How To Make St Augustine Grass Spread Quickly

A St Augustine lawn is great for warmer climates. When properly maintained, you can make St. Augustine grass into a thick, durable turf, which can withstand shade and heat.

With a little lawn care and expertise, it may be simple to manage an entire lawn of fast-growing St. Augustine and learn why growth can slow.

St Augustine grass grow with age, and besides stolon’s, which are horizontal growth shoots that pass barely above the ground, it can spread quickly and reduce waiting time after plugging. So, St. Augustine may create thick, carpet-like grass.

When you look at how to thicken St Augustine grass, you’ll need well-aerated, pH-tested soil for fast growth and spread. Plant high-density plugs for quicker results, and keep your lawn watered, fertilized, and weeded as St Augustine thrives and spreads fastest in a healthy setting.

Make St Augustine Grass Spread Faster

In our guide, you can learn more about the best warm-season grasses to withstand drought stress, and how to care for them at these times.

By the end, you’ll know how to speed up Augustine growth for your established lawn. Most of all, you’ll know what the proper lawn care is to make your Augustine grass spread faster. (Learn Is Spray On Grass Seed Worth It?)

How Long Does It Take For St Augustine Plugs To Spread?

Because of its tolerance to hot and moist climates, St. Augustine grass is one of the most preferred lawn grasses in Florida and the Gulf states.

Its blue-green grass leaf blades make a dense turf. You’ll find it grows rapidly and easily and can withstand salt, making suitable for coastal yards.

Planting plugs of established grass is an effortless way to get a St. Augustine lawn started. The plugs, which are rooted sod pieces, eventually fill up the gaps between them, resulting in lush, gorgeous grass. St. Augustine sod is also available for purchase, but it can be costly.

When to Plant St. Augustine Grass

St. Augustine grass thrives in the warm months of spring and summer when maximum temperatures range from 80 to 100 degrees Fahrenheit. To give the grass plenty of time to develop, plant St. Augustine grass plugs or sod in full sun at least 90 days before your region’s first projected fall frost.

Here are the steps you need to plant St. Augustine grass seed

St. Augustine grass plugs

Measure Your Lawn

To ensure you buy enough St. Augustine grass plugs, measure the exact measurements of the area you’ll be planting. The area covered by a tray of 18 plugs is approximately 32 square feet.

Prep the Area

Rent a sod-cutter to remove the old sod and vegetation if you’re replacing an existing lawn. Then, 2 weeks before planting, use a non-selective herbicide to eliminate weeds; make sure you pick a product that won’t leave a residue that will affect the newly planted St. Augustine grass. (Find the Best Fertilizer For St Augustine Grass)

You can hand-pull a few weeds if you just have a few but make careful to get the complete root system.

Apply Lawn Repair

Apply a lawn repair treatment for St. Augustine Lawns evenly across the planting area, and ensure no bare ground is visible. To help St. Augustine grass plugs fill in faster, you can find such products mix fertilizer and a mulch which absorbs up to 6 times its weight in water.

 

Water the Ground

Before you plant, make sure the area is well watered. Watering makes the earth more pliable and provides instant moisture to the roots of the St. Augustine grass plugs and helps grass spread quickly.

The water you apply should seep into the soil rather than remain on top of it. Continue to wet the patch until totally saturated and no more water is absorbed, which could take several minutes.

Start Digging

Dig holes in a diagonal planting pattern, forming a diamond with each group of four holes. The holes themselves should be separated at a distance of 12 inches, so holes across the center of each diamond will be 15 inches apart.

Each hole should be larger than the root ball of the plug, but at the same depth. A grass plugging tool can also be purchased or rented at your local hardware shop or online. With a lot less effort, this tool creates exactly sized plug holes.

Position Your Plugs

Make sure each plug is level with the surrounding ground by pressing a plug’s root ball firmly into each hole. If your holes wind up being too deep, you can make sure they are completely filled by pushing in some nutrient-rich soil.

