Work your way up to a 4” mowing height gradually, but continue to mow every 4-5 days after dethatching to keep encouraging new growth. Thatch in St. Augustine Grass. Dethatching Options, How To Clean Up After Dethatching: A Practical Guide. Thatch is a layer of organic material, like stems and dead roots, that accumulates in a patch of grass. You may even be able to avoid renting a power dethatcher after a growing season of healthy upkeep. Compacted soil will make it difficult for dead plant material to break down and incorporate into the topsoil, so take a moment after dethatching to collect some soil samples and get a soil test at your local extension office. Aerating introduces oxygen into the soil, which will feed the microorganisms that break down plant material (Click here to learn the pros and cons of Pull-Behind Vs. When excessive, thatch causes serious problems in Florida lawns. A thatch layer provides protection against moisture evaporating from the soil. Lots of people with SA grass would happily trade their issues for your thatch… 4. RELATED: St Augustine Grass Seed Doesn't Exist | Best Alternatives. Thatch, a thick growth of decaying grass blades, needs removal if it has caused brown patches and is over 1/2-inch thick. Generally the easiest method to remove a heavily thatched Saint Augustine lawn will be to bring in a small digging machine to dig the grass out and remove the lawn waste material. De-thatching Can Harm Creeping Grasses Left to its own devices, St. Augustine grass … Irrigate your lawn the day before you rake. The total annual rate depends upon desired quality, length of the growing season, recovery from traffic and a number of other factors. If you must bag the clippings, consider composting them for use in the landscape. Implement a soil-improvement plan after dethatching. Good morning,I have a customer who has st. Augustine grass. Overgrown thatch is often characterized by large, unhealthy brown areas of the lawn. Overgrown thatch is a common problem in St. Augustine grass lawns. Mow every 5-14 days to maintain the proper height. Thatch is accumulated organic matter that is persistent, meaning it doesn’t decompose as fast as it builds. Thatch is the decomposing layer of organic matter like grass shoots and stems that collects between the soil and your lawn’s grass blades, and it can choke your grass by limiting its access to necessary nutrients, air, and water. usmc – posted 29 April 2009 05:19. Grass clippings decompose quickly and return significant amounts of nutrients to the soil. You could do the trimming at regular intervals, but the recommended frequency is once a week during the active months of growing. Remove some of the soil from the lawn around the thatch by using a … Floralawn: Has poor shade and cold tolerance; performs best in mild environments; Common Issues in St. Augustine Grass. Rental Aerators). But, most people don’t recognize a thatch problem until it is severely restricting growth. Thatch is acidic, so if needed, an application of agricultural limestone will help prevent the development of thatch … Using a rotary lawn mower, lower the mowing height so that … St. Augustine grass is a popular warm-season grass in the south that makes a great turf grass for your lawns. Thatch breaks down easier if the grass clippings are small, so use a mulching blade and mow twice per week, never cutting off more than 1/3rd of the growth. 2. Continue to mow after dethatching. Thatch is an excellent … Over-fertilization is one of the biggest culprits in thatch build up. Use a mulching blade, and follow the 1/3rd rule. St. Augustine grass provides a lush green lawn and is recommended for U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 8 through 10. The thatch in Saint Augustine lawns has always been a concern for owners of this grass type. Over-fertilization is one of the biggest culprits in thatch build up. St Augustine dethatching solves will solve this issue. If you cut through and remove a majority of the runners above ground, the grass will regenerate from the rhizomes down below. Dethatching is generally paired with a very low mowing height, but St. Augustine … St. Augustine Thatch or What? I'm hoping you guys do or someone does that's in my area. November 28, 2012 // 0. Field Thatch Layer. When excessive, thatch causes serious problems in Florida lawns. St Augustine Lawn Lives Above Ground. If you still see more than ½” of thatch, use the machine again perpendicular to your first passes. Click Here to see the latest deals (link To Amazon). The best soil for St. Augustine grass is one that is well-drained (like sandy soil) with pH ranges from 5.0 to 8.5. As the height of the Saint Augustine lawn thatch increases, it will continue to grow new runners and leaf on top of the old dead or still living runners, continually increasing its thatch … A power rake is the most aggressive dethatching machine, and it will probably destroy your St. Augustine lawn. Thatch Removal: If a thatch layer becomes a problem, use a dethatcher or vertical mower to remove it. Thatch is acidic, so if needed, an application of agricultural limestone will help prevent the development of thatch and reduce soil acidity. In south Florida, the optimal time for establishment is late fall, winter, or spring. A: Experts say that stray St. Augustine runners won't root in dry soil, compacted soil or too