St. Augustine grass is a warm-season grass with coarse leaf texture. Homeowners in warm-season areas choose St. Augustine grass for its dark green color and fast growing properties. The grass also has good shade tolerance. St. Augustine grass has no shade tolerance and is not a good lawn grass for areas that experience heavy foot traffic. When purchasing St. Augustine grass sod, Louisiana State University advocates that you inspect the sod thoroughly.
Contact a sod dealer to ensure that it sells St. Augustine grass. Ask the sod dealer which varieties of St. Augustine grass it sells. Also inquire about payment, delivery and installation. Many sod dealers sell sod in a package arrangement that includes delivering sod and installing it in your yard.
Select a St. Augustine cultivator that is suited for your USDA hardiness zone and your lawn conditions. St. Augustine varieties such as Classic are more cold-tolerant and will do well in USDA hardiness zones 8 and 9 in partial shade, while the Amerishade dwarf variety will not do well in zones north of zone 10, but is a good variety for heavy shade.
Inspect sod when it is delivered to ensure that you are purchasing good-quality sod. Signs that sod is of poor quality include cultivators such as centipede grass or Bahia grass sold as sod, weeds present in sod, insects in the sod, sod that is not a uniform thickness and sod that is not cut vertically along the sides. If you see signs that the sod is not good quality, refuse delivery.
Obtain a certification from the sod dealer that your sod is St. Augustine grass. If your sod later grows as another variety, such as centipede grass, insist on compensation from the sod dealer.
Examine sod squares in the middle of the pallet of sod to ensure that they have not begun to turn brown from heat and lack of water. This is a sign that the grass sod is not fresh. Sod that is not fresh may die before it can become established on your lawn.
Inspect your lawn after the sod has been put down to determine that the sod quality is high, there are no weeds, and you are satisfied with the job the sod dealer has done to install the sod. If you are not satisfied with the lawn, refuse to take possession of the sod until it is installed correctly.