St. Augustine grass watering schedule

Water Your Lawn

Maintain a strict watering schedule every day or as needed until the plugs are well-rooted and spreading. The roots will usually take 7-14 days to establish themselves. After that, unless your lawn has received a lot of rain, water it once a week.

Check for Bugs & Disease

St. Augustine grass lawns that have just been planted need to be protected as they establish themselves. Pests such as Southern Chinch bugs and disease can affect both the roots and the turf. Keep a tight eye on your grass. If you see brown patches (chinch bugs) or mildew forming, you’ll need to take action. (Learn How To Make St Augustine Grass Thicker)

How Do You Grow St. Augustine Grass In Bare Spots?

Whether your lawn is completely bare, or the grass appears to be thinning, one thing is certain: uneven lawns are unsightly.

The next best thing until self-repairing lawns are devised is quick and easy bare spot repair. Continue reading to learn how to patch and restore bare places using the best supplies and techniques.

St. Augustine grass (Stenotaphrum secundatum) is an excellent choice for your home if you want a lush, thick lawn that is easy to maintain and resistant to weed growth.

St. Augustine grass, also known as buffalo grass in South Africa and Australia, is a thick, durable, carpet-like lawn grass species that thrives in warm climes and forms magnificent lawns.

St. Augustine grass is a shade-tolerant, thick, and durable turf that can also survive the heat with adequate care and maintenance and a warm climate. If you’re thinking of installing a new gorgeous lawn in your home, you might wonder how to get your St Augustine grass to grow and spread quickly.

St. Augustine grass is usually planted as sods or plugs. The grass has hefty leaves that are flat and broad. St. Augustine grass spreads as it grows, with the help of stolon’s, or horizontal shoots that grow and spread over the ground.

When compared to other turfgrasses, St. Augustine grass spreads quickly, making it a superb choice for creating a thick, carpet-like lawn.

St. Augustine grass demands nutrient-rich soil to make grass grow and thrive, hence fertilizer treatment should be done regularly as part of lawn management.

St. Augustine grass does not thrive in cold soil temperatures or wet soil, and it requires topsoil rich in nitrogen and salt, as well as enough space for the grass roots to expand freely.

Nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus in the ratio 3:2:1 are the optimum fertilizers for St. Augustine grass development.

Nitrogen is critical for the growth of St. Augustine grass, and around 1 pound (0.45 kg) of soluble nitrogen per 1,000 square feet (92.9 m2) is required, implying a high coating of nitrogen. When using nitrogen fertilizer in the initial stages, use caution and apply sparingly.

Once you’ve found the right fertilizer for your St. Augustine grass lawn, apply it evenly and avoid over-concentrating it, since this can suffocate and damage the sod.

Water the grass after applying the fertilizer but be careful not to over-water it. Because St. Augustine grass does not require a lot of water, the soil should only be wet, not drenched. Apply the fertilizer after the last frost of the season has passed, as doing so sooner can injure the grass.

How to Get St Augustine Grass to Spread

Here’s how to make St Augustine grass thicker and spread faster across your regular-sized lawn.

Use the right soil

Choose a soil type that encourages St. Augustine grass growth and spread before planting it on your lawn. Some soils (like wet soil) stunt St. Augustine’s development by decreasing subsurface oxygen supplies.

Add dirt to bare or uneven sections of your yard to help prevent pooling.

Waterlogging may be the cause of slow, thin lawn growth. In clay soils, this turf grass grows slowly.

St. Augustine grass prefers well-drained soil (like sandy soil) with a pH of 5.0 to 8.5. Growing and spreading faster with a slightly acidic pH.

Use sandy loam soil or clean free-flowing sand to top-dress a St. Augustine grass.

Get a DIY soil test kit to see if you have the proper soil type for your lush grass.

Maintain an appropriate maintenance schedule

After establishment, maintain a weekly lawn maintenance routine. Water, fertilize and mow effectively. This is the best way to make sure St. Augustine grass grows as you desire.

