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How to Install St. Augustine Sod

By Joyce Starr ; Updated September 21, 2017

St. Augustine is a warm-season turf grass that grows well in coastal areas in southern areas of the U.S. Though it requires a little more care than other turf grasses, St. Augustine's thick, matting quality makes it a desirable lawn grass. Laying St. Augustine sod is not a hard process, but a little site preparation is necessary before installation. Once the area is prepared and the sod laid, your grass should be ready for mowing in approximately two weeks.

Clean the area of any weeds or other vegetation before laying the St. Augustine sod. Rake the vegetation from the area, or spray it with an herbicide to kill the weeds. Wait several days for the vegetation to die before watering. Water the area after everything has died, to wash the herbicide from the surface.

Rake the area to remove unwanted rocks, sticks or other debris and to smooth the surface out to be level. Laying the sod on an uneven surface will result in an uneven lawn.

Sprinkle the bare ground with a 10-10-10 fertilizer, according to the application rates on the package. Work the fertilizer into the soil with a hard rake. Water the fertilizer in well, and moisten the soil before laying down the new sod.

Mark areas around trees and flowerbeds with a garden marking spray or can of spray paint. This will help you keep the sod out of areas where it is unwanted.

Begin laying the sod down, starting at a corner. Be sure the sod lies flat upon the ground and that no piece overlaps the piece laid next to it. Kick the piece of sod with your foot to butt it up firmly against the neighboring piece. Make sure all corners are flush. Continue laying each piece of sod until you have the area covered.

Cut sod pieces to fit around curves, trees or flowerbeds, using a machete or other large knife.

Water the newly laid sod immediately after installing. Place a container that is several inches in height in the middle of the area. Once it has filled to one inch, the sod has received enough water. Continue keeping the area moist, but not flooded, for the next two weeks. Then cut back the watering to twice per week, depending on your local weather conditions.

 

Things You Will Need

  • Rake
  • Herbicide
  • Water
  • Hard rake
  • Garden spray paint
  • St. Augustine sod
  • Machete or large knife

Tips

  • Keep the pallets of St. Augustine moist, if you do not plan to install it right away. Install the sod as soon as possible; if the grass dries out, it will die.
  • Mow the St. Augustine sod approximately 10 to 12 days after installing. Allow the sod to dry and mow to a height of one to two inches.
  • Fertilize the St. Augustine with an all-purpose 10-10-10 fertilizer in early spring, summer and fall.

About the Author

 

For over 25 years, Joyce Starr has owned businesses dealing with landscape & design, lawn maintenance, specialty herbs and a garden center. She holds certificates in landscape design and xeriscaping. Starr shares her passion for nature in her writing, publishing articles on horticulture, outdoor recreation, travel as well as business.