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New St. Augustine sod issues and help

Sean O'Neill
6 years ago
last modified: 6 years ago


I live in the Dallas area and am a new homeowner. The previous home owners installed a new st Augustine lawn in the front last summer/early fall and the lawn looked immaculate (health wise) when summer rolled around this year. The lawn slowly started to thin out and seemly die and I thought it was due to the amount of shade it gets every day. I have two 80 year old trees (Sycamore and Catalpa) in my front yard that cover the yard during the majority of the day, but it continually gets indirect sun as rays of light find their way through the canopy (see first picture). Neighbors and family have st Augustine in heavily shaded areas just like mine and it thrives in their yards. So I was very perplexed and continued watering per the Texas A&M guidelines: . I think I failed to take into account the amount of shad the front yard gets and over watered it causing fungus.

I had to replace our concrete driveway about two months ago as the old one was 50 years old and non functional. this construction basically killed half my front lawn due to the amount of foot traffic, machinery and dust that accumulated.

I needed to reinstall grass where this occurred on half my front yard, so I ordered some palmetto st Augustine and installed it promptly a month ago. Before installing the grass I added a little of topsoil from home depot and evened out some areas. I wet the area before installing the grass and put a starter fertilizer out. I watered the new grass twice a day for 30 mintutes in the morning (8am) and early evening. I think I watered it way too much post installation in the shaded areas which caused a fungus to form (either brown patch or take all). I installed palmetto StA grass at the same time on the side of our house that gets a lot direct sunlight (5 hours or so) and that side looks great with a few spots showing signs of fungus but overall looks much more healthy.

I read this post from a couple years and realized some of my mistakes: 

I probably watered too much in the shaded areas and did not even use a fungicide when first applying the sod. over the past week the shaded front yard has looked worse and worse so I went out and got cornmeal from a local feed store and applied it to my lawn. I also used Actinovate after I applied the cornmeal as I read this was a good curative/preventative combination with cornmeal to use on sod. Waiting to see what the results are.

Does my front lawn need to be scrapped and should I just reinstall new sod with the proper watering regiment and this time apply a fungicide upon installation? It's looking pretty beat up:

you can really see the difference between the new sod in the sun vs the sod in the shade. All these pictures were taken at 1pm. The brown area actually gets an hour or two of direct sunlight in the morning and late afternoon, but the rest of the day it's under spotty sunlight like this picture below.

Here are roots I pulled up the other day for evidence:

My back yard looks pretty healthy. There was one spot where we removed a bush and put palmetto over it during at the same time as the new areas photo'd above and this fungus looking issue is occuring in that spot too, but the surrounding grass looks totally fine where it was already established.

any help would be greatly appreciated.

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