NOTE: A yellow appearance may also develop during early spring. Aerification: Core aeration is the process of punching small holes into the turf and soil to alleviate compaction, allowing air to get to the root system. However, there can be exceptions. When to Plant St. Augustine Grass St. Augustine grass grows best in the warmth of spring and summer, when high temperatures are normally 80-100 °F. Use a lawn mower with a bag attached or hand rake to collect and properly dispose of the turf material pulled up. A dull mower blade will shred the turfgrass foliage.Gary Forrester, ©2018, Horticulture Extension Agent, Clemson University. If new turfgrass growth is encouraged by fertilization during the early spring, and it is followed by a late frost, this can result in significant damage to the lawn. Another method is to walk across the lawn late in the evening. Selective herbicides may be applied in the winter for control of annual bluegrass and other winter annual weeds. Producing a yearly maintenance calendar for managing turfgrass consistently year after year can be difficult in a state with such a diverse climate as South Carolina. Large patch is a fungal disease that is active during warm, humid spring and fall weather. Unfortunately, between the front and back lawn I probably have 2 to 4 different types of turf. St. Augustinegrass is a wide-bladed, spreading, warm-season turfgrass that is adapted to the warmer regions of the southeastern United States.Joey Williamson, ©2018 HGIC, Clemson Extension. However, St. Augustine grass can do better than Bermuda in low light conditions. I contacted Dr. Richard Duble, Turfgrass Specialist and Professor for A&M and he writes: "seedstalks are not that uncommon in the summer. Once the threat for spring frost has passed and the lawn is fully greened-up, lawn aerification may be combined with dethatching to alleviate soil compaction and thatch problems. If an insect problem occurs, it is important to positively identify the problem and select the appropriate insecticide to apply. This turfgrass maintenance calendar may be used on turf grown throughout the state; however, management practices may need to be adjusted based on the year’s climate and the region where the turf is grown. For more information, please see HGIC 2150, Brown Patch & Large Patch Diseases of Lawns. Lime or sulfur may also be added if a soil test indicates a need. Shop grass & grass seed and a variety of lawn & garden products online at Lowes.com. Late Summer (August): Fertilize with ½ to 1 pound of actual nitrogen per 1,000 square feet, depending on soil type, before August 15 using a high potassium fertilizer such as 15-0-15. Less sunlight will retard its growth due to reduced photosynthesis. Monitor the lawn on a regular basis to assess the need for irrigation. Houston Grass South distributes St. Augustine, Bermuda and Zoysia grass sod grown on our family farm in Bay City, TX, where we’ve been growing top-quality grass for more than 30 years. Research has shown that an early season insecticide application after the turfgrass has greened-up will reduce the late season activity. Granular herbicides must be watered into the soil soon after application. Be careful not to set the mower too low, as it may scalp the lawn. Copyright © 2020 Clemson UniversityClemson Cooperative Extension | 103 Barre Hall Clemson, SC 29634864-986-4310 | Contact UsHGIC@clemson.edu, Centipedegrass Yearly Maintenance Program, College of Agriculture, Forestry and Life Sciences. St. Augustine is a warm-season grass that grows well in full sun and moist soil in warm, coastal areas. Katie. Insect Control: There are various insects and related pests that may infest St. Augustinegrass during the summer months. If the grass in the footprints does not bounce back, then irrigate the lawn the next morning. St. Augustine grass spreads rapidly and aggressively via above-ground stolons, or runners. If the turf stays wet, circular yellow to brown areas may begin to develop and slowly grow in size. This height reduction should be done just before the lawn greens up, which usually occurs during late April or early May. Be aware, it could take several months for lime and sulfur applications to affect the soil pH. St. Augustine grass can be planted in a variety of soil types with a pH range of 5.0 to 8.5. 