Depending on where you live in the country, St. Augustine grass could be the best option to grow on your lawn. It’s a gorgeous blue-green type of grass that grows nice and thick when cared for properly. Take good care of it and you’ll have a beautiful blanket of grass you can brag about.
Of course, getting the St. Augustine grass to that point is the challenge. It’s even tougher if you’re starting from scratch. Still, there are things you can do to speed up the growing process.
Schedule your planting for the summer so the St. Augustine grass gets an opportunity to grow in ideal conditions. Grow the grass in sandy soil with a pH level of 5.0 to 8.5 and use a high phosphorous fertilizer too. Lastly, set the mowing height to at least 3.5 inches when trimming the grass and water it frequently too.
St. Augustine grass can transform the appearance of your lawn. Get it growing on your lawn faster by checking out the tips featured in this article.
Table of Contents
- How to Quickly Grow St. Augustine Grass on Your Lawn
- Step 1. Schedule Your Planting Session for the Summer
- Step 2. Prepare the Ideal Soil for St. Augustine Grass
- Step 3. Aerate Your Soil
- Step 4. Choose a Method for Planting the St. Augustine Grass Plugs
- Step 5. Use High Phosphorous Fertilizer
- Step 6. Water Your St. Augustine Grass Frequently
- Step 7. Mow the St. Augustine Grass at the Right Height
- Step 8. Protect Against Elements That Slow Down the Growth of St. Augustine Grass
- Related Questions
How to Quickly Grow St. Augustine Grass on Your Lawn
The sight of a bare yard can be unpleasant. When you look outside and see patches of dirt all over your yard, you probably cannot help but feel frustrated.
If that’s the problem that has been plaguing you, perhaps it’s time you look into growing some St. Augustine grass. St. Augustine grass can blanket your lawn in a thick and luscious layer of blue-green beauty. St. Augustine grass is a popular pick for homeowners in the south. The warm climate in that part of the country allows this type of grass to thrive.
There are other things that allow St. Augustine grass to grow rapidly. Keep them in mind as you begin to work on transforming your yard.
Step 1. Schedule Your Planting Session for the Summer
We already noted that St. Augustine grass grows best in the southern part of the country due to the region’s climate. St. Augustine grass loves the warm climate and you must remember that scheduling when your yard work.
Ideally, you should wait until the summer to start planting St. Augustine grass. That way, the weather is even warmer and more conducive to the growth of your preferred turf.
Don’t be scared of the high temperatures. The grass will grow just fine in those conditions, assuming that you follow the other tips here.
Step 2. Prepare the Ideal Soil for St. Augustine Grass
The next thing you have to do is to secure the right type of soil for the St. Augustine grass. You want to avoid flooding the St. Augustine grass as that can significantly inhibit its growth. That rules out clay soil and other variants that are on the harder side.
What you want to use instead is a type of soil that drains efficiently and reliably. Sandy soil is a good choice here. You should also avoid integrating too much compost into the soil to promote better draining.
The pH level of the soil mattes as well. Aim for something with a pH level in the range of 5.0 to 8.5. If you found sandy soil but the pH level is not where it should be, you can modify it. Adding fertilizer will help lower the pH level of the soil. Meanwhile, you can use ground limestone products or wood ashes to raise the soil’s pH level.
Step 3. Aerate Your Soil
After picking out the right type of soil for your yard, you can turn your attention to aerating it. Aeration is the process of perforating the soil with small holes so the grass can grow deeper into it.
When done during the growing season, aeration can really help speed up the spread of your chosen grass. Since you’ll be growing St. Augustine grass, you will want to wait until late in the spring to aerate your lawn.
Step 4. Choose a Method for Planting the St. Augustine Grass Plugs
Now that the soil is prepped, you can get started on planting the plugs of St. Augustine grass. Before doing so though, you should consider how you want to plant those plugs. Your options include high-density planting, typical density planting, and low-density planting.
