Mowing St Augustine Grass

Mowing St Augustine grass correctly takes understanding of what its specific needs are. Proper mowing is an essential part of what makes any lawn flourish. In this lawn care guide, you’ll find all the details on mowing St Augustine grass to the right height and with the right frequency.

The Right Height for St Augustine Grass
Unless the grower of the sod, plugs or sprigs you start with gives you a specific height, it is safe to mow most varieties of St Augustine to 2” to 3”. If you like a fuller look, let it go to 3”. If you prefer a neater, more manicured look, cut it to 2” but never less. If you’re going to mow to 2”, it is essential that small bumps and ridges be removed from your lawn to avoid scalping the turf.

Only Cut One-Third of the Plant at Most
The 1/3 rule says that you should never remove more than that amount at any one time. If you want to have 2” grass, then cut it at or before the time it gets to 3”. If it gets longer than that, use 2 separate mowing sessions a week apart to get it to the height you want. A St Augustine lawn that is mowed regularly, to a consistent height, will look its best.

Mow Every 7-10 Days
If you need to mow more often than once a week, you may be fertilizing too heavily. If you wait too long, the lawn may begin to look non-uniform. Regular mowing every 7-10 days will help maintain a healthy, attractive St Augustine lawn.

Use Sharp Blades on your St Augustine Grass
The ideal mower for this type of turf is a quality reel mower. However, a rotary mower with very sharp, fresh blades can work well too. Keep the blades sharp so you don’t tear the grass plants. Torn edges turn yellow, marring your lawn’s appearance. They may also make the grass vulnerable to disease.

Dormant St Augustine Grass
Once the grass begins to go dormant, feel free to give it one more cut for the season. It will look better in its brown coat if it is trimmed and even.

Mowing First Thing in the Spring
Mid-March in warmer climates is a good time to mow St Augustine grass for the first time. You may notice that the roots are beginning to green up. You can help by mowing the grass to remove the top layer of brown. This will allow sunlight to penetrate into the soil and roots.

See our articles on the St Augustine Maintenance Schedule, Fertilizing St Augustine Grass and Watering St Augustine Grass for more details on spring care of your lawn.

Don’t Bag your Clippings
As long as the clippings are not so long or wet that they clump together, it is better to return them to the soil. They add nitrogen and will keep your St Augustine grass looking greener throughout the season.

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