Best Management Practices - Lawns

Allen D. Owings, Bush, Edward W., Trawick, Robert C.  |  3/22/2005 1:10:18 AM

A lawn can be as functional as it is beautiful if planned properly. Some lawns are planted in problem soil areas or heavy traffic zones, and these need special considerations. Some turfgrasses, like zoysiagrass, require high maintenance and special equipment to achieve the beauty they are renowned for. To treat these grasses with less care will lead to a decline or disaster. The secret to a beautiful lawn is to consider what you want, what you need and what you are willing to do.

Home lawns in Louisiana are primarily St. Augustinegrass and centipedegrass. You will sometimes see carpetgrass, zoysiagrass and bermudagrass used. Centipdegrass prefers acid soil, and St. Augustinegrass prefers a neutral to slightly alkaline soil. Fertility requirements vary for lawn grasses in Louisiana. Bermudagrass needs high levels of nutrients, and St. Augustinegrass and zoysiagrass prefer medium levels. Carpetgrass and centipedegrass do best under a low-fertility regime.

BMP Checklist:

  • Select the lawn species for your soil type, soil pH and sun exposure.
  • Select the lawn species to best serve your purpose.
  • Mow at the correct height and follow the one-third rule.
  • Fertilize according to LSU AgCenter BMP recommendations.
  • De-thatch and aerate, following LSU AgCenter BMP recommendations.
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