Now that your lawn is starting to green up for spring you may be noticing some dead spots from the winter we just had. Your St. Augustine lawn probably didn’t appreciate the cold temperatures or the lack of moisture due to watering restrictions.
Before you reseed or get sod replaced, I just want to throw out an idea for a grass that requires less water and maintenance. I’m talking about Palisades Zoysiagrass. This grass has a blade width in between Bermuda and St. Augustine and grows laterally more than upwards.
Palisades Zoysiagrass, developed by the Texas A&M Agricultural Extension, is:
“[A]n aggressive, dark green, medium-coarse textured lawn grass. In addition to being low maintenance, Palisades is best known for its tolerance to low light conditions, low water use, excellent cold hardiness and its rapid recuperative ability.”
In other words, this grass is shade and heat tolerant, very cold hardy, and doesn’t mind dry conditions. It establishes and regrows quickly, retains color into the winter, and is an excellent substitute for the St. Augustine grass that is so prevalent in our yards. St. Augustine is a popular grass but with new watering restrictions in most municipalities it may not survive the summer any better than the winter.
Zoysia is also tougher in other ways. You can cut it lower than most grasses, down to ½ inch and it doesn’t need much in the way of fertilizer. Mowing frequency is about every 7-10 days in summer and every 10-14 days in winter. And it will easily out-compete weeds.
Grown from seed, plugs, or sod, Palisades Zoysia has been available since 1996, giving it plenty of time to prove itself in lawns and on golf and other sports courses. While sod or plugs can take up to 2 years to establish, seed may establish in as little as 5 months. Somewhat like Bermuda it propagates through stolons and rhizomes making it excellent for erosion control.
Zoysia also survives well under heavy use. If you have children or pets, this grass can quickly repair itself while tolerating dog waste. It is a thick, cushioned grass the kids will love to run on in their bare feet. Needing only one to two deep waterings a month it certainly saves on the water bill!
Keeping in mind the tough winter we just had, don’t be surprised if your St. Augustine grass just wasn’t up to the challenge. Before replacing with more St. Augustine, consider replacement with Palisades Zoysiagrass that was developed especially for the North Texas weather.