During the summers, usually, the garden of St Augustine grass starts to grow brown. Why is the stolon turning brown? Is it due to aging or is my grass diseased? The St Augustine Grass can be grown thick by following several steps. Additionally, it will aid in having a full-grown dark green St Augustine grass. If you want to know about the specific steps that will make your lawn of St. Augustine flourish. This article outlines all the necessary steps required to Thicken St Augustine Grass on your lawn.
About St Augustine Grass
St Augustine, scientifically known as Stenoatphrum secundatum, is a turfgrass. This grass is nonnative and is not modified for an arid environment. Besides, they are salt-tolerant. The warm states in the USA like Florida usually grow St Augustine. 80° to 100 ° Fahrenheits is suitable for this type of grass. They are dark green or blue-green and the blades are flat and broad. Unlike Bermuda or zoysia, St Augustine retains the green color of its grass. The grass has stolons and plugs to perform vegetative propagation. North America and Central America are home to St Augustine.
How to thicken St Augustine Grass?
To have lush green lawns of St Augustine grass, various essential steps must follow. Following is the stepwise explanation of actions to perform for grass growth.
Prepare the Soil
To know the soil condition, first test the soil. This soil analysis will confirm the nutrients in the soil, fertility, pH of the soil, etc. The pH of the soil must be from 5 to 8.5 for St Augustine to grow. Sandy, acidic, well-draining soil is ideal for the grass. Acidic soil is the most convenient soil for the grass. The grass will have a chlorotic look in alkaline pH i.e., pH above 7.5. If your soil is not appropriate for St Augustine grass, you can choose fertilizer to alter the pH.
Another ideal soil condition for Augustine grass is a well-draining soil. Sandy soil is the most preferable for grass growth. Besides, grading the soils and making the base even is an essential step. Grading can avoid water pooling as well.
Till the soil with compost or pine bark and aerate it, in case you have clayey soil.
You can choose to either install the sod or sow the seeds of the St Augustine plant in your lawn. The best time to plant St Augustine is early June (when the summer begins) as it needs full sun for at least 90 days. It usually takes 7 to 14 days for the plugs of St Augustine grass to grow. Whereas the roots to place the grass firm in the soil will take 14 days. There are a few necessary steps to Planting the St Augustine grass.
- Remove the weeds to clear the ground so that they don’t compete with the natural growth of the grass.
- Lawn Measurement, to plan the raw material required for the area.
- Apply Lawn repair mix to ensure balanced growth of grass on the area without leaving patches.
- The roots will grow if it gets moisture. Hence watering would be an important step before planting the grass.
- For plugs and sprigs, make furrows all over the area by keeping a distance of 12 inches for sprigs and 24 inches for plugs.
- If you are planning to install sods, then first prepare the solid edge boundary with a wooden rod. This will aid in placing sods in the right place. Now with installing the other sods against the first sods till the end of the lawn.
- After installation, watering the lawn through sprinklers would be a crucial step for the growth.
For the next 14 days after installation, watering grass many times a day would be crucial for the grass to grow and adjust to the new environment. After the roots are fixed into the soil, the watering can be reduced to twice or thrice a week as per the need of the grass. The grass would turn dry and the blades would change their color if the water supply is not enough. If possible, maintain a watering schedule.
Important note – Make sure the water does not stay stagnant. Standing water or mud is not healthy for grass growth.
Fertilizers containing nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, iron, etc. are beneficial for the grass. Both synthetic and organic fertilizers will help the grass grow green. Organic fertilizer would be a better preference as it might be slow in showing effects but would always give healthy grass growth. It will not even harm the soil and the grass in the long run.
Assure yourself that the grass is rooted into the soil before you start mowing. There are different suggested heights for individual grasses. Mange to keep the height of the blade from 2.5 to 4 inches for St Augustine. Cutting down the grass lower than this can affect the grass. This grass spreads above the ground through solon. Hence low mowing might result in injury to the grass. Besides that, it also induces temperature stress. To schedule, mowing is necessary to maintain the grass and the quality of the grass.
There are certain advantages to regular mowing of St Augustine grass
- The regular use of reel or rotary lawn mowers promotes vertical growth and lateral density in lawns.
- As it cleans the area, it reduces pest infestations by eradicating some pests.
- It provides uniform and consistent growth to the lawn.
Weed Control is very essential to let the grass grow without facing competition in nutrients and water uptake.
You can either use weedicides to kill the weeds or remove them from your lawn if there are fewer weeds on the lawn. There is a proper strategy to apply for the herbicide to use and a suitable weed killer for the grass.
Go watch the below-mentioned YouTube video to guide you through the process.
How to Make St Augustine Grass Dark Green Quickly?
There are several reasons due to which the grass might be turning brown or yellow. The lack of nitrogen or other nutrients can cause the grass to go light green. Usually, due to rain, the nitrogen of the soil is flushed out with water which results in the grass turning yellow. If you observe yellow spots, Iron chlorosis might be the reason for the spots. Fungal infections can also cause yellow circles on the blades of St Augustine. Moreover, over-fertilizing can cause yellowing too. Chinch Bugs infection can be dangerous for the grass, this can cause yellow grass surrounding dead patches.
Providing Adequate Nutrients
Make sure that you provide proper nutrients to the grass. In case of rainfall, take care of nutrient content in the soil. As we discussed before the excess amount of fertilizer can be harmful, an appropriate amount of fertilizer is crucial.
The fertilizer must contain one pound of nitrogen for a 1000 square feet area of the sod of St Augustine. The Sulphate water spray of 2 gallons to 3 to 5 ounces is preferable for 1000 square feet. Maintaining the pH would be an essential step. You should fertilize the farm once a month depending on the need of your grass.
St Augustine is a turfgrass; sunlight is a primary requirement for the convenient growth of such grass. Direct sunlight will aid in the growth of green grass all over your lawn. St Augustine performs better than other turfgrass in shady regions. Proper sunlight is still important for the healthy growth of the St Augustine grass.
Lastly, nursing the grass with the relevant care and protection from weeds, pests and insects will promote your grass to grow healthy green. Based on the type of soil, provide water twice a week. If the soil is sandy and drains water quickly, provide more water. Track the infections and diseases the grass might have. Treat the grass against pests and parasites.
There are varieties of turfgrasses, among these St Augustine is widely grown in the state of Florida. It is also found on the eastern coast of the US. The quality of saline tolerance in these grasses makes them unique from all the other turfgrasses. There are numerous things that we need to take care of while growing this grass. With the right supervision of the grass, you can have a beautiful lawn filled with dark green St Augustine grass. Go check your lawn, follow the above-mentioned steps, and comment if our blog helped you gain the fresh, green, and thick St Augustine grass again.