Weeds like the fertilizer but not my St Augustine

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I can't really find what the problem to my lawn. Here in Houston, we had a drought since the start of April and lasted through the end of August of this year. Last year I fertilized it with Expert Gardener 15-5-10 slow release it ended up hurting my St Augustine. This year I fertilized it with Scotts 32-0-10 every 2 months and it killed my lawn. I watered it 2x a week because of the drought. I am beginning to think that my lawn does not need or like fertilizer as some my neighbors don't fertilized theirs. I know I am doing something wrong but just wanted to ask the experts. Seeking advise or opinions. Thanks
 

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How much water with each session? Also, looks like there wasn't much grass there to begin with based on the pics?
 

Bud

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I normally fertilize my St Augustine twice in spring with Scotts for southern lawns, and once in the fall with a winter fertilizer. During this drought I have watered my lawn every other day. It looks nice, but I paid for it when my water bills showed up. I am in Katy. Never was put on a restrictive water schedule with my M.U.D. Heat started early this year and no rain to speak of until the last couple of weeks, and now we are getting soaked. Keep it mowed as high as my mower allows.
 
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Depends on how much fertilizer you're putting on, but if the grass isn't growing because of lack of water, it doesn't need fertilized every two months. Then again maybe just not enough water.
 
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Take a look at this info, from a Houston vendor. Skip down to the established lawn part. Two things stand out: amount of water (how to measure effectiveness) and type of fertilizer recommended without soil testing. You may also need to do a core aeration this fall.

 
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I’ve had St. Augustine grass in the lawns of few homes that I lived in over the years. I’ve never had to fertilize it and it’s always looked good. Chinch bugs, beetle grubs, and mole crickets can do a good bit of damage. Most grasses do not do well under oak, hickory, or pecan trees. Re-sprig the area and keep it watered until it begins to set down new runners. It will need about an inch of water per week.
Another thing, don’t mow it too short. Mow at 2 3/4” to 3”.
 
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Next time you fertilize, try using some Milorganite. Milorganite is a very safe, organic, non-burning fertilizer that will really green your grass and feed it at the same time. While it is only 6 percent nitrogen, it has a fair amount of iron in it for greening, and lots of microbes and mircornutrients to feed the soil. While it is recommended to use up to 4 times a year, I found that one application at about 1/4 -1/2 the recommended rate was fabulous and I did not have to fertilize again for 2 years.

Simply put, Milorganite is amazing.
 

Escape08

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I normally fertilize my St Augustine twice in spring with Scotts for southern lawns, and once in the fall with a winter fertilizer. During this drought I have watered my lawn every other day. It looks nice, but I paid for it when my water bills showed up. I am in Katy. Never was put on a restrictive water schedule with my M.U.D. Heat started early this year and no rain to speak of until the last couple of weeks, and now we are getting soaked. Keep it mowed as high as my mower allows.
Yes, I am using the same brand Scotts for Southern Lawn 32-0-10. It worked on the house I sold but it didn't worked on this house I bought. I think I am mowing it too low.
 

Escape08

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Depends on how much fertilizer you're putting on, but if the grass isn't growing because of lack of water, it doesn't need fertilized every two months. Then again maybe just not enough water.
Yes, it was hot this summer 100 degrees almost daily. I watered it 2x a week for 30 - 45 mins in late afternoon.
 

Escape08

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Take a look at this info, from a Houston vendor. Skip down to the established lawn part. Two things stand out: amount of water (how to measure effectiveness) and type of fertilizer recommended without soil testing. You may also need to do a core aeration this fall.

Thanks, how did I missed this on my Google search. Thanks, this is valuable info. Bookmarked (y)
 

Escape08

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I’ve had St. Augustine grass in the lawns of few homes that I lived in over the years. I’ve never had to fertilize it and it’s always looked good. Chinch bugs, beetle grubs, and mole crickets can do a good bit of damage. Most grasses do not do well under oak, hickory, or pecan trees. Re-sprig the area and keep it watered until it begins to set down new runners. It will need about an inch of water per week.
Another thing, don’t mow it too short. Mow at 2 3/4” to 3”.
Yes, that's what I noticed to some of my neighbors as well not fertilizing their lawn. Maybe, I don't see them do it, but I talked to my next door neighbor & he says he never did. Also, the sidewalk St Augustine grass on public streets never got fertilized as well looks better compared to my lawn.
 

Escape08

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Next time you fertilize, try using some Milorganite. Milorganite is a very safe, organic, non-burning fertilizer that will really green your grass and feed it at the same time. While it is only 6 percent nitrogen, it has a fair amount of iron in it for greening, and lots of microbes and mircornutrients to feed the soil. While it is recommended to use up to 4 times a year, I found that one application at about 1/4 -1/2 the recommended rate was fabulous and I did not have to fertilize again for 2 years.

Simply put, Milorganite is amazing.
Yes, I see this brand at Walmart, Home Depot & Lowes, even Ace Hardware has it. I will buy this next week. I see them at Youtube being recommended as well by lawn experts. Thanks for the info
 
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I can't really find what the problem to my lawn. Here in Houston, we had a drought since the start of April and lasted through the end of August of this year. Last year I fertilized it with Expert Gardener 15-5-10 slow release it ended up hurting my St Augustine. This year I fertilized it with Scotts 32-0-10 every 2 months and it killed my lawn. I watered it 2x a week because of the drought. I am beginning to think that my lawn does not need or like fertilizer as some my neighbors don't fertilized theirs. I know I am doing something wrong but just wanted to ask the experts. Seeking advise or opinions. Thanks
Fertilizing in a dry season? Not a prudent practice.
High mean temperatures, less humidity creates potential on vegetation surface increasing evaporation rate. Fertilizing at these conditions will definitely increase respiration rate to an alarming level which will further increase susceptibility to various diseases. A mulch will help bring down the temperature and minimize evaporation loss. No need for fertilizers at all during these stressful conditions. It's water loss that you need to worry about.

Update: For the title, weeds have advanced water absorption mechanisms than regular plants. They are parasitic species that release chemicals in the soil to suppress other nearby plants from uptaking nutrients and compete them for water. They are exceptional in this regard. A mulch will help a lot.
 
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4WD

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I use only lawn food with no weed killers. It has been a tough year for grass this year.
Same - liquid hose type late spring … A dose of iron also hose sprayer …
My St Augustine is very nice - but it has taken some watering this year …
I do get dollar weeds - but fight them directly with a pump up sprayer …
 
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FZ1

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Same - liquid hose type late spring … A dose of iron also hose sprayer …
My St Augustine is very nice - but it has taken some watering this year …
I do get dollar weeds - but fight them directly with a pump up sprayer …
Don't have alot of weeds + the weeds are green just like the grass, so, I just, mow 'em.
 
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What kind of sprinkler were you watering with? If just a hose end sprinkler, 30-45 minutes is not going to cut it. If you have an irrigation system then that’s probably enough water.
 
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I don't have any experience with St. Augustine turf and we don't have enough information about the soil conditions (soil test, nutrients, pH), fertilizer rates, actually water amount applied, etc..

For some reason, the OP's pictures are sending me vibes that the soil is compacted like concrete. Maybe the small amount of water applied just dissolves the fertilizer barely enough, it does not penetrate to the root zone (3 " +") and instead the salts kill the grass. Just a WAG based on not enough information.
 
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