St. Augustine Grass is a popular lawn covering in tropical areas. This grass flourishes in warm weather conditions, but is unable to withstand the freezing temperatures found in most of the country. When properly planted and cared for it is a broad-bladed grass that can be very lush and soft under the feet. The problem is that it can also be a little finicky. Here is what every homeowner should know to keep their lawn looking its best.
Finding the Seeds
Getting seeds from St. Augustine grass is a challenge, and many producers are only able to offer the seeds to their customers occasionally. Homeowners and landscape professionals wishing to purchase the seeds may need to order ahead to reserve what they want or need. Plugs or sod are more commonly used as they are easier to plant, care for and grow successfully and they are usually found in abundance. Companies that sell this type of grass turf or plugs typically keep turf runners to cultivate rather than attempting to grow directly from seed themselves because of the challenge.
Planting the Plugs
Plugs are planted in a checkerboard fashion over any area that is bare. The soil should be turned to loosen it and any weeds in the surrounding area must be removed. Water the entire area thoroughly, but do not oversaturate the ground. Dig holes approximately one foot apart from each other across the space where the grass is thin. The plugs need to be firmly packed into the ground and watered every day until they are visibly beginning to spread.
St. Augustine Sod
A faster option for a lush lawn is sod, because it is installed in full patches that do not need time to fill in the way plugs do. The important factor is to remember that despite looking like a finished lawn as soon as it is in place, it still needs time to take root and become established. Avoid regular foot traffic on new sod for a couple of weeks after installation.
To prevent the need for further maintenance after a lawn has become established, remember to care for it properly. St. Augustine grass does not do well in shady areas. Use these spots for a shade garden or landscaping features rather than the grass. Do not overwater the lawn after it is flourishing. Wait until the blades begin to slightly fold and turn a bluish tint before adding more water.