Why won't grass grow?

Asked October 4, 2013, 12:10 PM EDT

The San Augustine grass died from root disease in my backyard. The area is half sun and half shade from a large oak tree that drops lots of acorns in the fall. In the shaded area I gave up and spread mulch. In the sunny area I planted flats of Burmuda grass. I know that the grass from the same pallet was planted at another house and it thrived. MIne is 95% dead. I watered it when planted last spring and thru the summer. We did a soil analysis (from CLC Labs) before planting and it showed above normal for Alkaline (7.7%) and surplus range for potassium and calcium. Magnesium was within normal ranges. We applied recommended fertilizer. I feel like there is something wrong with the soil. Any suggestions for further testing?

Collin County Texas

1 Response

Based on the information your provided, it may be possible that you has a disease, such as take-all root rot, that affects both St. Augustine and Bermuda. It this is the case, the fungal disease might have affect the bermuda and prevent it from establishing. You can apply peat moss at a rate of 1 bale per 1000 sqft to control the fungal disease, or you can use a fungicide labeled for lawn diseases.

With that said, most lawn and landscape problems are due to cultural or environmental problems. For instance, over watering or under watering is typically the cause of most plant problems, and the poor establishment of sod. Watering to establish the new sod, depends heavily on the environment, i.e, temperature, so the frequency of watering should be adjusted accordingly. In addition, when watering new sod, you would water daily the first week or two, then taper off the watering gradually. That is all depends when you plant, too. Earlier in the year, requires less water, later in the spring or summer uses more.water.

Based on the information provided, I would recommend applying the peat moss in March of next year, and either re-sodding or seeding, common bermudagrass. Bermudagrass requires at least 6 to 8 hours of full sun per day. If you have less than that I would recommend a shade tolerant grass like Zoysia.