How to Transplant Raleigh St. Augustine Grass


Raleigh St. Augustine grass is a common lawn choice throughout much of the South. St. Augustine likes warm, moist weather and does not do well in the cold. For that reason it is grown mainly in USDA Hardiness Zones 8 through 11. Seeds are not commercially available for this type of grass, so transplanting St. Augustine from one location to another is often the best way for a homeowner to extend a St. Augustine lawn or create a new one. Lawns should be transplanted in late spring or very early summer so the new lawn has an entire growing season to establish itself before winter.

Step 1

Water the area where you plan to transplant your Raleigh St. Augustine grass. Water well for six days to encourage weed and vegetation growth.

Step 2

Spray with a non-selective herbicide on the seventh day. Mix the herbicide in your sprayer according to the manufacturer's instructions and then spray on the leaves of all vegetation you wish to kill. Be aware of over-spray that might affect flowers, vegetables or grass that you wish to keep. Do not spray on windy days and do not spray if rain is expected within the next 24 hours. Do not water after spraying.

Step 3

Wait seven days for the herbicide to kill all weeds and vegetation. Rake off all dead vegetation with a hard steel rake and then dispose of the vegetation.

Step 4

Spread 1 inch of slow-release turf fertilizer on the area to be planted and then rototill the top 6 inches of the soil, working the turf fertilizer in well.

Step 5

Rake again with the hard steel rake to remove any roots, vegetation or debris that have been brought up by the rototiller. Rake to level the area as well.

Step 6

Water your donor St. Augustine grass well one day before you plan to transplant. Use your shovel or spade to dig out 6-inch squares of Raleigh St. Augustine grass from your transplant plot. Dig straight down 4 inches all the way around each 6 inch square of grass, and then push your shovel under each square, lifting it out with approximately 4 inches of soil still attached to the roots. If you want the donor St. Augustine area to regrow, remove your plugs in a checkerboard pattern, leaving St. Augustine grass on all four sides of the plug hole. Refill the plug hole with a combination of soil and turf fertilizer and water well when done.

Step 7

Place your 6-inch-square plugs of grass in a wheelbarrow and cover with damp newspaper to keep the roots damp as you work. Wheel the plugs to the prepared new lawn bed and lay the plugs on the area in a checkerboard pattern, with 6 inches between plugs. Press each plug down gently with your foot to insure that the roots are in good contact with the soil.

Step 8

Water well. Sprinkle at least 2 inches of water onto your new lawn and then keep the area damp but not soggy until the plugs begin to grow and fill in the empty spaces. This should happen with four to six weeks. Then water on a normal schedule, depending on temperature and wind conditions. Do not let the soil dry out completely. Within two to three months the plugs should fill in the empty space in both the donor lawn and the new lawn.

Things You'll Need

  • Water
  • Non-selective herbicide
  • Sprayer
  • Hard steel rake
  • Slow-release turf fertilizer
  • Rototiller
  • Raleigh St. Augustine grass
  • Shovel
  • Wheelbarrow
  • Newspapers


  • Blades Lawn Care: Soil Preparation for St. Augustine Sod
  • DIY Network: How to Repair a Lawn by Sod Coring or Plugging
  • University of Minnesota: Seeding and Sodding Home Lawns
Keywords: transplant st. augustine, growing st. augustine, planting st. augustine

About this Author

Larry Parr has been a full-time professional freelance writer for more than 30 years. For 25 years he wrote cartoons for TV, everything from SMURFS to SPIDER-MAN.