St. Augustine sod is a grass of choice in areas like the Mediterranean and Gulf of Mexico. It grows very well in warm, humid climates. The species doesn't survive cold well, but thrives in salt and shade. Plant St. Augustine sod for an instant, blue-green lawn. When sodding, site preparation is just as important as laying the sod correctly.
Loosen the top 4 to 6 inches of the ground with a rototiller. Soil needs to be loose and aerated to encourage the sod to root. Remove debris such as rocks and weeds.
Enrich the soil with 1 inch of topsoil or peat moss. Combine it with the local soil using the rototiller.
Apply a starter fertilizer over the planting area to promote growth of St. Augustine grass. Choose one with a 2-1-1 nitrogen-phosphorus-potassium ratio. Water until the ground is moist to help the food penetrate the soil.
Lay down a long piece of sod along the outer edge of the yard. Lay another long piece next to it, pushing them as close together as possible. The goal is to eliminate gaps or lines because the sod will shrink slightly as it becomes established.
Make your way across the yard, using as many long pieces of sod as possible. If you must fill in spaces with small pieces, put them in the middle because they will die if they're planted on the border.
Trim pieces of St. Augustine sod to fit irregular spaces. Use the sharp blade to cut through them.
Run a half-full roller over the newly planted sod. Water it until you moisten at least 6 inches into the ground.
Mow established St. Augustine grass so it's 3 1/2 to 4 inches tall. Cutting it shorter will cause the grass to lose its ability to handle stress. The roots may also grow too shallow and pests could infest it.