St Augustine Grass

St Augustine grass grows well in a very confined area of the United States extending from western Texas along the very southern tier of states adjacent to the Gulf of Mexico and covering all of Florida. It can also be successfully grown along the coastal areas from Florida to South Carolina and in southern California. While this grass has a somewhat limited growing area, it is a great choice for residents that may live in those regions.

St. Augustine grass is a warm weather turf that thrives in bright sun, high humidity and moist soil environments. It does not tolerate shade particularly well and will not generally do well in drought conditions. For that reason St. Augustine grass should not be considered as a viable turf option if the growing area is subjected even to occasional drought conditions or periods of very cold weather. This wide bladed, deep blue-green and very course grass is normally grown from sprigs, plugs or sod with sod being the more often chosen method for establishing a lawn. There has been great difficulty developing a seed that can be depended upon to produce successful growth, hence seeding is currently not widely available. It spreads through above ground stolons and for that reason it is easy to control the spread to prevent intrusions into flower or garden beds.

There are several varieties of St. Augustine grass and there are on-going efforts to develop additional varieties that will extend the growing area. One such variety referred to as Palmetto St. Augustine has been developed over the last decade. This grass has increased drought tolerance as well as the ability to maintain good growth in shady areas. It also tolerates cold better than most varieties although after several days of frost conditions it will become dormant and begin to brown.

In general the St. Augustine grasses require a bit more maintenance than many others and may become susceptible to disease or insect infestations if not tended regularly. It is important to note that St. Augustine grasses produce a significant amount of thatch which contributes to the aforementioned conditions. Annual de-thatching will insure a healthy turf growth. St Augustine grasses provide a good choice for those living in the growing area where it will thrive, however it is presently not a good choice for any that live outside that well-defined region.

Here are some other St Augustine grass articles that will certainly help you out in caring for your grass.
Dethatching St Augustine Grass

Comments

  1. I have a St Augustine grass lawn and we just had a deep frost here in Tampa. The grass has since had a yellowish brown color and looks distressed. Before the frost it was very healthy and green. Is there anything I can do to make it bounce back? Please help, my yard is my baby…

  2. Unfortunately there is not much you can do, but hope it didn’t kill the grass. With just a frost its not likely to have any drastic adverse affects, but you won’t know for sure until it starts to warm up and ultimately green up.

    Some have suggested when a deep freeze is imminent to water your grass. This will saturate the lawn and then freeze that water keeping the root temperatures at a constant 32°. This is much better than letting the roots reach a chilly 20° which probably isn’t likely in Tampa like it is in Texas.

  3. I live about 45 minutes North of Tampa in Brooksville. It is supposed to get down to 19 degrees tonight and tomorrow. My lawn already looks horrible and I fear large portions have died. Should I water on these freezing nights or just let it be?

  4. I have st. augustine in my back yard I had cinch bugs last summer due to drought. This spring the root system appears to be at the top< I top dressed with top soil and added weed and feed . Some of the grass is starting to fill in am I on the right track to bringing my lawn back to life. If you can help would be appreciated greatly!!!!

  5. I live in Slidell Louisiana and a large portion of my lawn, the front and side yards do not have shade after 11:00 am.

    With so much exposure to midday and afternoon sun I concerned if I am watering the grass frenquently enough. I also want to know how much water to apply at a given watering.

    Questions:

    When is the best time to water the Lawn? I use sprinklers with hoses.

    Do you water moderately or give it a good soaking?

    Thanks,…….Bill verret

  6. I have St. Augustine grass, and I have read that it is harder to “Stripe” than rye grass. Not an option since I live in the south. Wanting to find out best way to stripe the St. Augustine grass. Any tips or helpful hints. I have found a lot online, but only thing about St. Augustine striping is that it is more difficult to stripe due to it being hardier than northern grass.

    • robert boggs says:

      i had success sriping st augustine in houston using a proslide xl by novae took two week of regular mowing but was very noticable and i got a lot of compliments from people who have never seen them in the south before

  7. robby wilson says:

    I live here in Hurst, Tx and my st, augustine lawn is turning yellow. It gets over an inch of water a week, maybe less. The other side of my lawn is just fine. Any idea’s?

  8. I live in Southern California and want to know if I plant in the fall (Sept/Oct.) if it will hold during the winter? Should I wait until late spring?

  9. Our St augustine is producing seeds right now. Is there a period of time to wait before mowing the seeds into the lawn, or a “best tome to mow” when is’s producing seed in order to benefit from the seed production?

    Thanks in advance for anyones thoughts on this!

  10. I am in Sarasota county Florida and we have had nightly frost for two weeks. Our lawn in completely yellow, is there any hope that it will come back?

  11. Do you really think that watering to freeze in the roots will keep the root temperature no lower than 32F? Ice can get colder you know, just not warmer.

  12. We are transplants from NY. Almost a year here in Kissimmee. We had to resod our lawn last year cause nobody told us about chinch bugs. Now because of the cold weather we had our lawn went from green in the beginning of January to yellow in a couple of weeks. We do not have much funds. Is there something cheap that we can do to make our grass green again. My husband has started watering daily.