Mow St. Augustine grass at 3.5-4 inches. Use a high-quality, slow-release fertilizer to help St. Augustine thrive.

Phosphor-rich fertilizers help promote grass spread in the first few months after installation. Then you can use regular nitrogen fertilizer. 0.7 lbs. of “Nitrogen” per 1,000 sq ft is recommended.

By the sixth week, carry out frequent watering when necessary.

Plant St. Augustine grass in the summer

St. Augustine is a summer-growing turfgrass. Establishing your lawn in mid-summer allows for optimal growth and dispersion of this grass variety throughout your lawn.

St. Augustine grass goes dormant in the winter and fall and growing at these times isn’t recommended for the rapid spread of the Augustine runners.

Control weeds

You may also need to eliminate weeds early to avoid nutrient competition and thicken your lawn. Weeds on your yard fight with St. Augustine grass for nutrients. Weed invasion can seriously impede the St Augustine grass spread fast and plant growth.

Kill weeds on your lawn will help St. Augustine grass grow faster and thicker. Crabgrass, dallisgrass, and most broadleaf weeds are infamous grass weeds that inhibit St. Augustine lawn grow speed.

Notably, lawn owners shouldn’t apply herbicides if the temperature outside exceeds 85 degrees, as they can harm your green lawns existing grass.

St. Augustine grass turning yellow

FAQ

Why is my St. Augustine grass turning yellow?

Many factors can induce the yellowing of St. Augustine grass. If there has been a lot of rain, the nitrogen in the soil may drain out, causing the grass to turn yellow.

Your grass may be yellow due to iron chlorosis or a lack of iron. To avoid this, apply a liquid iron or granular fertilizer in the summer.

How often should I water St. Augustine grass in the summer?

To keep St. Augustine healthy, St. Augustine grass requires watering every 5–10 days. For the healthiest grass, water should reach 6 inches (15.24 cm) into the soil. Because this grass is drought tolerant, only water it if you notice bluish or dull shoots or shoots rolling in on themselves. Watering the grass will help it bounce back.

What soil should I have to get St Augustine Grass to spread?

Augustine grass thrives in pH ranges of 5-8.5 but prefers a slightly acidic pH. St. Augustine grass prefers well-drained sandy soils and does not fare well in wet, compacted clay soils or soils with too much organic matter.

Because this soil lacks sufficient oxygen, it cannot support plant growth. The ideal soil is well-aerated and loose-textured.

For a St. Augustine grass lawn, use clean free-flowing sand or sandy loam soil as a top dressing. This will assist reduce soil water retention.

When do I plant St. Augustine grass?

Summer growth of St. Augustine grass is rapid, whereas winter growth is slower. St. Augustine grass is a warm-season grass that should be planted in the summer to maximize growth and spread.

However, regular watering is required, especially in hot and dry weather, to keep a healthy lawn.

How do I mow St Augustine grass?

Make sure the St Augustine grass plugs or sod are well established and growing vigorously before mowing. Once the grass has grown properly, mow the lawn regularly to a height of 3.5in (8.89 cm) with a sharp blade. Thatch can be avoided by collecting lawn clippings as you mow.

How fast will my St. Augustine grass spread?

The roots of St. Augustine grass plugs spread once installed. It usually takes 4-14 days for new grass stolon’s to spread. The time to fill the grass depends on the plug spacing.

It usually takes over a year for St. Augustine grass to fully cover a standard-sized lawn.

Below is the spread guide based on type, low-density, and high-density planting. These are estimates based on perfect conditions.

  • Dense Growth Pattern: 6” to 11” between plugs. Time to Fill: 1 growing season.
  • Typical Density: 12” to 18” between plugs. Time to Fill: Up to 1 year.
  • Low Density: 13” to 25” between plugs. Time to Fill: More than 1 year.

How To Make St Augustine Grass Spread Quickly

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