St Augustine grass grows primarily in tropical, subtropical and coastal regions of the south. St. Augustine thrives in high heat, but needs mild winter weather and moist fertile soils. Once the grass is established, St. Augustine grass depends on good mowing, watering and fertilization management.
Watering a New St. Augustine Lawn
Immediately after planting St. Augustine grass, frequent watering is important to help establish the grass. Watering for 10 to 15 minutes, several times a day, for the first week to 10 days will help develop the root system. Once the roots have taken hold, water once a day, giving 1/4 to 1/2 inch of water for the next week. The third week, increase the time between watering to two to three times weekly, still giving 1/4 to 1/2 inch of water each time. Beyond the first month, water only as needed.
Water for Established St.Augustine Lawns
In warm, moist areas receiving more than 30 inches of rainfall a year, St. Augustine grass needs additional water only during periods of drought. Give 1/4 to 1/2 inch of water when the grass begins to wilt, evidenced by indentations left when walking across the lawn.
Maintain St. Augustine grass at a height of 1 to 3 inches. During the late spring and summer, it needs mowing every five days to maintain a 2-inch mowing height. Stretch the mowing period out by maintaining a higher mowing height, but do not remove more than 1/3 of the grass height in a single mowing. To maintain grass at a mowing height of 2 inches, mow to 2 inches when the grass height reaches 3 inches.
The growth rate is dependent on moisture, nutrients and temperature. Mow more often during warm, moist weather and after fertilizing. During the winter months, when growth slows, twice monthly mowing is sufficient.
Nitrogen fertilizers enhance the growth and appearance of St. Augustine grass. Apply approximately 1 pound of nitrogen per 1000 square feet every month from spring though late fall. Over fertilization will encourage insects and diseases.