3 steps to success: prep, apply, water. St. Augustinegrass is sensitive to certain herbicides, such as 2,4-D, so follow label directions for reduced mixing rates. The general rule to turfgrass irrigation is to water “deeply and infrequently”. Dormancy conserves the grass’s energy and prevents damage due to … Q: Please tell me where I can buy St. Augustine grass seeds. It grows well in hot, salty climates and can cope with drought. Do not mow the lawn 3 days prior or 2 days after application. At this point, a fungicide application will be needed. Call 281-431-7441 for Help in Selecting the Best Grass Variety for Your Project Three-way herbicides typically contain 2,4-D. St. Augustinegrass is sensitive to 2,4-D, so follow label directions for mixing and use. For St. Augustinegrass, consider dethatching when the thatch layer is greater than ½ inch. Ready-to-use mulch and fertilizer. This is best done before the first frost. Watering to prevent drought stress can help eliminate turf loss during the winter. Lime or sulfur may be applied if recommended by a recent soil test. As with all pest control, proper weed identification is essential for best control options. Get free shipping on qualified St. Augustine Grass Seed or Buy Online Pick Up in Store today in the Outdoors Department. Insecticide applications targeted at the mole crickets in their smaller nymph stage are the most effective controls, even if damage has not yet occurred. Sod farms cultivate new St. Augustine sod fields by planting small plantlets (plugs/sprigs) of St. Augustinegrass, which grow into a full field of sod in 8–12 months depending on the latitude of the sod farm. Do not use a power rake with a 1-inch blade spacing, as severe turf injury may result. Once nighttime temperatures fall below 70 °F, raise the mower cutting height ½ to 1 inch to allow more leaf surface. Gardeners enjoy this grass type for its compressed grass blades that contribute a dense texture for lawns. You do not want to have Sapphire grass as your lawn. Once a lawn is prepared, St. Augustine grass seed is planted at a rate of 1/3 to ½ pound per 1,000 square feet in early spring or late summer. After the lawn has become dormant, water as needed to prevent excessive dehydration. It may take several years to make a large pH change. COVID-19 Extension Updates and Resources ... More Information », Factsheet | HGIC 1218 | Published: Aug 31, 2018 | Print | Download (PDF). St. Augustine grass spreads both by rhizomes and stolons, meaning that it sends out runners both above and below ground. All recommendations for pesticide use are for South Carolina only and were legal at the time of publication, but the status of registration and use patterns are subject to change by action of state and federal regulatory agencies. Selective, post-emergent herbicides can be applied as necessary for control of chickweed, henbit, and other cool-season broadleaf weeds. If a soil test indicates a higher soil pH, sulfur can be applied to lower it. South Florida Turfgrass Field Day and Expo. Mowing:Mow the lawn slightly lower than the regular summer mowing height. All recommendations are for South Carolina conditions and may not apply to other areas. Scotts® Turf Builder® Thick’R Lawn™ is specially designed to turn weak, thin grass into a thicker, greener lawn. Always mow with a sharp blade using a mulching type mower, which leaves the clippings to decompose on the turf. Use pesticides only according to the directions on the label. Last frost dates and first frost dates can vary by several weeks from the coastal areas of South Carolina to the foothills of the Upstate. Chinch bugs can be very destructive to St. Augustinegrass. The mower setting should be between 2 to 2½ inches high. St. Augustine grass varieties do not produce a harvest-able seed. Be careful not to set the mower too low, as it may scalp the lawn. Pre-emergent herbicides create a barrier that keep weed seeds from germinating. Be sure to not allow the lawn to stay excessively wet if the lawn has a clay soil. Turf weakened by disease in fall will be slow to recover in the spring; therefore, fungicide applications are needed to control disease before the grass goes dormant. Overall, proper water management, fertilization, mowing height, and thatch control are essential to curtail large patch and gray leaf spot problems. Maybe some day it will. Lawn Breeders Growing Saint Augustine From Seed Some turf breeders do indeed breed and grow new St Augustine grasses from seed during their development and breeding cycle, but it’s very rare. If a pre-emergent herbicide was not applied in the spring, the resulting weeds will need to be controlled using postemergent herbicides. For more information on weed control, see HGIC 2310, Managing Weeds in Warm Season Lawns. 