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Ultimate Guide: St. Augustine Grass

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I’ve definitely been around the block when it comes to working with grass, and I’ve learned a whole lot of interesting facts along the way. One type of grass that I’ve come to respect is St. Augustine grass, and I’m going to use this post to show you why that’s the case.

So today, I’ll be showing you everything I’ve learned about St. Augustine grass over the years. I want to make sure that I answer any questions you may have, which is I why created my ultimate guide: St. Augustine grass.

Now, with that being said, I know that I’m going to ramble on quite a bit. This is why I’ve decided to break everything up into simple sections, this way those of you with varying knowledge on St. Augustine grass can bounce around if you need to. I like to keep things relatively exciting.

Anyway, now that you know what I’ll be going over today, let’s jump right into the facts in my ultimate guide: St. Augustine grass.

So sit back, relax, and get ready to get very familiar with St. Augustine grass.

St. Augustine grass is a warm season grass that thrives in warmer climates. The beauty of St. Augustine grass is that it can be used as a great lawn grass. It will usually overpower other grass types and can be relatively high maintenance. Also, St. Augustine grass may also be called Buffalo Turf of Buffalo grass.

What does St. Augustine grass look like?

The first thing I want to talk about is the look of St. Augustine grass. I mean, if you want to work with a grass, you should know what it looks like, right? So in this section, if you aren’t familiar with St. Augustine grass already, I’ll be breaking this down.

Here are some of the common traits that you’ll notice within St. Augustine grass:

  • It has a dark green color to it
  • It can form a carpet-like surface if clumped together (turf)
  • It has flat blades
  • It has a coarse texture to it

So trust me on this one, when you see it, you’ll know it’s St. Augustine grass. It does resemble other grass types, like Bermuda grass, but St. Augustine grass will always have a much darker shade of green.

Check out my full range of guides for different varieties of grass.

Best climate for St. Augustine grass?

Now that you know a little bit about St. Augustine grass, at least what it looks like, I want to talk about the climate requirements. This is due to the fact that it’s a warm-season grass, and won’t survive well in northern areas. So let’s take a look at the best climates.

Where does St. Augustine grass thrive?

St. Augustine grass will actually thrive in warmer climates and prefers to be in a tropical area. This makes states like Florida, Texas, and even the Carolinas, prime real estate for St. Augustine grass. This is due to the fact that southern states tend to have decent moisture and warmer temperatures throughout the entire year.

Check out my ultimate guide to warm season grasses.

How far north can St. Augustine grass grow?

I know that I said it thrives in the south, but just how far south does it have to be? The answer is actually quite simple, and I’ll break this down with a quick list. Let’s have a look:

  • Anything north of the Carolinas, in the East, is too north
  • Anything north of Texas in the Midwest can get a bit too cold
  • Southern California can work, but most northern regions will get too cold during the winter

So think of the growth boundaries for St. Augustine grass as a line drawn across the southern states. If you go too far north, unfortunately, it can die or go dormant.

St. Augustine grass mowing height?

Now that you know what St. Augustine grass looks like, and where it will thrive, I want to take a look at some of the common mowing heights. This is due to the fact that mowing can cause damage if not done right, so I want to make sure your lawn is always healthy. Let’s take a look.

mowing st augustine lawn

Check out my full article on some of the best lawnmowers for your yard.

What is the average mow height?

The average for St. Augustine grass actually varies quite a bit, and this is due to the fact that there are multiple uses for it. Now, with that being said, if you’re using it as a lawn 4 inches should be the tallest you let it grow. If it gets any taller, to be blunt, it will start to look shaggy.

What is the lowest I can mow it, if used for a lawn?

If you want to keep your lawn short, I respect that, and you can comfortably mow it down to about 2.5 inches. This will require a bit more maintenance on your end, but it can definitely give your lawn a fresh look.

Check out my article on how to mow patterns into your lawn.

What if I’m using St. Augustine grass as a turf?

Now, if you will be using this grass as a turf, you can actually go a little lower. Therefore, in this case, I would recommend cutting it down to about 2 inches. This will require very frequent mowing to maintain, but trust me, St. Augustine grass can handle it.

I would definitely recommend 2 inches as the lowest you can mow. If you do go any lower, it can end up harming the actual stems. This could cause damage, and you can end up with a very patchy lawn.

St. Augustine grass watering requirements?

I know that watering seems like a simple task, but you would be surprised as to how it can be quite complicated. Luckily, St. Augustine grass isn’t too hard to water, so I’ll be breaking that down in this section. Let’s have ourselves a quick look.

sprinkler st augustine lawn

Check out my article on how to successfully water your grass with a sprinkler system.

What is the average?

I’ve noticed that St. Augustine grass doesn’t need a crazy amount of water, but it’s not very drought resistant. This means that you should make sure that you provide St. Augustine grass with at least an inch or two of moisture each week. Trust me, this is plenty.

What if I’m using sandy soil?