much thatch (the nondecomposed organic matter between the soil surface and the base of the blades). Examples provided of tested products are actual products owned, tested, and used regularly by the author. And You must know how to get rid of thatch from St Augustine grass. St Augustine grass is one of several grasses that can create thatch. If the turf seems to be growing directly in the soil and if the thatch is less than 1/2 inch thick, don’t use a dethatcher. Treat for weeds after dethatching. Floratam St. Augustine grass was released by the Florida and Texas Agricultural Experiment Stations in 1972 as a SAD virus and chinch bug resistant selection. For St. Augustinegrass, consider dethatching when the thatch layer is greater than ½ inch. If you have seen my previous blog, you will recognize this site. Therefore, if you use a power dethatcher, you will end up removing most of the top growth, which is how it spreads and fills in bare patches of soil. By its nature, St. Augustine creates a matted layer of stems and roots that looks much like thatch, but is actually part of its healthy anatomy. The thatch in Saint Augustine lawns has always been a concern for owners of this grass type. Mow your lawn short (some dethatchers come as attachments to your mower, so you can do it in one step). Usually, more than one half inch of thatch on general turf areas decreases the turf vigor … Delmar has a tendency to develop heavy thatch. Thatch in St. Augustine Grass. Improve soil quality. St. Augustine grass should only be watered once it is dry and showing signs of drought, typically every 5- 10 days. Nutrient Management . Zoysia grass was mowed at 2.25 inches. The reason this is such a touchy subject is that you should dethatch St. Augustine before you need to use a machine, which can destroy the grass. Thatch is a very common of layer of decomposed plant material that shows up in turf grass such as Augustine grass. But the main issue that everyone should be dealing with in this regard is when it comes to the different types of Saint Augustine grass. Removing thatch … Welcome to Saint Augustine Lawn Care. Thatching in Saint Augustine grass is discussed frequently on this site, and that’s mainly because it is a real trait which is prevalent in all St Augustine grasses that some people may like, while others may not prefer, this thatch is also inclusive of the new soft Saint Augustine grasses too. Unlike corporate website companies, the authors on this website regularly use many of the tips and recommendations provided in their own garden and lawncare. Typically, much more than 1 half inch of thatch on basic turf regions decreases the turf vigor by restricting movement of air, water and fertilizers in to the soil. Get your lawn off to the best start by beginning preventative maintenance and providing the nutrition your grass needs to heal. P. phdibart LawnSite Member. She has an A.A.S. To control thatch, follow these recommendations: Mow at recommended height and frequency. Skip to content. It's really no big deal, the grass will grow back, trust me, I know. St. Augustine Grass St. Augustine grass is extremely popular in this country along the Gulf Coast, as well as in Hawaii. As beautiful as this grass is, it is still susceptible to brown patches that can appear in early spring and late fall. For top-dressing a St. … Legacy post . Most thatch is from dead grass clippings that build up throughout the summer, but dead leaves, pine needles, and other plant material can contribute to a thatch layer. Thriving Yard is an affiliate for companies including Amazon Associates and earn a commission on qualifying purchases. A very thick thatch can hinder your St. Augustine grass from growing quickly, as the stolons need room to spread and breath – also just above the soil. Mar 06, 2015 Lawn Care. A small site where one man shares his love for and knowledge of Saint Augustine grass lawns. Some fast-growing grasses like St. Augustine grass and Kentucky bluegrass are more prone to thatch than other varieties, especially when grown in compacted or heavy clay soil. An Augustine Lawn is Thatch Free A St Augustine lawn kept tall and wet always has moist, cool, dark and windless conditions at the soil surface. Delmar: A dwarf St. Augustine grass that has good shade tolerance, but does well in full sun too. If the thatch is under 1/2” thick, it is actually beneficial for your lawn. Begin fertilizing 3 weeks after the grass turns green and whe… Thread starter phdibart; Start date Apr 19, 2017; 1; 2; 3; Next. Here are tips for helping you to keep the St. Augustine grass in good shape Regular mowing It is important to be consistent with your mowing for this St. Augustine grass type than many other species. This will deprive the new grass of both nutrients from the soil as well as a reliable water supply. Therefore, if you use a power dethatcher, you will end up removing most of the top growth, which is how it spreads and fills in bare patches of soil. Delta Shade: As the name states, this grass has a good shade tolerance. For the next several weeks, the grass will attempt to heal and fill in bare spots. The tall canopy shades and cools the soil and blocks the wind. Thatch is accumulated organic matter that is persistent, meaning it doesn’t decompose as fast as it builds. Your lawn looks pretty good, I personally wouldn't mess with it b/c of