85-sq ft … Plant St. Augustine grass during summer Being a warm-season turfgrass, St. Augustine grows best during summer. St. Augustine grass (Stenotaphrum secundatum), also known as buffalo turf in Australia and buffalo grass in South Africa, is a warm-season lawn grass that is popular for cultivation in tropical and subtropical regions. Lawns in shady areas perform better when mowed at 3 to 4 inches high. I’d like to know because if they are seeds for anything else I’ll make sure to bag the clippings when I mow this weekend, tallahassee lassie – posted 12 May 2005 10:22. Find St. Augustine grass & grass seed at Lowe's today. Fertilizing with a micronutrient fertilizer, such as manganese sulfate, can alleviate manganese deficiencies. Overseed a Thin Lawn. This is not the best time to apply an insecticide because of the cool soil temperatures and reduced insect activity. In heavily infested turf, the rounded areas may grow together and no longer appear circular. Therefore, it is important to monitor temperatures and apply the needed management practices based on that year’s climate. For more information on turfgrass watering, see fact sheet HGIC 1225, Conservative Turfgrass Irrigation. Perhaps more frequent mowing would keep them from being so offensively visible. St. Augustine varieties are available in sod, sprigs or plugs only. Disease Control: For disease control, especially large patch, it is extremely important to treat with fungicides during the fall months. Monitor the turf on a regular basis during the growing season, especially during hot, dry periods. When the turf begins to dry, it will appear to have a bluish hue. Apply a post-emergent herbicide as needed to control existing winter weeds. For more information, see fact sheets: HGIC 2156, White Grub Management in Turfgrass; HGIC 2155, Mole Cricket Management in Turfgrass; HGIC 2488, Two-lined Spittlebug; HGIC 2157, Bermudagrass Mite, Rhodesgrass Mealybug, & Groundpearl; and HGIC 2487, Chinch Bugs. Sometimes St. Augustine grass will produce these seed heads. However, with cooler nights and shorter day lengths, control can be quite difficult because of slow turf recovery during this time. This height reduction should be done just before the lawn greens up, which usually occurs during late April or early May. Localized dry spots or hot spots can be watered as needed by hand. It combines grass seed, fertilizer, and a soil improver into an easy-to-use product that’s applied using a spreader. Our lawn has some now and we like it a lot, but we’re having trouble finding seeds. Join our mailing list to receive the latest updates from HGIC. Things To Do When Saint Augustine Lawns Begin Seeding. The plant is very finicky about producing viable seed….. and for that reason, seed companies have just about given up on it. Disease Control: The most common diseases that affect St. Augustinegrass during the growing season are large patch (formerly known as brown patch) and gray leaf spot. This is especially important if warm, bright days preceed days forecasted to be in the low 20’s or colder. Mowing: The ideal mowing height for St. Augustinegrass can range from 2½ to 4 inches depending on the specific site and management regime and is best determined by the growing conditions. If your cool-season lawn seems thin, fall is a great time to thicken it by overseeding before winter arrives. ANSWER: St. Augustine grass does not generally produce viable seeds like other types of grasses do. The addition of phosphorous, the middle number in the fertilizer analysis, should only be applied if recommended by a soil test. It’s normally a very aggressive spreader – in fact, most of the time I hear questions about how to stop it! Absorbs 6X its weight in water. If the soil stays saturated all winter, this can cause many other problems. If more than six grubs are found under the sod piece, apply a lawn insecticide labeled for grub control according to label directions. During periods of environmental stress due to high temperatures or a lack of rainfall, raise the mowing height ½ to 1 inch until the stress is eliminated. There are horticultural books that say St. Augustinegrass is propagated vegetatively because it produces no seed. Follow label directions as to post application watering. Bermuda grass requires full sunlight all day long to grow optimally. If the damage is minimal, monitor the activity and wait before applying an insecticide. St. Augustinegrass should be fertilized three times during the summer, as recommended below. St Augustine will produce seedheads but the seeds don’t grow. This information is supplied with the understanding that no discrimination is intended and no endorsement of brand names or registered trademarks by the Clemson University Cooperative Extension Service is implied, nor is any discrimination intended by the exclusion of products or manufacturers not named. Alternatively, the lawn can be hand raked to remove the excessive dead leaf material from the lawn surface. Damage is often more severe in sunny areas near driveways, sidewalks, or roadways, where the turfgrass is under more heat stress. St. Augustinegrass will grow best at a pH of 6 to 6.5. It is not unusual for St. Augustinegrass to green up and be burnt back several times during the late winter or early spring due to late season frosts. Soils in the upstate are typically acidic and rarely need sulfur applications but usually do need lime. For more information on aerification, see HGIC 1226, Turfgrass Cultivation and