St Augustine Grass Maintenance Calendar
Every turf type needs a maintenance program to grow healthy and lush year round including St Augustine Grass, this grass type once properly groomed will produce a beautiful carpet of grass that’s just stunning. I have worked with St Augustine over the years and have gotten great results even though I faced a few challenges.
Many homeowners also have to deal with the challenges of how to maintain their St Augustine being faced with the decision if a professional company should be brought in which can be pretty pricy base on the size of the area to be cared for and the issues that are presented. Below, we will be discussing how to DIY your St Augustine grass to promote continued healthy green lush growth while saving your hard-earned dollar.
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St Augustine Grass Maintenance Schedule
Before your grass begins to grow vigorously mow dormant grass leaves at a height of 21⁄2 inches, your lawn should be maintained at a height of between 21⁄2 to 4 inches. The higher mowing height will encourage grass to be tolerant of drought conditions and shade.
During the growing season when your St Augustine grass is growing actively supply with 1-inch of water per week, Soils that are sandy often require to be watered more frequently. Water (1⁄2 every 3 days), These amounts of water can be provided either by irrigation system or rainfall.
A pH test is so important to ensure that your St Augustine grass is getting the nutrients that it needs, during this time of the year carry out a soil pH test to determine nutrient availability. The test can be carried out by using a soil test kit or contact your local extension center to assist you. If you decide to apply fertilizer without a pH test then fertilize your turf with a complete (N-P-K) turf-grade fertilizer with a 3-1-2 or 4-1-2 ratio (12-4-8). If your grass is yellow you may have an iron deficiency issue. Treat lawn with iron (ferrous) sulfate (2 ounces in 5 gallons of water per 1,000 sq feet) or a chelated iron to encourage green-up.
Lawn pests such as white grubs may be active during this time of the year, mark or make notes of those areas and apply a preventive application the following spring or during the early summer months. Applications should only be applied when adult activity is at its peak, to know if there is a chinch issue look for grass in sunny locations that shows signs of yellow spots or drought symptoms. Next, remove the top and the bottom of a coffee can, push one of the cut sides of the coffee can into the ground now fill the can with water. Within a few seconds if chinch bugs are present they will float to the top. If 15 or more chinch bugs appear proceed to treat with a lawn pesticide that’s formulated for chinch bugs. Before applying pesticides read and follow the manufacturer’s directions for the best results.
Large patch of St Augustine grass usually develops during conditions that are cold and wet, in the fall months this disease is most active when soil temperatures decline 80°F. Keep a close eye out for this disease during the spring months as well, soil temperatures that reach 55°F for 4 days or longer should be treated with a fungicide. Large patches are also encouraged by low mowing heights, poor soil drainage, overuse of nitrogen during the fall and spring months, thatch accumulations, and overirrigation.
To control goosegrass and crabgrass a preemergence herbicide should be applied in late February, postemergence herbicides will control broadleaf weeds. Before applying herbicides read and follow the manufacturer’s directions for the best results.
Lawns that experience heavy foot traffic and lawns that are grown in heavy clay soils will benefit from lawn aeration, when the time comes take action by aerating in late spring or early summer when the grass is actively growing this will encourage your grass to recover quickly.
If your St Augustine shows signs of bare spots or areas in May or when temperatures reach above 60°F continually, treat these bare spots by using plugs planted on 12-to 24-inch centers or sprigs with space between plants at the rate of 11⁄2 bushels per 1,000 square feet. One square yard of turf pulled apart is equivalent to one bushel of sprigs.
Continue the lawnmowing program as you did in March-May
Continue the watering program as you did in March-May
Apply 1⁄2 pound of nitrogen per, 1,000 square feet in June and August and 1 pound of nitrogen in July, and use a complete (N-P-K) fertilizer with a 3-1-2 or 4-1-2 ration if a soil test is not carried out.
To control perennial broadleaf weeds and summer annual apply postemergence herbicides, broadleaf weeds such as prostrate knotweed (annual or short-lived perennial) spurge (annual), and lespedeza (perennial) Herbicides should not be applied if your grass is under drought stress and weeds are actively growing. If goosegrass and crabgrass are spotted then treat with preemergence herbicides come the following spring. Because St Augustine grass is sensitive to certain herbicides read and follow the manufacturer’s direction for the best results.
If thatch build-up was 3⁄4 inch thick last summer mow grass to 21⁄2 inches tall, a power rake with 3-inch blad spacing is needed to perform this procedure.
