St. Augustine is a warm weather grass. St. Augustine will lose color with colder temperatures usually during late December through March. It requires irrigation to produce a strong healthy lawn. There are many varieties of St. Augustine grass. Some are shade tolerant such as palmetto, seville, and bitter blue. Others require full sun like Floratam while others are susceptible to fungus in the spring and fall when temperatures are favorable for development. St. Augustine has a poor tolerance for walking, pets, and driving.
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Many lawns have areas of wild grass present. These areas are much more noticeable after periods of cold or frost, which send them into varying stages of short-term dormancy. They will typically stay brown until the temperatures are consistently warm, usually around mid April. They will grow vigorously with warm temps, rainfall, and fertilization. The fertilizer applications we apply, makes all things grow. This includes weeds and wild grass.
During active, heavy growth period from April to October, you may only notice wild grass if you spend a lot of time examining your yard (which we encourage), or if you have a trained eye. Depending upon the specific wild grass you have, these may have a slight color or texture difference as compared to your St. Augustine grass. A small area of wild grass may quickly enlarge during high growth periods. It is important to keep the surrounding St. Augustine grass healthy and vigorous to help slow the infiltration. Wild grass produces high quantities of seed and may spread to other areas via wind, water, animals, or your lawn mower.
A few years ago, the State of Florida removed from use the only product (ASULOX) that was available for control of one of the wild grasses we encounter - crabgrass. It is no longer to be used on either residential or commercial lawns and is only available for sod farm use, golf courses, and pine plantations.
This leaves really only two options. Leave the wild grass alone, understand they will look brown and unsightly during cold periods and gradually improve as temperatures warm. Or, we are happy to apply roundup to kill off these areas entirely. After two weeks, these areas need to be removed and re-sodded, while remembering that re-infestation is possible and probable to some extent down the line.
Florida Landscape - Lawns
Bahia grass is a very poor choice for a residential lawn. Bahia grass has an open growth habit that allows weeds to fill in on a regular basis. It is the least expensive grass for sodding lawns, though it has a short life span, typically two to five years in most cases. Bahia grass is also susceptible to serious damage by mole crickets. We do not recommend bahia grass for residential lawns. We also do not offer weed control on bahia grass because of its poor tolerance to weed control products, which may cause damage or injury to the grass and speed its decline.