How to Aerate St. Augustine Grass

Overview

St. Augustine grass is a warm-season grass that has a tropical origin and is used on lawns in areas with mild winter climates. This ranges in the United States from Florida to the Carolinas, through the Gulf Coast region to Texas and includes parts of California. Aerating St. Augustine grass increases oxygen levels through loosening the compacted soil. Small sections (cores) of soil are removed during this process. This encourages root growth, decreases water runoff and enhances the overall health of the grass.

Step 1

Select a date to aerify St. Augustine grass while it is actively growing from April to September. Pick a day when the soil is moist but not damp and when the temperature is mild.

Step 2

Use a sod-coring tool to aerate small sections by hand. These are available in hardware stores or garden centers. Drive the tool into the soil and then pull it out. Leave the dropped cores on the St. Augustine grass to decompose naturally.

Step 3

Rent a motorized core aerator or aerifier from a garden center to aerate large areas of St. Augustine grass. Run the machine over the entire area in one direction and then go over the area again in a perpendicular direction. Do not remove the soil cores.

Things You'll Need

  • Sod-coring tool
  • Core aerator or aerifier

References

  • University of Arkansas: Lawn Care Calendar St. Augustine Grass
  • Landscape America: Aeration and Aerating a Lawn
  • Clemson University Extension: Aerating Lawns

Who Can Help

  • Clemson University Extension: St. Augustinegrass Maintenance Calendar
  • University of Florida Extension: St. Augustinegrass for Florida Lawns
  • Texas A&M University: St. Augustine Grass
Keywords: aerating St. Augustine, aerify St. Augustine, St. Augustinegrass

About this Author

Diane Dilov-Schultheis has been writing professionally since 2000. She is a food and travel writer who also specializes in gaming, satellites, RV repair, gardening, finances and electronics. She is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists and has been published on Yahoo!, the Travel Channel and Intel.