Tips for Maintaining St. Augustine Grass Year Round
St. Augustine grass is the most popular grass type in lawns across Florida due to its ability to grow in most soil types and pH levels. A well-maintained lawn with St Augustine Grass will have an alluring dark green hue necessary for any aesthetically pleasing lawn.
There are a multitude of assortments of St. Augustine Grass and each one has its pros and cons. They are all however vigorous growers and require protection against diseases, drought, weeds and insects.
The following are some ways to ensure your St Augustine Grass is retains its health all year round:
Water your lawn 2 times per week once the weather begins to warm up. Begin your weekly moving cycle once the grass comes out of dormancy.
Use a non-bag lawnmower so that the clippings can decompose on the turf. Clippings work as a slow-release organic fertilizer that returns nutrients to the soil.
Apply fertilizer 2 to 3 weeks after dormancy ends. Use fertilizer like Weed and Feed that are specifically made for lawn damage prevention. If you don’t use Weed and Feed, be sure to find fertilizer specifically designed for St. Augustine grass.
Apply fertilizer 8 to 10 weeks after the Spring application.
Increase the watering rate to 4 times weekly to ensure the soil water level is optimal. Be sure to check your soil’s makeup and ability to hold moisture.
Avoid watering late in the afternoon or evening as mold and fungus grows in wet grass at night.
Do not apply herbicide when the temperature is hotter than 90F to prevent grass damage.
When temperatures begin to fall, apply an Autumn or Winterizing fertilizer to provide your grass a more balanced nutrient blend for the coming months.
Reduce your mowing schedule to once a week or twice, depending on your local weather.
Weeds grow at a lesser rate in the Fall, but to prevent weed growth in the Spring use a weed killer to can neutralize any hibernating or budding weeds.
St Augustine Grass prefers warm weather and becomes dormant once the soil temperature falls below 68F.
Reduce watering and mowing frequency to once or twice a month.
You can apply a winterizing fertilizer to your lawn to ensure that your grass does not become malnourished.
Herbicide is also recommended to prevent the growth of Crabgrass once your grass comes out of hibernation in the Spring.
The three numbers listed on a bag of fertilizer represent the percentages of Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potassium, respectively. St. Augustine Grass prefers fertilizers with high Nitrogen content during the growing season, and a more balanced fertilizer for the rest of the year.
Several species of insect inhabit lawns, and pests like Moles and Armadillos prey upon the insects. These animals burrow under the surface of the lawn and disrupt the root system of the grass. You can tell your lawn is infested when there are small piles of dirt or tunnel entrances around your lawn. Be sure to administer a granular pesticide and spray animal repellent to deter pests from making a home out of your lawn.
Healthy St. Augustine Grass, especially when installed via sod, crowds out competing weeds and competing grass quiet well. The presence of weeds typically indicates a problem such as improper fertilization, insect infestation, or disease. When using weed killer, be sure to check its compatibility with St. Augustine grass, and follow the manufacturer’s recommended rate of application.
If you’re pulling weeds by hand, make sure to grip the weed near the turf’s surface to remove the roots as well as the foliage.
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