How to Take Care of a St. Augustine Lawn

Overview

St. Augustine grass is commonly found growing in coastal areas that stretch from Florida to California. It thrives in hot and salty areas, and in sunlight as well as shade, with soil pH level from 5.0 to 8.6. Many homeowners favor this durable grass because it grows and spreads fast, filling a bare area with dark-green blades that have a medium to coarse texture. Set a schedule to take proper care of your St. Augustine lawn so it looks green and is free of weeds, bare spots or disease.

Step 1

Water newly planted St. Augustine seeds two times a day, for up to 15 minutes, until they germinate and the roots establish themselves. Reduce watering schedule to two to three times a week, and refrain from mowing the lawn for the first time until it is 3 inches high.

Step 2

Water your established St. Augustine lawn for 20 to 30 minutes, twice a week, preferably early in the morning. Use sprinklers for a uniform flow, or a garden hose at medium setting. Water more if the weather is hot and dry, and less if it rains frequently in your area.

Step 3

Mow the grass down to 1 to 2 inches in spring or summer, when it grows actively. Mow in straight lines.

Step 4

Feed the grass a slow-release nitrogen fertilizer two weeks after the onset of spring, and once after every month and a half till fall. Purchase a fertilizer specifically designed for St. Augustine grass, and follow label directions for application.

Step 5

Inspect the lawn frequently to prevent weeds or fungal diseases. Proper management generally eliminates the chances of weeds. If however, they occur, remove them by hand, pulling them off with their roots intact. Apply herbicide over larger patches to eradicate them. Yellow to brown patches of grass indicate the presence of clinch pest, the major pest of this grass. Apply insecticide to the affected area, and repeat for several days.

Tips and Warnings

  • Never set a mower to low setting, as it reduces the ability of the grass to withstand stress, and adversely affects root growth.

Things You'll Need

  • Garden hose
  • Lawn mower
  • Nitrogen fertilizer
  • Herbicide
  • Insecticide

References

  • University of Florida IFAS Extension: St. Augustine Grass for Florida Lawns
  • UC IPM Online: Planting and Management Tips for St. Augustine Grass

Who Can Help

  • Aggie-horticulture.tamu: St. Augustine Grass
Keywords: st. augustine lawn, st. augustine lawn care, st.augustine grass

About this Author

Tanya Khan is a freelance author and consultant, having written hundreds of thousands of words for various online and print sources. She has an MBA in Marketing but her passion lies in giving her words wings.