How to ​Care for your St. Augustine Grass

Written by Gene Caballero on January 19, 2015

Are you interested in learning more about how to grow your very own St. Augustine grass for a new and better-looking lawn? 

Well, now is the time to start thinking ahead to the spring and summer months if you want to switch things up! It should come as no surprise that the first thing people notice about a home is the yard surrounding it, and St. Augustine grass certainly makes a beautiful statement around any house. You should definitely consider giving St. Augustine grass a try! While it grows best in well-drained soils and warmer temperatures, it also takes a lot of love and gentle care to get it going. This blog entry provides a detailed report to help you get informed on all that goes into the required care regimen for St. Augustine grass which grows all throughout Florida.  When driving through neighborhoods in Tampa,  St. Petersburg, Orlando, or Miami you'll see predominantly St. Augustine turf. 


Planting Season

Being fully prepared for the planting season is important and needs to be done by the month of April. First, you will need to make sure you have the right equipment to till your soil. Visit your local hardware store if you don't already own them. Once you've tilled the soil in your yard, you will need to visit a local nursery in Florida to purchase your sprigs. Planting time will be between the months of April and May. Throw down two inch plugs for every twelve inches of soil. Once you have transplanted all your sprigs throughout the yard, it is important to keep them watered on a routine basis while also ensuring that they get plenty of light to get them growing. With a little time and patience, you will begin to see some runners spring up. Knowing how much water to put down is important to your success, however.

Water Requirements

As you go through the planting season, knowing how much water to give your sprigs is important for both your grass and water bill. Most municipalities in the State of Florida will impose water restrictions so keep this in mind.  As you finish April and go into May, the need for watering your grass everyday will lessen more and more. Finding a balance can be tricky. As you find yourself watering the lawn less frequently, remember to give your grass a little more water with each session than you would have given toward the beginning of April. A safe estimate for this would be about a ¾ inch of water for each watering toward those last few weeks of May. This should be just enough to wet your sprigs at the eight to 12 level in your soil.

Sometimes, trial and error is the only way to discover the best solution for maintaining your lawn. Too much water often leads to a host of issues. Some develop a shallow root system, weeds and overgrowth or diseases and pest infestations. Others find that their grass ends up having less tolerance in drier weather conditions. If you notice any of these telltale signs for overwatering in your grass, never fear! You still have time to correct the issue, and at the very least, this knowledge will better serve you tomorrow.

Mowing & Seeding

The good news is that mowing and seeding are a little simpler to work out than watering! The height you want for your lawn will be a personal preference, but for St. Augustine grass, it is best to let it grow up to three or four inches. Seeding, unfortunately, is no longer an option. There was a time in which St. Augustine seed was available in nurseries for purchase, but its finicky nature ultimately led to its own decline. Sprigs are more readily available and can be purchased at your local nursery.

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