perceived thatch issues. Once a Saint Augustine lawn reaches this state in its life - it must be accepted by the homeowner that some Saint Augustine lawns may have a limited lifespan, and once that lifespan has been reached, it will be time to remove the lawn completely and plant a new lawn in its place. Dethatching: Too much thatch build-up can harm your St. Augustine grass anything over ½ inch spells trouble. If it comes up easily, you can rake it into piles and remove it. Most sod-forming grasses spread through above-ground stolons and below-ground rhizomes. This layer of organic matter is caused by excessive mow clippings, leaves, and other debris that settle and rest on your lawn. A slightly acidic pH will still be great for faster growth and spreading. See Can You Dethatch St. Augustine Grass… (sort-of) 3. Annual aeration can help manage thatch, but because St. Augustine does not have rhizomes, the aerator must be set to remove fewer cores so that it can fill in before summer. As long as it does not get thicker than 1/2 of an inch, thatch actually contributes to a lawn health. A small amount of thatch can be beneficial as it gives the turf and soil nutrients as it breaks down, but too much thatch will prevent your soil from receiving air and moisture from rain or watering. Use a core aerator in the spring. Thanks for visiting, I hope some of these lawn care tips may be of use on your own home lawns. It’s not nearly as damaging to the stolons, and your lawn will recover quicker. 2016-05-11 . The layer of dead plants that stay on top of the soil is called thatch. Although St. Augustine grass can be planted year-round in warmer regions of Florida, the best time to plant any warm-season grass is during its time of active growth for quickest establishment. If your lawn has a substantial thatch buildup (more than a few inches) it may be time to start over. Whatever you say. Saint Augustine thatch gets very high over time and especially when its not managed properly. St. Augustine grass is one of the most popular grasses used for lawns in South Florida. Dethatching Options. If not properly controlled and managed throughout the life of the Saint Augustine lawn, it will continue to raise and grow higher as the years progress. During dormancy, St. Augustine grass will cease growing almost completely and aboveground growth … To try and revive your lawn, dethatch it to allow easy nutrient supply when feeding. Thatch can be an ongoing problem that keeps your lawn from living up to its potential. It is superior to Texas common St. Augustine grass in its tolerance to downy mildew, gray leaf spot diseases and brown patch fungus. Dethatching works best when the clippings are moist. After dethatching, your lawn will be stressed and in shock. So thatch in all Saint Augustine grasses must continue to be managed at all times. It looks like a light brown layer. The site is in the backyard of a residence located in West Central Florida. However, what they’re really advising against is using a power rake, not the act of removing thatch. In the case of insects, the Southern chinch bug is the most economically important pest affecting St. … The main cause of thatch is dead grass but other plant materials, pine needles, and so on contribute to making the layer of thatch… What you might not realize is that encouraging your St. Augustine grass … Like compost, a thatch layer will only decompose if it is moist, warm, and aerated. Nitrogen fertilizer application on St. Augustine can range from 3 to 5 pounds of nitrogen per 1,000 square feet per year. Eventually, in some lawns, the Saint Augustine thatch can become so thick that the roots of the new runners will no longer reach the soil, and will grow inside the old thatch instead. Like; Save; lou_spicewood_tx. It is vigorous, establishes a ground cover rapidly, and has superior color. If you already have a few inches of thatch buildup, you can encourage decomposition by changing your maintenance practices. The thatch layer in St Augustine grass is one in every of its greatest drawbacks. A power rake will cut into the grass and down into the soil to break up thick layers of thatch. link to How to Keep Crabgrass Out of Flower Beds, link to 5 Tips for Creating Beautiful, Low-Maintenance Flower Beds, Click here to learn the pros and cons of Pull-Behind Vs. More About. Saint Augustine Grass. I do not own a lawn service company, and none in my area seem to know what they are doing. Thatch St. Augustine grass (Stenotaphrum secundatum) is a warm weather, subtropical grass which can be found throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico, South America, western and southern Africa, the Caribbean, the Hawaiian Islands, and Oceania. However, if it’s deep and compacted, you may have to rake up what you can, and then go over the lawn again with a mower. The key to a thriving yard is healthy soil. Recommended Next Read: Will St. Augustine Choke Out Bermuda Grass? The main difference between a dethatcher and a power rake is that a dethatcher is for prevention, while a power rake is a solution. Lush, colorful flower beds increase curb appeal while attracting bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds. Of course, it’s possible to dethatch any lawn. Thatch is a layer of partially decomposed plant material that builds up on the soil’s surface. St. Augustine does not handle