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We moved in to a brand new home 2 months ago and I believe the sod was laid a couple months before that. It looked fine when we moved in, but now it's patchy and dead in some areas. We live in Texas, St Augustine grass. I'm not sure if it's fertilizer burn (my husband fertilized a couple of weeks after we moved in), some kind of fungus, bad sod, or something else. Please help us! We already have the worst lawn in the neighborhood!


 

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Can you find out what fertilizer was put down? How many pounds of fertilizer total? and how big is the lawn?

The top picture has Bermuda in the upper section of the picture, and the lower picture appears to have some other Grassy weed.

Can you take a 6inch screwdriver and poke it into the ground at the dead areas? This will make sure there isn't any large rocks, boards, tarps or other construction material below the soil.
 

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I'm not an expert on St. Augustine by anymeans but watering other day, and only for 15 minutes could create some problems. Are you watering early in the a.m or at night?
 

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Bermudagrass, 3.75 acres, Arkansas
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I don't have any experience with St. Augustine, but looking at the first picture I would probably lean toward some type of disease/fungus. The dark/black stems are alarming, and I would say that whatever it is, it is later in its progression.

I would start by reading this article about caring for St. Augustine by Richard L. Duble. He has written some good papers on turfgass in Texas, and often does not get the credit he deserves. Near the bottom he mentions some diseases that St. Augustine is susceptible to.

Here is another St. Augustine lawn care document from the University of Arkansas. It also discusses disease control.
 

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Google Randy Lemmon and St. Augustine, he is a great resource in the Houston area for St. Augustine and other plant care in that part of Texas. He has a website that has useful information. He also does a radio show on Saturday and Sunday mornings.
 

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I'm guessing you may have Take-all-patch. The best cure isn't great and is more about deterring the fungus. Surprisingly it is a heavy app of peat moss to help lower the ph. Do some reading online and see if your symptoms match up before trying any fixes though.
 
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