Meet Our Expert

  • Jamie Tedder

    Jamie Tedder

    Jamie serves as Bethel’s Vice President of Turf.  Jamie oversees the production of all of our grasses throughout all of our farms in Florida. Jamie is a University of Florida graduate and has applied that knowledge to years of experience growing great grass at Bethel.  Jamie’s happy to offer a helping hand to ensure our customers success in their yard. 

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Featured Q&A

Do you have tips for shady areas in my lawn?

Shade scenarios are hard to predict and are site specific at best. My advice for shade grass is to keep it mowed at the highest setting you can and fertilize it often. Our two shade variety options for St. Augustine plugs are Palmetto and CitraBlue®. Shade conditions vary so much that we can recommend, but not guarantee success. 

When can I start to mow and yard vac the new sod?

The timing of your first mow and vac is directly related to how the grass has rooted since installation. If the pieces are still loose and can be pulled off of the ground, then it’s not ready. If you pull on the pieces and they are tacked down, then it’s safe to proceed with the mow. When you do mow for the first time do it with the mower running at a lower RPM. This will reduce the amount of suction the blades generate and lower the chances of weak pieces being sucked up in the deck and shredded.

I have Live Oak leaves falling on the new sod. Are the leaves on the grass going to cause damage to it?

Leaves off of any tree that may be falling on your new lawn should not be of any concern. Unless there are so many leaves that its literally a couple of inches thick the grass will be fine. The leaves will be mulched after the first mow anyway so don’t spend a lot of time removing them.

How long should I wait for the grass to fully root before applying herbicides?

Wait a minimum of 14 days after installation before applying any herbicide to any turf. Assuming you are supplying your new lawn with enough water then your grass should be rooted down 2 weeks post install. Once you feel confident the grass is rooted then you can move on to mix and apply the solution according to the product label. 

How do I lower the phosphorous level in my yard?

There is no easy or available process for removing phosphorous in soil. The idea would be to eliminate or reduce the amount of additional phosphorous you apply moving forward. By choosing nutrient sources that do not include phosphorous and allowing your turf to mine the current levels of phosphorous in your soil then the level will gradually fall.

I was able to remove Torpedograss from my ProVista. What do you recommend to rid Torpedo grass in Floratam? 

Unfortunately for conventional St. Augustine grasses like Floratam there are not any selective herbicides to remove torpedograss.

What should my fertilizer schedule be? (In regards to Scotts® ProVista™ St. Augustine)

After a month, your new lawn should have established a root system. Once the roots are established, I would definitely recommend putting out a dry fertilizer as soon as possible. Depending on where you live, you are probably subject to a fertilizer blackout from June through September. So, if you put your first application out now, I would put a second application out right before June (or your fertilizer blackout start date) to carry you through the summer.


When October rolls around and the blackout is lifted then apply your third application for a wake-up early fall feeding. Your 4th and last application for this year could be in mid-December so you have nutrients to get you through until early spring the following year.


I always recommend a minimum of 3 applications of dry fertilizer per year and personally do 4. Remember that grass has to have nutrients throughout the year to thrive and maintain its health. A combination of soluble and slow-release products are a good idea when choosing your blend. I always recommend Scotts Southern Turf Builder when asked what to use. Turf builder is formulated with the right amount of soluble and slow-release materials and is proven to work for St Augustine grass.


I would encourage your maintenance company to visit to read on the product. I can always be reached for recommendations or education.

Just had Bimini grass sod laid. What is best height to cut now that we are moving into summer and how often should we water?

Irrigation is required as often as it takes to avoid stress. Stress means dried out, crunchy or wilted turf. That being said, I cannot give a specific irrigation schedule recommendation because it could be once a day or once a week, it’s a site-specific need and varies widely. 

Bermudagrass grows at an exponential rate in late Spring and Summer months. The realistic maintenance height for Bermuda in a residential setting is 2″ or below. In order to achieve this height, the grass will have to be mowed every 5 or so days and may require a tighter interval than that.

Fertility and rainfall have an impact on the growth so avoid large doses of fertilizer at one time. However, bermudagrass needs ample fertility to maintain its appearance so using a controlled release dry fertilizer is ideal.

10 – 14 days should be adequate time for the plug to establish enough to be mowed.

10 – 14 days should be adequate time for the plug to establish enough to be mowed.

I’m in North Carolina and planted Floratam grass plugs. How do I know when to apply Grub Ex?

GrubEx is best utilized as a preventative. I would apply now in order to prevent possible grub/worm activity slowing down the fast start. An application now should provide protection until cooler temperatures come in the Fall which will naturally keep pest pressure down. 

My ProVista is yellowing after being installed 5 weeks ago, am I watering too much?

At just over a month old your new grass is still establishing its root system. With limited roots available to transport ground moisture to the above ground parts of the plant the grass will continue to struggle until a more robust root system establishes. 

To expedite the rooting process I recommend applying Scotts Southern Turf Builder granular fertilizer at rates recommended on the instructions on the bag. With more roots comes better moisture/nutrient transfer throughout the plant and an overall healthier stand of grass. 

If you have already applied a moderate to heavy amount of dry granular fertilizer, then you should see an improvement over time. Establishing a new lawn is a slow process so be patient.

Is Icon Zoysia ok to plant in the mountains with freezing weather in the winter and shady trees, but also 6-8 hours of sun?

Icon is a warm season grass that is not meant to survive in prolonged cold, much less freezing temperatures.

How thick is the sod cut so that we can prep the area accordingly?

Arcadia Bimini® is mowed at 1″ and will have 1/2″ of dirt on the bottom. I would cut down 1″ – 1.5” below concrete to be close to level.

Do you have any thoughts on applying winter rye on top of my Floratam lawn in the fall?

Overseeding St. Augustine plugs can have negative and positive impacts. The negatives would be shade concerns that tall thick rye can cause on the plugs, rye competing for moisture and nutrients, and any disease pressure that rye could introduce into the lawn. The positive would be rye providing a layer of insulation in extreme cold conditions. Typically, Floratam St. Augustine can tolerate cold snaps and mild frosts but extended cold or snow/freeze events will be detrimental.

Taking into consideration the above factors I would say winter expectations should dictate whether you overseed or not. If a mild/moderate winter is forecast then I would not overseed.