power-raking, but you can use a hand rake each spring to remove an unhealthy thatch layer. Once your grass has grown enough to need to be mowed, it can handle dethatching. Don’t worry- even if you have a sizable thatch buildup, there are ways to remove it without completely destroying your lawn. Dethatching should be done once your lawn has broken dormancy and begun to actively grow. Thatch is not an on-going enemy like we’ve all heard. The best way to prevent the need for a power dethatcher is to use a hand thatch rake (link to Amazon). Breeding for cold tolerance. Soil pH problems can be another. Product recommendations not personally owned are based on the author’s knowledge of the company, product, reliability, and reputation. It will be a machine or attachment that uses tines to pull thatch up from the surface. Power raking is quite labor-intensive, and large thatch layers generally sit on top of compacted soil. Thatch is an almost impenetrable mat of tangled, intertwined grass and other material on the ground surface. Dethatching St Augustine Grass Thatch is really a layer of partially decomposed plant material that builds up around the soil’s surface. It is such a prolific nuisance that there are multiple sprays and chemical control... 5 Tips for Creating Beautiful, Low-Maintenance Flower Beds. Brown patch fungus unsurprisingly causes large brown patched in the lawn. Sydney has over 15 years of experience in lawn maintenance, landscape design, and organic gardening. Our goal is to increase this grass’ adaptability area by improving its cold tolerance. The thatch can restrict root development and create an attractive environment for insects and other pests. It’s loved for its coarse blades and fast growth rate which helps prevent weeds from taking over. Using a de-thatcher when it is not needed can hurt the grass more than it helps. Thatch is a layer of dead and living turfgrass that develops between your lawn and the actual soil. Use dethatching rakes, core aeration, and healthy maintenance practices to keep thatch at a manageable height. June 13, 2019. Use a slow-release fertilizer that is equal parts nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium so your lawn can begin recovering. Oddly, dethatching St. Augustine grass is a hotly-debated question in the horticulture world. Comprised of leaves, stems and roots – some living, some dead – thatch forms as a natural part of turf’s growing process. For best results, use a dethatcher with a 2- or 3-inch blade spacing set at a ¼-inch depth after the turf has fully greened-up. Now that you have removed that layer, water will evaporate very quickly until the new grass fills in. A thatch rake can be used during most of the growing season since it does not harm the stolons, but you still want to leave enough time for a small layer to build up before dormancy. As the height of the Saint Augustine lawn thatch increases, it will continue to grow new runners and leaf on top of the old dead or still living runners, continually increasing its thatch height. No Comments. A little amount of thatch is okay but a lot of thatch is not good for St Augustine grass. in Landscape Design/Organic Produce Production from the Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture. When treating your lawn for fungus, avoid using nitrogen fertilizer, as it encourages fast growth. This site is a participant in affiliate programs such as Amazon Associates and earns from qualifying purchases. If the thatch in a grass … Overgrown thatch is often characterized by large, unhealthy brown areas of the lawn. St. Augustine thatch. Most hardware stores use “dethatcher” and “power rake” interchangeably, so make sure you don’t accidentally rent a power rake when you’re looking for a dethatcher. It is this mat of stems and stiff canopy that is often – and wrongly – called thatch. If you take off a considerable amount of top growth and cut the remaining growth to 1”, your lawn will have little chance for survival. Again, wait until your lawn has actively started growing. Making the problem worse is when much of the water which is applied to the lawn no longer reaches into the soil and instead stays trapped inside the thatch layer. St. Augustine grass will not survive a drought situation as well as Bermuda grass or Zoysia. Thatch is the layer of dead plant material that settles on top of the soil. This site is planted with the warm season grass Stenotaphrum secundatum, or St. Augustinegrass. This layer of organic matter is caused by … Here is the video mentioned where I talk about the growth habits also: https://youtu.be/HsBs_nmrQEo In fact, Saint Augustine thatch can easily reach heights of up to 10 or 15 inches after many years. It has resistance to chinch bugs. Nitrogen fertilizer application on St. Augustine can range from 3 to 5 pounds of nitrogen per 1,000 square feet per year. Run the dethatcher across your lawn as you would a mower, and pick up the dislodged plant material. Apr 19, 2017 #1 I'm at a loss with my lawn, so please bare with me. Dethatching: Too much thatch build-up can harm your St. Augustine grass anything over ½ inch spells trouble. Use the hand rake to pull the thatch layer up to the surface. De-thatching will not work because this process removes the entire top layer of thatch from the lawn, and requires the lawn to repair and regrow from its underground runners.