- High-Density Planting (6 to 11 Inches Separating Each Plug). High-density planting will allow the St. Augustine grass to spread remarkably fast. Your lawn could be completely filled in after the growing season. The downside to high-density planting is that you must continually pay close attention to your lawn until it fills in. Failing to do so could lead to growth issues and an uneven lawn.
- Typical Density Planting (12 to 18 Inches Separating Each Plug). The St. Augustine grass will need about a year to fill your yard if you’re opting for typical density planting. The lawn will require less monitoring though, which is why many homeowners opt for this method.
- Low-Density Planting (13 to 24 Inches Separating Each Plug). Last up is low-density planting. You’ll have to wait for well over a year to see your lawn completely fill in if you use this method. On the plus side, low-density planting doesn’t require that much upkeep. You should be able to avoid serious issues even if you don’t always have an eye on your lawn.
Step 5. Use High Phosphorous Fertilizer
Using fertilizer can improve the rate at which the St. Augustine grass grows. To get the best results, you’ll want to use high phosphorous fertilizer. High phosphorous fertilizer specializes in stimulating the roots and encouraging them to grow faster.
Feel free to use a lawn spreader to accurately and quickly spread the high phosphorous fertilizer over your yard. Drop spreaders are better for accuracy while broadcast spreaders allow you to cover large swaths of land faster.
Also, note that using high phosphorous fertilizer will not be a permanent thing. Once the St. Augustine grass has completely covered your yard, you can switch to using nitrogen fertilizer.
Step 6. Water Your St. Augustine Grass Frequently
Early on, frequent watering will be crucial to the growth of your St. Augustine grass. You should water your lawn multiple times per day in order to supply the young grass with the hydration it needs.
You should also aim to hit the ideal watering times for your lawn. Watering sometime between 1:00 to 4:00 a.m. would be ideal. Remember to schedule your sprinkler system accordingly.
Frequent watering will be important for about the first month and a half after planting the St. Augustine grass. Once you’re past that point, you can water your lawn every other day when it’s warm outside. If the temperature has dropped a bit, you can stick to watering your lawn about three times per week.
Also, watch out for signs of over-watering. You can tell that St. Augustine grass has been over-watered if it’s starting to turn gray in color. Over-watered St. Augustine grass will also stay down after you walk on it instead of bouncing back up.
Step 7. Mow the St. Augustine Grass at the Right Height
Generally speaking, grass should be mowed when it grows to about one-third taller than the target height. That means you’ll have to set your mowing height to 3.5 to 4 inches for St. Augustine grass.
You should also avoid walking over the grass until it has grown enough. Wait until you’ve mowed the grass three to four times before walking on it.
Step 8. Protect Against Elements That Slow Down the Growth of St. Augustine Grass
Finally, you must keep an eye out for common problems that can slow down the growth of St. Augustine grass. You want to be especially vigilant against weeds and bugs.
Weeds can significantly slow down the spread of the St. Augustine grass if they are allowed to grow on your lawn. Remove them as soon as you spot them. In some cases, using a special herbicide can also stop the growth of weeds.
Unwanted bugs may also be doing a lot of damage to your St. Augustine grass. White grubs and chinch bugs are notoriously bad for that type of grass. Practice proper lawn care if you want to keep those bugs away from your yard.
Why Is the St. Augustine Grass Turning Yellow?
Seeing your St. Augustine grass start to lose its trademark color and take on a more yellowish hue is alarming. Don’t stress out too much though because that is a problem you can fix.
The St. Augustine grass is probably turning yellow because there has been too much rain recently. All that rain may have forced nitrogen out of the soil.
To fix that problem, start applying some dry or granular fertilizer. Dry fertilizer helps resolve the problem by slowly releasing the nutrients that the grass needs. That slow release prevents the nutrients from running out of the soil.
How Do You Fix a Compacted Patch of St. Augustine Grass?
If you spot a compacted patch of St. Augustine grass on your lawn, you can aerate it to fix the problem. Avoid aerating if you recently applied some herbicide though. Aerating at that point could just nullify the effects of the herbicide you used.