it will. You can also take plugs from your own augustine and help that along. But it needs to stay damp to work; seeds and plugs.

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