Q: Most of my St. Augustine lawn looks dead. Will I have to replace all of it?
Q: Most of my St. Augustine lawn looks dead but some areas have some green patches still showing especially near my house and under my trees. How will I know if my grass is completely dead? Will I have to replace all of it?
A: It is still too early to tell what part of our lawns will recover. Temperatures this winter were in the teens in most of our area on numerous occasions this winter. Therefore, I suspect a large percentage of our lawns will show at least some freeze damage. Because of our harsher than normal winter some landscapes may take even longer to recover but we need to be patient. The end of March or early April will probably be the best time to determine how much of the lawn will recover. Once new growth occurs we will be better able to decide how much of the lawn needs to be replaced.
March is the first month we generally fertilize our lawns but we might consider waiting until the middle or end of March before we apply the appropriate 15-0-15 fertilizers. The ratio of nitrogen to potassium should be 1:1 or 2:1. Avoid using weed and feed products as the nitrogen levels are too high compared to potassium. In addition, it is better to spot treat weeds rather than broadcast the herbicide throughout the whole lawn. Remember 25-30% of the nitrogen in our lawn fertilize should be slow release. Read the fertilizer label carefully to determine if the product you purchase contains the correct amount of slow release fertilizer. As consumers, we should be requesting these types of fertilizers at the garden centers we frequent.