Fertilizing St Augustine Grass

Fertilizing St Augustine grass on a consistent schedule is an essential part of successful lawn care. In this lawn care guide, you’ll find practical information about when to feed your lawn, what type of fertilizer to use, how often to apply it, and other important details.

The Best Fertilizer for St Augustine Grass
This variety of grass does well when it is fed a fertilizer with a 4-1-2 ratio of Nitrogen, Phosphorous and Potassium or N-P-K. For example, if you go to the home improvement store and see a bag labeled 16-4-8, broken down into the least common denominator, the formula is 4-1-2. The ratio does not have to be exactly 4-1-2. Fertilizers that are 3-1-2 work well, such as those labeled 15-5-10. Always choose a slow-release fertilizer that will keep feeding your lawn for 8-12 weeks rather than releasing all its nutrients in to the soil at the first rain. Your lawn will look better and be more resistant to cinch bugs and disease.

How Much Fertilizer St Augustine Grass Requires
St Augustine responds very well to ½ pound of Nitrogen per 1,000 square feet. Here’s how to determine how much fertilizer is needed to apply that much Nitrogen. Divide the number 50 by the first number in the formula, the one that stands for Nitrogen. In a 16-4-8 product, that number comes out to 3.125. 50/16=3.125. That means you need 3.125 pounds of fertilizer for every 1,000 square feet.

How Often to Fertilize St Augustine Grass
See our article entitled St Augustine Maintenance Schedule for a year-round schedule that includes fertilizing. In general, you should fertilize for the first time each spring when the grass is about 50% green. Then, fertilizing every 6-8 weeks will be sufficient to maintain a healthy, thriving and green lawn.

How to Fertilize your Lawn
Both cyclone spreaders and drop spreaders can do a good job distributing fertilizer. The key is to buy a high-quality model with an accurate dial so you can be very sure you are applying the right amount of fertilizer. Then, fertilize the lawn in two separate applications. On the second application, travel at a right angle to the first application. So, for example, travel east-west on the first application and north-south on the second. This will ensure balanced feeding over your entire St Augustine lawn.

Summary
While this may sound complicated, you’ll see that it is quite easy after a few applications. You’ll quickly get the hang of it and be very comfortable feeding your lawn properly by the beginning of the second season.

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