St. Augustine grass is a popular perennial grass that is well known for its ability to grow rapidly in warm weather. It is native to the Atlantic shores of North America. St Augustine grass has also become popular in India, Central and South America, and Australia. St. Augustine grass is most popular as a ground cover for erosion control, as a pasture grass and as a turf grass.
St. Augustine grass grows quickly and has a dark-green color. The leaves are flat, and have a coarse texture and a slight bluish tint. St. Augustine grass has branched, ascending stems that grow up to 50 cm high. It can take up to six months to completely cover a small lawn. St. Augustine grass is generally grown from plugs, sprigs or sod squares.
St Augustine Seeds
St. Augustine grass is one of the few grasses that produces very little seed. And, unfortunately, what little grass seed is produced rarely germinates. Due to the small amount of St. Augustine grass seed produced, pure St. Augustine grass seed is in high demand and therefore very costly.
St. Augustine grass grows best in warm weather climates. It does not tolerate cold temperatures for long periods of time. St. Augustine grass prefers well-drained soils, humid weather and adapts well to sandy soils.
Because of its rapid growth pattern, St. Augustine Grass needs to be mowed frequently during late spring and summer. Mowing should be no lower than 2.5 inches above ground. When properly irrigated, mowing of St. Augustine grass should be done once a week. If drought conditions exist, however, mow the grass less frequently.
St. Augustine grass should be fertilized during early May when the first spots of green grass form. Local hardware stores sell fertilizers specially designed for St. Augustine grass. Be sure to follow package directions carefully or the grass could be damaged. Another round of fertilizer should be applied in late June and the last round of fertilizer should be applied in mid-August
Newly laid sod or grass plugs need to be watered at least every other day. Once established, however, St. Augustine grass needs very little water except when it is very hot or dry for extended amounts of time. St. Augustine grass prefers a deep watering of about 1 1/2 inches of water once a week as opposed to a small amount of water everyday. In sandy soils, however, St. Augustine grass will need to be watered deeply two to three times a week.
Pests and Diseases
Cinch bugs are one of the most common pests of St. Augustine grass. Yellow spots in the grass are a possible sign of cinch bug activity. If cinch bugs are found in the St. Augustine grass, then treat the lawn for cinch bug activity. Another big problem with St. Augustine grass is brown patch, which causes brown circular patches in the grass. To treat brown patch, simply decrease irrigation, improve drainage, increase air movement and reduce the amount of nitrogen fertilizer being applied to the lawn.