How to Overseed St. Augustine Grass

Overview

St. Augustine grass makes a beautiful lawn, but over time it can become sparse and thin in appearance. The growth of grass slows down over five or six years, so you'll need to overseed to thicken it up and make it look lush again. In addition, St. Augustine grass is affected by freezing temperatures, pests and turf buildup. Overseeding it every three to four years will keep the grass looking thick and help it resist disease.

Step 1

Mow your grass as short as possible. Put the lawnmower on its lowest setting. It's OK if you scrape the ground. Rake up or bag the clippings.

Step 2

Rake the lawn with a metal rake to collect debris, such as stones and sticks. Leave the grass stubble and bare soil in place only. The new grass seed has to be in direct contact with the soil to germinate. The stubble will help keep the seed in place.

Step 3

Use the instructions on the seed bag to determine how much seed to use when overseeding St. Augustine grass. If there are instructions for seeding a new lawn and overseeding, follow the instructions for a new lawn to get thick grass.

Step 4

Fill a mechanical or hand spreader with St. Augustine grass seed. Use a hand spreader for a small area of grass, or a mechanical one for a large lawn.

Step 5

Rake the new seed into the soil. Cover it with 1/8 inch of soil to keep it in place and encourage the roots to spread and grow.

Step 6

Water the St. Augustine grass seed until it's moist. Water twice a day to keep it moist. If it dries out, up to 30 percent of the seed can die, according to Yardener. Continue watering regularly for two weeks. It takes St. Augustine grass 10 to 14 days to germinate.

Tips and Warnings

  • Don't worry about overseeding if your lawn has a small damaged area, smaller than 1 foot in size. St. Augustine grass will fill in these spots over the next month when left alone.

Things You'll Need

  • Mower
  • Rake
  • Grass seed
  • Mechanical or hand spreader

References

  • Yardener: Overseeding Lawns
  • Spring-Green: Lawn Seeding Tips
  • LSU Ag Center: Turfgrasses--St.Augustine grass
  • Landscape-America: Repairing Damaged Lawns
Keywords: overseed grass, overseed St. Augustine, St. Augustine grass

About this Author

Kelly Shetsky has been a broadcast journalist for more than 10 years, researching, writing, producing and reporting daily on many topics. In addition, she writes for several websites, specializing in medical, health and fitness, arts and entertainment, travel and business. Shetsky has a Bachelor of Arts in communications from Marist College.