During June through August gray leaf spots can become an issue on St Augustine grass, because of continual rain small irregular patches develop. Areas that are affected will have small spots with gray centers surrounded by a dark brown or purple border. Applications of fluoxastrobin, azoxystrobin, or pyraclostrobin can help, before applying read and follow the manufactures directions for the best results.
To know if you have a chinch bug issue look for grass in sunny locations that shows signs of yellow spots or drought symptoms. Next, remove the top and the bottom of a coffee can, push one of the cut sides on the coffee can into the ground now fill the can with water. Within a few seconds if chinch bugs are present they will float to the top. If 15 or more chinch bugs are found proceed to treat with a lawn pesticide that’s formulated for chinch bugs. Before applying read and follow the manufacturer’s directions for the best results.
Follow the same instructions as you did in March-May.
While the grass is actively growing water to discourage drought stress conditions and continue to water after the grass goes dormant to avoid excessive dehydration.
During the month of September apply at a rate of ½ pound Nitrogen per 1,000 square feet or less.
Follow the same instructions as you did in June-August.
During the months of September to November large patches develops especially during the wet cool weather, the pathogen that causes this issue is most active when the soil temperature is 80°F in the fall. Watch for this issue also during the spring months, Fall applications for preventive control are important for disease control. When soil temperature decline 80°F apply a preventive fungicide. A monthly application should be continued until soil temperatures drop below 60°F. Sometimes because of environmental conditions, 3 applications in the fall may be needed.
If goosegrass and crabgrass are spotted treat the following spring with a preemergence herbicide.
If thatch layer is discovered in early September and is 3⁄4 inch thick, carry out de-thatching during the spring months.
During this time of year, your lawn does not need to be mowed except to move debris such as leaves, sticks, etc…
Water occasionally to discourage excessive dehydration during the dry winter months
Lime or fertilizer should not be applied
Chickweed and henbit can be controlled by applying a broadleaf herbicide, Selected herbicides such as simazine and atrazine can be applied in November or December to control annual bluegrass and several winter annual broadleaf weeds.
In case you missed it, here are the best lawn mowers and weed eaters for St Augustine Grass
- The best weed eaters for St Augustine Grass
- The best lawn mower for St Augustine Grass
- The Ego lm2101 Lawn Mower Work
- Ensure that the lawnmower blade is sharp at all times because a dull blade will not only rip or tear the leaves making your lawn unattractive but will also encourage disease and weeds
- Some grass clippings should be left on the lawn to recycle, this natural organic will help to supply your grass with the nutrients that it needs
- Before applying any herbicides read and follow the manufacturer’s directions for the best results.
- You need to apply 1 pound of N per 1,000 square feet, to know how much fertilizer is needed simply divide 100 by the first number on the fertilizer bag. The first number always represents N content. For example, if you get 10-10-10 fertilizer divide 100 by 10. The answer is you will have to purchase 10 pounds of fertilizer for every 1000 square feet of lawn.
The final word on St Augustine Grass Maintenance Schedule
St Augustine grass is a warm-season grass that grows beautifully once maintained properly, this grass type is not hard to care for at all though you have to put in some work. Following this guide will help you to have much success with your St Augustine grass. Make your grass the talk of the neighborhood this spring and summer, because as they say “the grass is greener on the other side of the fence” why not let it be your grass?
About the author
Norman loves being in the garden, both at home and for his job....
he is 'Natures Little helper' being outdoors, growing his vegetables and flowers from an early age.
Now having spent over 22 years in the profession he want to give some of his knowledge to others...
his vast array of hints and tips you will find scattered over this site will help you no end growing plants in your garden.
4 thoughts on “St Augustine Grass Maintenance Schedule”
Gardening is a really cool thing to do and a great topic to choose. I can see that you put a lot of work into this because you give a lot of information. This is helpful. It is good that you have a way to make money through gardening. There is not much ads and i appreciate that and also there are pictures and entertaining stuff. I will need this information cause i also do gardening.
It is, I am so happy to help, thanks so much for stopping by and commenting. Have a good day!
You’ve given some excellent tips on how to maintain St Augustine grass. We have been working very hard to get our lawn to a healthy, green, and lush-looking state. It definitely takes work and maintenance year-round. Last year our lawn suffered from snow mold because we made the error of not cutting it short enough in the fall, lesson learned. Hopefully, this year our lawn will be much better, and we will follow your maintenance schedule when it comes to fertilizing and watering. Thanks for sharing.
So sorry to hear of your grass issues in the past but I am so happy to help. Wishing you all the best of success.