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I have a stretch of my otherwise healthy South Florida, St. Augustin lawn that has thinned out over time.

It's a long, but relatively thin (maybe 15' by 3'), stretch of the yard that is in the shade most of the day.

The dirt below grass in the area that has thinned out looks great (rich and black).

I don't want really want to lay down new sod in the area, so my question is, when should someone plant grass seeds versus using some sort of weed and feed?

What is a recommended brand of St. Augustin grass seeds?

Full yard

Thinned out grass on good dirt

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4 Answers 4

Weed and feed products do not actually contain grass seed that I am aware of. They are for fertilizing and weeding existing lawns.

If the grass in this area is the same grass as is in the rest of your yard (which looks pretty open and sunny) then I would not expect that same cultivar to do well in dense shade as well.

A trip to a good garden store in your area will provide several options for grasses that will do better in the shade than the main grass that you have. Its pretty common to have to plant more than one type of grass in lawns that have ranges of sun vs. shade. Also keep in mind that sod is usually grown in open fields and therefore the cultivars planted by the sod farmers are those that do well in constant sun, which is not what you have in this area, so another reason not to use sod in this area.

I have found that one of the keys to getting new grass seed established is watering is keeping the establishing seeds moist. I try to water new seed 3 times a day for 10-20 minutes per cycle. After the first two to three weeks you can cut this back a bit. In my climate mixing the grass seed with some milled peat moss also help because the peat retains moisture.

Good luck

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Check the ph of your soil. I'm thinking the thatch is building up and grass not as lively due to souring soil. Use lime or dolomite if that's the case. Dolomite is better in that it has both calcium and magnesium, so it won't unbalace your soil.

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Could you please explain more about this. What is the cause for thatch build up and why would it cause the soul to sour? –  chrisjlee Mar 29 at 21:03

I agree with the above recommendations, but you must also keep in mind that what works best for your lawn can greatly depend on the weather as well as what part of the country you live in. To get a better idea of what would be most helpful for you particular situation as well as the warm Florida region that you reside in check out this article http://www.lawncare.net/best-grass-seed/. It gives some great pointers on seeding and I hope it provides some helpful insight.

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Every one of your answers pushes the same website; please see the faq for the rules about self-promotion. –  Niall C. Dec 20 '12 at 21:26

I would add some white clover, they are usually only 2 inches tall with out mowing just foot traffic. Max of 6 inches in the wild. they also naturally fix nitrogen and uses less water.

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