I lived in Austin for several years (now in Memphis) and had a common St.
Augustine which I later replaced with one of the hybrid selections. St.
Augustine is probably the best looking of the lawn grasses in your area.
Zoysia is good looking but requires more care to establish and maintain. It
is likely the skinny sized grass you are seeing is Bermuda which is the most
common lawn grass in central and probably south Texas. But I don't recall
it as being denser and greener than St. Augustine. Here Bermuda is most
common with Fescue being second. Sand is commonly added here to level bumps
in established lawns. In dry and cold winters the areas with the sand
suffer and may be killed. Same happens near sidewalks and curbs. The
problem is the lack of moisture at the roots and particularly the crown of
the plants. Clay soils which have been loosened (dug or plowed) allow for
moisture retention and hence, plant survival. Your builder did not do you a
favor with the addition of sand. Your Dad is right about plug aeration of
the lawn. Peat may help but in Austin peat totally breaks down in less then
a year. But is still beneficial. Repeat coring and application is needed,
likely twice a year. But you will continue to have problems with the sand
until time, roots, organic matter and worms make a loam out of sand. Not
easily or rapidly done. Aeration of the clay also allows root penetration.
I hope you do not have blue clay which is best paved over.
After all of this you may want to give up. Buy more hose and sprinklers and
rent an aerator. Check with the Agriculture Extension Service office in
Houston for publications on lawns. Look for a major lawn care or landscape
company and ask for their ideals. You aren't the first with these problems.
Hopefully, somebody from Houston will answer your posting and provide a more
My Grass in front of the house is dying. Probably due to neglect from not
watering enough, since the two hoses I have bearly keep up with grass the
back yard mentioned in the earlier post.
The problem I'm having is that there are grown patches (yes I've used
fungaway and insecticide on them) Where the brown patches have been for a
while some kind of skinny bladed running grass is taking hold (burmuda?).
It's much denser and greener that the St auguatine and runs like crazy.
How can I get rid of it?