  13. Bill Harrell says:

    JANUARY 30, 2010

    Question,
    I have not mowed my lawn (St’ Augustine} since December 14. I was advised not to mow it in January because it would create thach that would cause disease. Is this correct?

  14. Andy Flesner says:

    I didn’t cut my St. Augustine grass here in Orlando after the last freeze for fear of distressing it further. I wanted to cut it this week, but now it is getting very cold again. Today there is a high of 55 and it will be in the 30′s tonight. Can I mow today? If not what is the recommended temperature range for mowing?

    Thanks,

    Andy

  15. Terrance says:

    I live in the Dallas/FTW Texas area. My house faces the wes. I soded my front yard with St. Augustine last Feb09 installed a sprinkler system prior to as well. During the summer enjoyed a healthy thick lawn. This past winter it turned dormant as expected. Well I applied premergence in the beginning of Feb. Discovered I had thratch and removed it all but my grass hasn’t come back yet. I can see the vines underneath some look alive. What should I do to get my grass back? I shouldn’t add fertilizer yet right it’s to early? Have I lost my St. Augustine? Or is it too early worry because of the late snow we had in March? I can see some spots of life growing but spotted at best.

    • Yellow St. Augustinegrass can be due to a lot of different causes. One of the most common and easiest to treat is iron deficiency. Spray or spread iron and it will green right up if that is the problem. Too little water is not the problem, but too much water can lead to fungal diseases.

      Be careful with herbicides. St. Augustinegrass is killed by 2,4-D and a few other common weed killers. If the label doesn’t say it’s safe for St. Augustine, don’t buy it.

  16. My St Augustine was beautiful last year but we had an unusually cold winter and snow in Mississippi. I have patches of DEAD grass!!! The ChemLawn guy didn’t seem too concerned but everyone elses grass is green and I have tan/brown areas with dead “runners”. HELP!!!

  17. I live outside Houston, Texas. My st. augustine grass is beginning to get yellow tips in spots and yellow patches in other areas.
    I fertilized about 4-6 weeks ago with a name brand fertilizer with ant bait mixed in from the manufacturer. Any suggestions?

  18. Monroe Carr says:

    I have St Augustine on the southeast side of my house. 15′ -30′ also a 10′-15′ area on other side of fence. It has turned yellow and then died. Tan. It look kike the entire two patches will be gone in a couple of days. Just saw it a couple of days ago. Was planning to sod the entire front yard with St. A sod to replace the very thin sun starved Bermuda. any Ideas what is wrong?

  19. aaron castillo says:

    We had r st augustin replaced in late may or early june and there is alot of green, but areas of brown. Along the edges and some on the inside it looks dead and moving please respond i do not want to replace it again. i also used the soap and water solution. some parts of the lawn if i pull on it seem like it is stuck in the dirt others seem like they would pull rite back out, and not married to the dirt. please help me im desprite!

  20. I read the questions above but see no answers. Where are the answers?

  21. we had a drought last yr and it killed around half the augustine grass. i put down 350 of 13 13 13 fertilizer and it all came back several weeks later. don’t forget to water it in.

  22. I have muchroom that are popping up in my yard what can i do????

  23. I live in AUstin, Texas.
    In my back yard, I have several big oak trees and because of the sahde, my St. Augustine grass had been dead. I put new sods, but it did not work. Is there a special species of St. Augustine that grows well in shade?

    • Clint1128 says:

      No .. St augastine needs sunlight .. Maybe thing out the oak tree might help but all st augastine that has large trees around have the same problem

    • I am also in the ATX and have St. Augustine in my backyard. Due to all of the shade and leaves I had mostly dirt. I had my trees trimmed in late April and now have enough sun going into the backyard that I went from 5% coverage to about 65% coverage without adding any sod. I’m hoping by the end of the Summer it will be completely filled in or close enough to it that next year I’ll have a beautiful backyard to match my front yard.

  24. Palmetto St. Augustine makes for a great Arizona sod variety. Considering the warm environment in Arizona it can really thrive during the summer time. I had Evergreen Turf install some in my yard, my kids love being able to run around the grass in the summer since the pavement is too hot.

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  30. Anyone know where I can find St. Augustine seed? My dad has St. Augustine grass in Northern California and I’m trying to get it for him. Thanks.

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  34. I was watering wrong, it was every night. My St Augustine is like a tan green. Its been there for years very thick. Should I take it all out and put new sod? I started watering every other day about 7:00am. It has green patches here and there and alot of new bleades but still brown in a lot of spots. Looks ugly from across the street. If I fertilize now will this help?

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  36. I have St. Augustine grass in my front lawn, and as we’re in a serious drought in CA I’m wondering if I stop watering what will happen next season. Will this grass come back, as Bermuda grass does, or will it be killed? I live in a light frost area (Central Valley) and it always comes back in the spring.

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  40. Ray Mangrum says:

    I live in NW Louisiana and it is now June 8, 2016 and my St Augustine sod that I had laid down in March. Now in is beginning to get a lot of weeds in it plus Johnson grass. Can I put something down this time of the year with high temperatures in the low 90′s.

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