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How to Grow the Best Grass in Florida

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How to Grow the Best Grass in Florida

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Overview

According to the University of Florida, St. Augustine grass grows best in the Florida landscape. St. Augustine grass is a rugged variety that stands up well in high traffic areas and the hot Florida climate. The best planting method for a fast lawn establishment is grass sprigs or established sod. Grass sprigs are low in cost to plant but are more difficult to install, while sod is higher in cost with a fast installation.

Planting Sprigs

Step 1

Till the lawn area to a depth of 6 inches, and rake the soil well to remove all rocks and weeds. Smooth the soil with a rake followed by a lawn roller to compact the soil.

Step 2

Create 1-inch-deep planting holes throughout the lawn at a distance of 3 inches apart. Apply one scoop of starter fertilizer for grass sprigs into each hole using the package measurement device.

Step 3

Place the root end of the spring into the hole and gently fill soil around the sprig so the grass blades remain exposed. Plant the sprigs one row at a time to maintain consistency.

Step 4

Sprinkle the planted lawn with 1/4 inch of water, making sure there is no standing or pooling of water around the sprigs. Continue to water the lawn twice each day for the first four weeks after planting. Provide supplemental water to established lawns once a week when the Florida rainfall amounts are less than 1 inch.

Step 5

Fertilize an established St. Augustine lawn once each month with 1 lb. of high nitrogen grass fertilizer for each 1,000 square feet. Water the soil well after applying fertilizer to assist with absorption and prevent burn.

Planting Sod

Step 1

Till the lawn area to a depth of 6 inches and remove all weeds and rocks. Rake the soil smooth and apply a grass starter fertilizer across the soil surface at a rate of 1/2 lb. for each 1,000 square feet. Roll the soil with a lawn roller weighted with water after applying the starter fertilizer.

Step 2

Apply 1/4 inch of water to make the soil moist just before installing sod. Install sod by unrolling the sections, starting at the longest lawn area. Lay the sod in a brickwork fashion to stagger the ends throughout the lawn.

Step 3

Pack the sod sections close together while unrolling to prevent gaps in the lawn. Fill holes with a quality top soil when the sod installation is complete. Roll the sod lawn with a lawn roller weight with water to force the sod roots into the soil underneath. This will increase the rate of establishment.

Step 4

Apply water to the lawn immediately after sod installation to a saturation depth of 4 to 6 inches. Provide 1/2 inch of water each day for the first four weeks after installation. Water established lawns with 1/2 inch water when the grass blades appear wilted.

Step 5

Fertilize St. Augustine grass with 1 lb. of high nitrogen fertilizer for each 1,000 square feet of area when the sod root system is established. Water the lawn well after applying fertilizer to assist with absorption and prevent grass burn.

Things You'll Need

  • Tiller
  • Rake
  • Lawn roller
  • Grass starter fertilizer
  • Water
  • Lawn sprinkler
  • St. Augustine sod or sprigs
  • Top soil
  • High nitrogen fertilizer

References

  • University of Florida: St. Augustine Grass for Florida Lawns
  • All About Lawns: Planting and Repair
  • Texas A&M University: St. Augustine Grass
Keywords: best Florida grass, plant Florida grass, Florida St. Augustine

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.

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