While 1 inch a week may work well with most types of soil, sandy soil is the exception. This is due to the fact that sandy soils will lack water storage, which means you’ll need to be a bit more hands-on with your irrigation strategies. Therefore, with sandy soil, I would recommend an inch every 3 or 4 days.

Watering shouldn’t be too troublesome, but this really depends on your soil. So before you start watering, make sure you figure out which type of soil you have.

Check out my article on different varieties of St Augustine grass.

Where does St. Augustine grass grow?

One thing that you should know about St. Augustine grass is where it grows. So in this section, I’ll break this down with a quick list. I’ll show you some areas within the United States, but I’ll also show you where this grass originated from.

Here is a quick list of some common areas where St. Augustine grass grows:

  • Australia
  • Africa
  • Texas
  • Florida
  • North Carolina
  • South Carolina
  • Tennessee
  • Georgia

So as you can see, all of these areas have very warm climates. Also, keep in mind that St. Augustine grass actually originated from Australia and Africa, which means that it’s not exactly native to the United States. This is also not a complete list, but I just want you to get the basics.

How to make St. Augustine grass thicker?

If you’ll be working with St. Augustine grass, you might notice that it’s not as thick as you want it to be. If this happens to be the case, please don’t panic, because there is a way to fix this. Let’s take a look.

Check out my full article on how to make your lawn green and thick.

Overseeding

One of the best ways to fill in a patch of St. Augustine grass is to do some light overseeding. You don’t need to go too crazy with this, but a little bit of extra seed in a patch could help fill it in. Also, make sure that you overseed during the late spring or early summer months.

Use a turf builder

There are plenty of different brands on the market, but one that I really like is Scotts Turf Builder. This acts as a 3-in-1 product, which can actually help your St. Augustine grass get the thickness it needs.

Give St. Augustine grass some time

If you manage to keep the soil in good condition and don’t notice any issues with your lawn, waiting might be your best bet. This is due to the fact that St. Augustine grass is actually quite aggressive, and can actually fill in a patch on its own.

To be honest with all of you, St. Augustine grass will usually grow in just fine if all of the conditions are met. So if you notice that it’s not thick, or becoming patchy, you might want to investigate your soil.

Check out my ultimate guide to spring lawn care.

When is the best time to plant St. Augustine grass?

As I’ve mentioned a few times already, St. Augustine is a warm-season grass. So trust me on this one, St. Augustine grass absolutely loves the heat. So let’s take a look at a good time to plant St. Augustine grass if you live in a warm climate.

What month is the best?

Growing St. Augustine grass by month is pretty hard to gauge out. So in this case, I would recommend planting St. Augustine grass during the warmest months of summer. Now, with that being said, temperatures that promote the best growth in St. Augustine grass are between 80 to 100 degrees Fahrenheit.

While you can plant it during other temperatures, if you want your lawn to grow in fast, you’ll be very disappointed.

The biggest thing to keep in mind is that you need to make sure the soil temperature is adequate.

revive st augustine lawn

Check out my Bermuda grass vs St Augustine grass article.

How to get St. Augustine grass to grow back?

If your St. Augustine grass is not growing in properly or has not grown back at all, you’ll probably want it to grow back. The good news is that this is possible, and I’ll show you how to fix this.

If growing back from dormancy

If you notice that your St. Augustine grass has gone dormant, you can actually rest easy. This is due to the fact that St. Augustine will grow back on its own once the weather permits. If you happen to notice some dead patches, though, you can always try some overseeding.

If it happens to die, though, you’ll have a hard time getting it to grow back. So in that case, you’ll need to overseed. Also, I’ll have more on that for you towards the end.

Check out my article on making your lawn green naturally.

How to make St. Augustine grass spread faster?

If you’re working with St. Augustine grass, you might want it to spread faster. The beauty of this problem is that it’s possible, and in this section, I’ll show you how to accomplish this. Let’s get right down to it.

Make sure that you fertilize properly

The biggest thing here, to promote spreading, is paying attention to your fertilizer. This is due to the fact that St. Augustine grass needs nutrients to survive, so make sure that you give it enough nitrogen and water. Be careful, though, because too much nitrogen can also lead to a handful of issues.

Overseeding

Overseeding is another way to encourage spreading. This will help fill in empty patches and give your lawn a much thicker appearance.

As I’ve said a few times already, St. Augustine grass is a very aggressive grass. This means that it will spread quickly on its own, as long as the conditions are right.

When does St. Augustine grass go dormant?

I’ve noticed that a lot of people are concerned about grass going dormant. This is due to the fact that it can seem a bit confusing at times, so I want to show you all what happens when St. Augustine grass goes dormant. Let’s take a look.

So when does this occur?

When it comes to St. Augustine grass going dormant, the most common time is during the winter or fall. St. Augustine grass can only handle temperatures above 55 degrees Fahrenheit, which means that dipping under that threshold for too long can cause it to become dormant.

