Sir Walter

Philip Langley
5 years ago

Slightly sloped area with new Sir Walter approx. 15x3 area. Half is in mostly shade and the other half good. "Other half" is fine at a mow of 6. Shaded section is a bit patchy, dead looking. I've been cutting that half at 8.
Should I cut that part at 6 also to promote horizontal growth instead of 8 for horizontal growth ?

Comments (3)

  • dchall_san_antonio
    5 years ago

    For those of us north of Oz, Sir Walter is a variety of St Augustine grass grown in Australia as buffalo grass.

    I've been growing a different variant of your grass for 35 years in different locations around San Antonio and other places. The only thing that seems to help it spread is the air temperature. I have grown this stuff mowed down to 4cm up to almost a full meter tall and it still only spreads when temps are in the range from 21 to 26 degrees C. What I do is find the runners already out over top of the soil and drop organic fertilizer (alfalfa pellets (rabbit chow), corn meal, soybean meal, etc.) along the runners. I lightly moisten that with a sprayer on my hose and then leave it alone.

    Can you take a picture of the grass in the shady areas where it's not doing well? If you can get one of the greenish grass on the edge of the bad grass and take it from an altitude of about 8-10 cm, that would be great. And also maybe a picture standing up looking out over the shady area would help.

    Where are you in AU? What is your daily high temp this week?

    What is your watering schedule? How often and for how long do you water?

    How long has the grass been down?

    Did the grass sit on the pallet very long before installation?

    Have you inadvertently left anything on top of the grass that would cut off the air flow? A piece of cardboard, blanket, toys, yard clippings, or anything like that?

    Philip Langley thanked dchall_san_antonio
  • Philip Langley
    Original Author
    5 years ago

    Thanks so much for your reply. I'm in Brisbane (eastern coastal), where the temp currently is approx. 26-30. We're getting weekly light rain and I also give a watering if looking dry. Grass has been down about 2 months. It was completely prepared to a depth of approx 4-5 inches. I've kept everything off the grass and it is extremely low traffic. I like your idea of locating runners and promoting them and shall try that to begin with. Your assistance has been wonderful. I'll give that a go and if still probs shall send photos.


  • dchall_san_antonio
    5 years ago

    Most problems with St Augustine/buffalo grass are from watering wrong. I suspect you might be doing it wrong.

    Turf grass (all of them) should be watered deeply and infrequently. Deep means 1 inch (2.5 cm or so) all at one time. Up here we time how long it takes our sprinklers to fill the short tuna or cat food cans placed around the yard. Then use that time to water the lawn. If you have zones you have to measure each zone. My oscillator sprinkler with my hoses and water pressure require 8 full hours to fill the cans. My neighbor's high flow system takes only 20 minutes. Infrequent means that the soil surface dries out a lot between watering. If you receive no rain, then you go by the air temperature to determine watering frequency. With temps from 20 to 27 you should water deeply once every 3 weeks. From 27 to 32 you should water once every 2 weeks. With temps above 32 you should water once a week. With temps below 21 water once every 4 weeks. You can probably start this regimen cold turkey with Sir Walter in the spring. If you have grass in both sun and deep shade, you can adjust your timing further. Key to this is the deep watering. When it rains lightly you should supplement with enough water to make it deep. Rain will change the amount and schedule for watering. Automatic sprinklers work nicely in the hot summer but for the rest of the year manually watering when it needs it is much better.

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