HGIC, 1200 Aerating Lawns. seed – posted 12 May 2005 12:18. Clemson University Cooperative Extension Service offers its programs to people of all ages, regardless of race, color, gender, religion, national origin, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital or family status and is an equal opportunity employer. It will turn brown with fall freezes and will be slow to green in the spring. What makes commercial seed production unprofitable are several factors, such as the difficulty of processing the seeds (the spikelets are embedded in sockets in a corky rachis), their slow “take” in competitive situations, and the fact that any seed produced from a vegetative planting will be all inbred seed, with depressed vigor. The best way to install a St. Augustine grass lawn is to purchase grass sod from a high-quality sod dealer like Houston Grass South. Mowing: Mow the lawn slightly lower than the regular summer mowing height. With warm temperatures through September and the possibility of excessive rainfall that may occur during that period, diseases can increase rapidly. Winter desiccation can be a problem during dry winters. Clay soils, however, will hold moisture for a longer period of time. Apply 1 pound of potash (K2O) per 1,000 square feet, 4 to 6 weeks before the first expected frost, using 1.6 pounds of muriate of potash (0-0-60) or 2 pounds of potassium sulfate (0-0-50) per 1000 square feet. St. Augustinegrass lawns should receive 2 to 4 pounds of actual nitrogen per growing season, per 1000 square feet of turf. The scores from … When the leaf blades wilt, turn a blue-gray color or when footprints remain visible after walking in the grass, the lawn is in need of irrigation. Trent C. Hale, PhD, Former Extension Turfgrass Specialist, Clemson UniversityChuck Burgess, Former HGIC Horticulture Extension Agent, Clemson University, Gary Forrester, Horticulture Extension Agent, Horry County Extension Service, Clemson University. Follow all label directions on the product for application rate. In most southern climates, St. Augustine grass is the coveted turf of choice, while Bermuda grass is an invasive nuisance. Need help: Weed control for ornamental perennial peanut (rhizomes type)? Chinch bugs are fairly easy to control using general insecticides, but applications need to be made before the population has risen to a level where damage is occurring. There will be small purplish spots on the leaves and at an advanced stage, the grass will have a scorched appearance. Ever. Early Summer (May): Apply ½ to 1 pound of actual nitrogen per 1,000 square feet in early May after the lawn fully greens up. According to the University of Texas, this grass is native to the regions surrounding the Gulf of Mexico. One way is to observe the lawn daily. Mowing: Continue to mow St. Augustinegrass at the normal mowing height until the weather starts to cool in the fall. I have observed and counted large numbers of emerged St. Augustinegrass seedlings following sod harvest of some varieties (but not Floratam), and the numbers of seedlings are proportional to the seed production per unit area. They are not all that common. The mower setting should be between 2 to 2½ inches high. You should, therefore, establish your lawn in mid-summer when conditions are great for the growth and spread of this grass species all over your lawn. Additionally, do not apply post-emergence herbicides when the turf is emerging from winter dormancy or when the summer temperatures are 90 °F or higher. Copyright © 2020 Phil Busey Agronomy Consulting Inc. Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window), Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window), Paspalum grass for lawn | Walter Reeves: The Georgia Gardener, Identification and History of Bitterblue St. Augustine – Turfgrass Producers of Florida, Identification and History of Bitterblue St. Augustinegrass. An infestation may cause the turf to die, which will need to be replaced or allowed to grow back in. Be sure to use a sharpened mower blade. Monitor the winter rainfall on a regular basis, and apply water to the turf if no measurable rain occurs over a 3 to 4 week period. This is especially important if warm, bright days proceed days forecasted to be in the low 20’s or below. The added moisture in the soil will help keep the growing points of the turf warmer, preventing crown death. In certain situations where large patch has been prevalent yearly, a preventative fungicide application may be needed starting in early October to stay ahead of the disease. Apply 5 lbs of pelletized sulfur per 1000 square feet of turf. Starting a lawn with St. Augustine grass seed requires the same preparation as any other lawn seed. In general, do not apply post-emergent herbicides to the lawn once the turf begins to green. This could indicate an iron or manganese deficiency due to soil