Dormancy isn’t really a seasonal thing as much as it is a temperature thing. In some areas it can survive the fall, but other areas it will end up dormant. So when push comes to shove, it really depends on your climate.

When does St. Augustine grass come out of dormancy?

As I’ve mentioned in the previous section, St. Augustine grass will definitely go dormant if the conditions are not perfect. While this may be the case, I’m sure that many of you would like to know when this actually ends. So let’s have a look.

So when will it end?

Dormancy will end on its own, naturally, during the warmer months. Therefore, dormancy will usually tend to end during the spring. Also, keep in mind that dormancy will only end once temperatures get above 60 degrees Fahrenheit.

Dormancy tends to end once the soil has warmed back up to normal temperatures. I would say that this usually happens during the spring, but a lot of this comes down to your climate.

How to revive St. Augustine grass?

I’ve noticed that St. Augustine grass can die if it’s not receiving everything that it needs. I know this may seem like the end of the road, but this is not the case. Therefore, in this section, I’ll be showing you some ways to revive St Augustine grass.

Overseeding

If your St. Augustine grass has died, you’ll need to reseed your lawn. If this is only a patch by patch issue, you can resort to overseeding. Now, if the whole lawn as died, you’ll want to reseed the entire lawn.

Check out my article on reviving grass after winter.

Unfortunately, if St. Augustine grass does die, most of the time you’ll need to reseed your lawn. Don’t panic, yet, because I’ll show you how to prevent this issue in the next few sections.

Why is my St. Augustine grass dying?

If you end up with dead St. Augustine grass, you might not know what killed it. This is why I want to set aside some time to show you why St. Augustine grass may be dying. Let’s have a look, shall we?

Here are some of the common reasons as to why your St. Augustine grass may be dying:

  • Root rot is a fungal disease that can actually attack the roots of your grass
  • If your soil lacks iron or nitrogen it can cause your grass to perish
  • If St Augustine grass is exposed to cold temperatures for too long it can die
  • Overwatering can also lead to fungal growth

So when it comes to St. Augustine grass, while it may not be too hard to maintain, there are definitely some things that can cause it to die. So just make sure you pay attention to the signs like brown spots or yellowing leaves.

Brown spots on St. Augustine grass blades

One thing I’ve noticed about St. Augustine grass is that it can turn brown at times. It won’t usually turn fully brown, but it can be prone to brown spotting on the leaves. If you’re curious about why this happens, you’ll definitely want to pay close attention to this section.

What causes brown spots on the leaves?

If you want to know what the cause is, the answer might actually surprise you. Brown spots tend to be caused by a fungal agent, which means that it’s actually a grass based disease.

How can I prevent this?

If you want to prevent fungal diseases from occurring with St. Augustine grass, you’ll definitely want to consider using soil with a low nitrogen count. On the other hand, make sure that you clean up your clippings well, and don’t overwater your lawn either.

Brown spots are essentially a fungal disease. So if you want to treat it, make sure that you keep your grass healthy.

St Augustine grass problems yellowing

Now that I’ve covered the brown problems with St. Augustine grass, I want to set some time aside to talk about the yellowing issues. I know that yellow grass can make you feel uneasy, but trust me on this one, don’t panic right away. Let’s have a look.

Here are some of the common reasons as to why yellow St. Augustine grass might turn yellow:

  • A lack of nitrogen in the soil
  • A lack of ironRoot rot can also be a cause
  • Soil that has a very high PH level

If your St. Augustine grass does become yellow, one thing you should try to treat the problem as soon as possible. If you fail to do so, it can turn brown and actually end up dying.

Check out my full article on making yellow grass green again.

Will Dead St. Augustine grass grow back?

If you had a St. Augustine grass lawn, you might be curious about whether or not it can grow back if it starts to die or become dormant. So in this section, I’ll lay out the facts for you.

Will it grow back from dormancy?

If your St. Augustine grass becomes dormant, there is no need to panic, because it will probably grow back during the spring. You’ll need to make sure that this grass is alive, though, because if it’s dead and not dormant there can be some issues.

What if it died?

Unfortunately, if your St. Augustine grass has died, it might not come back. Dead grass tends to remain that way, which means that you might need to reseed your lawn. So if you notice any issues with your St. Augustine grass, please be sure to treat them right away.

Knowing whether or not St. Augustine grass will grow back, really comes down to whether or not it’s dead or dormant.

Final thoughts

I know that I went over a lot of information in my ultimate guide: St. Augustine grass, but it’s important for me to cover all of the bases. If you want to truly understand a grass like St. Augustine grass, you need to make sure that you’re familiar with it in as many ways as possible.

Now, with that being said, I really hope that my ultimate guide: St. Augustine grass has helped, and you feel a bit more familiar with it. I know that it may all seem like a lot, so if you need to, please refer back to this post as a guide.

Now that you know the facts, do you think that St. Augustine grass is right for you?

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