Written by 2:00 am Lawn Tips

St Augustine Grass – Frequently Asked Questions

This warm-weather, primarily coastal grass is popular from North Carolina to Texas. St Augustine's ability to form a dense layer of lush turf make it very attractive for homeowners whose climate can support this type of grass. 

Here are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions regarding St Augustine.

What causes St Augustine grass to turn yellow?

The two most common causes of St. Augustine grass turning yellow is due to an iron or nitrogen deficiency. Iron is an essential element in chlorophyll production. Not only does chlorophyll help the plant absorb sunlight, but it also causes its green color. Iron deficiencies typically occur in the spring and are identified by green streaking on a yellow blade. Iron deficiencies can easily be corrected with an application of Ferti-Lome Chelated Liquid Iron.

If the blades of grass are a solid yellow color, is likely suffering from a nitrogen deficiency. To correct this problem, apply a fertilizer with higher nitrogen, or first number (N-P-K). In many situations, iron and nitrogen can be applied together.

Which St Augustine grass is best for shade?

Overall, St. Augustine handles shady areas better than most other grass species. However, optimal growth needs between 6-8 hours of direct sun. The most shade-tolerant varieties are Seville and Palmetto.

When should I plant St Augustine grass?

Spring or Summer, when the temperatures are at least 80 degrees. Like all new sod, St. Augustine needs to be water multiple times a day for the first couple of weeks. Then reduce watering to once a day. St. Augustine sod or plugs need at least 90 days to establish before the first frost.

When should I fertilize St Augustine grass?

This type of grass responds best to a split fertilizer treatment. Apply nitrogen in the summer months and potassium in the early fall. We recommend Ferti-lome St. Augustine Weed and Feed.

When does St Augustine grass go dormant?

Soil temperature determines if St. Augustine stays green or goes dormant in cooler weather. When soil temperature falls, and remains, below 55 degrees Fahrenheit, the grass will go dormant. If in an area where soil temperature is always above this, the grass remains active.

When does St Augustine grass come out of dormancy?

As soil temperature rises above 55 degrees Fahrenheit, the grass will begin to turn green and become active.

Where does St Augustine grass grow?

St. Augustine can be found from North Carolina to Texas, however is predominately found near coastal areas. This grass thrives in areas with hot summers and mild winters. It also tolerant of salt water splash.

Where is St Augustine grass from?

Historically a coastal grass, St. Augustine grass varieties have “their roots” from the gulf coast of the United States, Caribbean and western Africa.

How to get St Augustine grass to grow back?

Proper maintenance of St. Augustine will encourage it to grow back. Follow our fertilizer recommendations of nitrogen in the summer months and potassium in the early fall. We recommend Ferti-lome St. Augustine Weed and Feed. Also, ensure that the lawn is getting at least 1” to 1 ½“ of water per week.

How to fix bare spots in St Augustine grass?

Remove any dead thatch before replacing or filling in bare areas with new sod or plugs. Once established, St. Augustine will quickly fill in bare areas.

Is St Augustine grass okay for dogs?

Dog urine can burn, or cause St. Augustine grass to turn brown. Encourage dogs to go away from the grass, or water areas after a dog has gone.

Is St Augustine grass shade tolerant?

St. Augustine grass is the most shade tolerant species of warm season grasses. However, for maximum growth, St. Augustine grass lawns need at least 6 to 8 hours of direct sunlight.

Is St Augustine grass drought tolerant?

This grass species is one of the more drought tolerant warm season grasses, however for optimal growth needs between 1” and 1 ½“ spread over one week.

Why does St Augustine grass turn brown?

St. Augustine will turn brown as it goes dormant during colder months. Dog urine can also cause the grass to turn brown. Lastly, dead St. Augustine grass will turn brown and crispy as it dries out in hot temperatures.

Will St Augustine grass choke out weeds?

A properly maintained St. Augustine yard forms a dense layer of turf that is extremely effective in preventing and choking out weeds. Follow our guide to maximize your St. Augustine lawn’s potential.

Will St Augustine grass grow in sand?

St. Augustine will grow in sandy soils, however will not grow in pure sand.

Will St Augustine grass spread?

When properly maintained, St. Augustine can be very aggressive and spread quickly. This is mainly due to runners, or stolons, that spread the grass above the soil. Follow our guide to maximize your St. Augustine lawn’s potential.

Stolon of St Augustine Grass
A Stolon of St Augustine. This is how St Augustine grass spreads.

What kind of St Augustine grass do I have?

Determining the specific variety of St. Augustine grass can be difficult, even for an experienced turf expert. The most frequently planted variety is called Floratam. It is the easiest to maintain and most disease resistant. Seveville is the variety of choice for extremely shady areas. This variety has a finer blade than Floratam and can thrive with, as little as, 6-7 hours of direct sun.

Can St Augustine grass be overwatered?

Established St. Augustine grass lawns need around 1 ½“ of water spread out over a week. Overwatering your St. Augustine grass lawn can be problematic. Signs of overwatering include curled leaves, color change to grayish blue, soggy depressions, and in extreme situations, grass dieback.

Can St Augustine grass grow in full sun?

St. Augustine grows very well in at least 6-8 hours of full sun. Full sun, combined with adequate irrigation, will maximize your lawns potential.

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