How to Sod St. Augustine Grass


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.

Step 1

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.

Step 2

Enrich the soil with 1 inch of topsoil or peat moss. Combine it with the local soil using the rototiller.

Step 3

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.

Step 4

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.

Step 5

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.

Step 6

Trim pieces of St. Augustine sod to fit irregular spaces. Use the sharp blade to cut through them.

Step 7

Run a half-full roller over the newly planted sod. Water it until you moisten at least 6 inches into the ground.

Step 8

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.

Tips and Warnings

  • Avoid watering the sod at night because it will attract fungal diseases. Stay off the lawn until it has time to become established.

Things You'll Need

  • Rake
  • Peat moss
  • Topsoil
  • Rototiller
  • Sharp blade


  • LSU Ag Center: Turfgrasses, St. Augustinegrass
  • University of Florida: IFAS Extension: St. Augustine Grass for Florida Lawns
  • Texas A&M University: St. Augustine Grass
  • Texas A&M University: Turfgrass Establishment
  • Building a Lawn
Keywords: St. Augustine grass, St. Augustine sod, plant sod

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.