According to the University of Florida, St. Augustine grass is the most common variety planted for home lawns through out the state of Florida. St. Augustine grass grows from above-ground stolon roots and spread quickly in a lateral pattern across the lawn. Plant this variety of grass in the form of sod or sprigs as these options establish faster than seed in the Florida climate. Irrigation is important for maintaining St. Augustine grass during periods of drought.
Apply a high phosphorous grass fertilizer (1-2-1 ratio) to the surface of the soil prior to laying the sod. Do not work the fertilizer into the soil. Roll the soil with a lawn roller filled halfway with water for weight. Lightly water the soil surface just prior to laying the sod.
Lay the sod in strips across the lawn starting with the longest straight portion of the area. Continue to lay sod so the edges do not line up, as if you were laying bricks. Push the long edges of the sod tight with one another so there are no gaps.
Fill any edge gaps with quality topsoil to prevent a loss of soil moisture. Roll the entire sod planted area with a lawn roller filled halfway with water for weight. This will smooth rough areas and push the sod roots into the soil underneath for ease in establishment.
Water the planted sod once a day for the first six weeks of growth so the water absorbs to a depth of six to eight inches. Continue to provide water to the sod lawn for the first year of growth when the weekly rainfall is less than one inch.
Dig a one- to two-inch deep row along the prepared lawn soil area. Place sprigs along the row three to six inches apart so the roots are facing down. The closer the sprigs are placed, the quicker the lawn will establish.
Fill in the row with soil once the sprigs are set in. Make sure the blades of grass are exposed. Apply a high phosphorous starter fertilizer (1-2-1 ratio) over the soil surface after each row is planted. This will stimulate root establishment.
Continue to plant rows of sprigs as listed in steps one and two until the entire lawn area is planted.
Water the sprig lawn after planting by lightly spraying the soil two to three times a day for the first four weeks of growth. Heavy water applications can cause uneven growth or uprooting of sprigs.
About this Author
Jennifer Loucks has over 10 years of experience as a former technical writer for a software development company in Wisconsin. Her writing experience includes creating software documentation and help documents for clients and staff along with training curriculum. Loucks holds a Bachelor of Science major from the University of Wisconsin - River Falls specializing in animal science and business.