Last summer was brutal on my lawn, and I didn’t do much to help. It was hot and dry. My sprinkler controller was messed up, so I didn’t water much during the worst of it. Plus, I didn’t mow as frequently as I should have. And when I did, since I had let the St. Augustine grow, I was probably cutting it too short.

So, starting this season, I have lots of dead spots and lots of weeds. This is my log of my attempt to bring it back to life.

April 13

It’s been a few weeks now since I killed all the Bermuda in the front lawn. I also treated with the 7-0-20 Yard Mastery ‘Stress Blend’ fertilizer as planned. It looks worse, but I think it’s actually better. I was really careful when applying the RoundUp, and the green spots you see among the brown are little patches of St. Augustine that I hope will spread.

I mowed last night, nearly scalping the dead stuff, but cutting the St. Augustine at my mower’s highest setting. My intent is to get the current grass as healthy as I can, then see if I need to do anything to encourage more horizontal spread. I don’t think we’re quite to ‘growing season’ yet, but close. I’m starting to see some stolens projecting into the bare spots.

In Progress (2024-04-13)

In case you were wondering, yes, my backyard is just as bad. Here, I mowed the St. Augustine at the highest setting, but didn’t mow anything else. I spent much of the day raking up dead leaves and thatch and am about half-way done. I think I’m done raking for this weekend. Tomorrow, if I have time, I’ll treat everything I don’t want to keep with RoundUp.

In Progress (2024-04-13)

In other news, I did a walk around the front yard inspecting my sprinklers. I partially dug out three to level them as they were severely crooked and likely impacting the efficiency of the system. I also found one that wasn’t returning into the body fully. I starting digging to see what might be going on, and found the whole sprinkler body was about 2 inches under ground. I ordered some riser-thingy’s from Amazon and should be able to get it fixed and finished tomorrow. Fortunately, we’ve had a good amount of rain the past few weeks and I haven’t needed to run the sprinklers yet.

In Progress (2024-04-13)

March 31

The RoundUp did a good job on the clover and thistle, but the crabgrass was mostly unaffected.

Today, I aerated the lawn with my manual, two-prong aerator. Then, I raked out all the leaves, dead grass and weeds. The thatch, it turns out, wasn’t as thick as I thought and now there is a lot of exposed soil. My intent here was that in raking over the holes in the ground (from aerating just prior), some of the organic material would find its way into the holes and continue decomposing, adding some natural nutrients. And, when it rains and I start watering again, the water will penetrate a bit deeper, encouraging deeper roots.

After all that, I did a spot treatment with RoundUp non-selective herbicide (glyphosate) on the spots of crabgrass and other weeds still hanging on in areas where it’s either Bermuda grass or otherwise bare. I also went around the perimiter to spray the Bermuda (where there was no St. Augustine) as I want the St. Augustine to fill in those areas later.

BEFORE (2024-03-31)

The plan for next weekend is to add some 7-0-20 Yard Mastery ‘Stress Blend’ fertilizer.

March 23

The yard is looking bad. There are a few spots of St. Augustine that are healthy and ready to take on the summer. So that’s good. On the other hand, all around the perimeter along the driveway and sidewalk, the lawn has been overtaken by a combination of Bermuda grass, clover, thistle, crabgrass and other weeds I haven’t the will research and identify.

I mowed with the mower at the highest setting (which is where I plan to keep it for the entire summer). I let things stabilize and recover for a few days, and then did a full-yard treatment with RoundUp for Lawns weed killer.