temperatures lagging behind air temperatures, high pH soils, or high phosphorous levels. For more information on thatch removal, see HGIC 2360, Controlling Thatch In Lawns. St. Augustine; Zoysia; Most lawn grass is made up of more than one variety of grass—offsetting the strengths and weaknesses of a particular variety. If this document didn’t answer your questions, please contact HGIC at email@example.com or 1-888-656-9988. Contact the local County Extension Office, or the Home & Garden Information Center for positive identification and proper management strategies. Apply an insecticide to reduce the population and reduce further turf damage. If a weed problem begins and the grass has begun to green with warmer temperatures, wait until the grass has fully greened-up before applying a post-emergent herbicide. For more information on weed control, see HGIC 2310, Managing Weeds in Warm-Season Lawns. Thatch Removal: If a thatch layer becomes a problem, use a dethatcher or vertical mower to remove it. Important times to monitor the weather are during late winter or early spring when the turf is coming out of dormancy and early autumn when the first frost is forecasted. This fertilizer may be especially important if the soils are sandy. Follow label directions for use of any herbicide and use with caution during these times. Mole crickets and grub eggs will usually hatch mid-summer. St. Augustinegrass is sensitive to certain herbicides, such as 2,4-D, not only during spring green-up, but also during hot summer temperatures. See HGIC 1652, Soil Testing for instructions on how to properly submit a soil sample. Please see HGIC 2151, Gray Leaf Spot on St. Augustinegrass. If the bag is picking up soil, mainly sand, when the lawn is mowed, then the blade may need to be sharpened more often than once a month. This will help to correct problems associated with poor infiltration and drainage. See the section on fertilizer calculations below to determine how much granular fertilizer should be applied. Mole crickets, chinch bugs, spittlebugs, grubs, ground pearls, and nematodes can cause considerable damage. About 4~6 inches tall, thick to the touch, with scales like seed pockets. Results may vary. For more information, refer to HGIC 1207, Watering Lawns and HGIC 1225, Conservative Turfgrass Irrigation. If you’re planning on establishing a St. Augustine lawn, but have had issues with Bermuda in the past, you may be in for a challenge. That said, other weeds do produce seeds that grow, and it can be hard to tell the difference from a mower. A long-term approach is needed to correct either cause, but an iron product can be added to quickly enhance turf color between the spring and summer fertilizer applications. On first signs of seeding, apply these lawn care tips to your Saint Augustine lawn: Not true. Spray sufficiently to wet the foliage, but do not spray excessively. Plant St. Augustine grass plugs or sod in full sun, at least 90 days before your region’s first estimated fall frost, to give the grass plenty of time to establish. Sharpen the mower blade monthly or as needed during the growing season. To help reduce disease problems, fertilize and lime St. Augustinegrass according to a recent soil test report. As for the type of care St. Augustine grass needs, this warm-season grass likes moisture and should be watered deeply. For best results, use a dethatcher with a 2- or 3-inch blade spacing set at a ¼-inch depth after the turf has fully greened-up. Do not apply herbicides unless grass and weeds are actively growing and are not suffering from drought or heat stress; therefore, water the lawn thoroughly the day before application. Since it is fueled by moisture, it is important to maintain a rather dry condition in the lawn by employing proper watering practices, as well as providing adequate soil drainage. Approximate application times are mid-February in the coastal and central areas and mid-March in the piedmont/mountain areas. How to Plant St. Augustine Grass An application of a soluble iron product, such as iron sulfate or a commercial chelated iron, in between fertilizer applications, will enhance the green color without encouraging growth. For more information on mowing, refer to HGIC 1205, Mowing Lawns. It is my goal to have just one type of grass, preferably the St. Augustine since it appears to be the one covering the most area.I couldn’t mow it for the last 3 weeks and now I have these sort of sticks everywhere that appear to come from the St. Augustine stolons. A soil test will help determine if a fertilizer containing phosphorous is required. Irrigation: Water the lawn to prevent drought stress. Insecticide because of the turf bad idea of winter Rye insect control: for disease control, contact... Of chickweed, henbit, and a variety of soil types with micronutrient. 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