Q: I heard that you are cultivating a St. Augustine grass in your yard. I have had good success with it over the past forty years in a lawn near Stone Mountain. I have not seen any cold damage over the years it has been here. It is drought resistant, does well in shade, and, properly maintained, makes a beautiful lawn. I use atrazine as a pre-emergent in the middle of October and the middle of February. I very much enjoy working with this grass.
A: Your experience with St. Augustine grass parallels mine. My friend Madge Kirk has planted it at three houses in thirty years with no problems. University of Georgia turf specialist Dr. Clint Waltz is doing research at the Griffin Experiment Station to see if we should re-think our recommendations on where St. Augustine can be grown in Georgia. Most of our knowledge comes from sandy-soil areas south of Macon and it is possible that has skewed research on St. Augustine cold tolerance. Clint has a dozen test plots in place now and will be able to make a preliminary report in a year or two. In the meantime our personal experiences with this grass are duplicated by many lawn owners in Atlanta and its suburbs.
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