You want St. Augustine grass to get at least 70% of daily sunlight. You can get away with some amount of shade; however, complete shade conditions will cause the grass to lose its ability to photosynthesize, in which case it will become thinner.
Many Pinellas homeowners are interested in learning how to plant St. Augustine grass. They may specifically be interested in how to plant St. Augustine sod, or how to plant St. Augustine grass plugs.
In Florida, the chinch bug is a major natural threat to this grass species. Conscientious (and legal) use of fertilizer can help with weed-resistance and access to iron for brighter coloration.
There are a couple of broad installation approaches. First, plugs can be used. Second, you can opt for sod patches. Sodding is the typical method.
If you use sod (sometimes called “sod patches”), you will be working with turf grass that has already grown to maturity and been divided into 6-inch to 24-inch pieces.
Plugs are small (usually 6 inches in diameter) segments of sod with established roots.
Are you researching how often to mow St. Augustine grass? The general recommendation for lawn care is to mow once per week. There will be a different growth rate for each lawn, so stating any one strict figure may not be accurate. However, you do want to stay ahead of mowing since the runners of St. Augustine grass will naturally spread out into the adjacent areas if they are not contained. By consistently mowing the lawn, you ensure that the energy that is flowing through the grass is invested in repair of the leaves that the mowing process damaged.
Are you curious about how to repair St. Augustine grass? Basic steps you can take are relatively simple. You start by raking the area of your lawn that is suffering. By letting the rake go into the soil just a bit, it will help dislodge dead grass and loosen roots. Get rid of weeds, stones, and any other extraneous items (since they could interfere with the grass seed’s ability to form a connection with the soil). Then install plugs or lay sod.
Getting your grass to look as bright and lush as possible is also about optimizing its health. Make sure that it is getting full light (although it is all right for there to be some partial shade during the day). Trim any branches that might be keeping sunlight from the grass. You want it to get 1/2-inch to 3/4-inch of water per application, seasonally adjusting based on its growth needs. You may need additional water though, depending on specific conditions. Maintain a grass height of 4-5 inches with regular mowing. Fertilize with 2-5 pounds of nitrogen annually, using products that have high-quality, slow-release nitrogen content so you can meet (and not exceed) 1 pound of nitrogen per 1000 square feet.
Many Pinellas County homeowners want to know how to make St. Augustine grass thicker. You need a comprehensive plan for its health. That includes soil preparation (via a soil test and appropriate fertilizer application), irrigation, mowing (ideally not cutting more than one-third of blade length), fertilizing, and weeding (using selective herbicides and hand-pulling weeds as possible).
Many people want to know how to make St. Augustine grass spread quickly. Much of that work of spreading will be achieved by the plant itself. St. Augustine grass naturally distributes itself using both stolons and rhizomes, so there are efforts to grow the area of distribution both in the soil and above ground.
While the grass can spread itself, you may be looking at significant bare patches that you want to immediately solve. If that is the case, it may be a good idea to use sod patches – which can be purchased or professionally installed.
Are you wondering how to kill weeds in St. Augustine grass? Strong turf – the health of your grass and soil – is actually itself the best defense against weeds. Hand-pull weeds as possible to maintain that health. However, the limited use of herbicides (selective ones for pre- and post-emergence) helps keep your lawn your own. Also be careful not to over-water: excess water is the #1 cause of broadleaf weeds!
If you want to use the most ideal fertilizer for your St. Augustine grass, it should be a high-quality, slow-release nitrogen. This species of grass needs 2-5 pounds of nitrogen annually.
Nitrogen content is the first number in the fertilizer coding you see on the bag (e.g., 10-5-5 uses 10% nitrogen as an active ingredient).