Everyone wants a lush carpet of grass on their lawn, and if you are in Texas then you know St. Augustine grass is one of the best choices of grass types for the climate we have. St, Augustine grass likes the hot temperatures and it can even grow well in shady areas, (I have seen runners of thus grass growing under buildings and houses) and St. Augustine does best in the portions of the state that are closer to the southern regions and have milder winters.
St. Augustine will even flourish during periods of drought. This type of grass puts on long roots that reach deep beneath the surface so the heat of the sun does not wither them or draw all of the moisture away from them.
St. Augustine grass creates a beautiful lush carpet of grass. Weeds, sticker plants, and flowers like the Indian Paintbrush, and the Texas Bluebonnet cannot compete with the grass and are quickly choked out as the grass puts on runners.
You have seen signs saying “keep off of the grass” and if you have ever struggled to get pretty grass growing in your yard you know how frustrating and time consuming grass is. When you first plant your St. Augustine grass you will want to keep anyone from walking on the newly planted plugs, but once this grass has taken root you can rest assured that foot traffic is not going to destroy it. It is a hardy grass that makes a “blue-ish” green carpet so lush on your lawn that you will want to lie down on it and relish in the cushion of comfort.
To keep your St. Augustine grass healthy you will need to provide it with proper amounts of moisture and feed it a good fertilizer.
Water Requirements for St. Augustine Grass
St. Augustine grass will require about one inch of water each week during the growing season. You can watch the color of your grass to determine when you need to water it. Typically the grass blades are a blue-ish green in color, but when the grass starts to need water the color becomes more of a grayish green. You will also notice the blades of the grass beginning to bend over and look wilted, or tired.
Here is a cool video of planting this grass, don’t miss it!
Fertilizers for St. Augustine Grass
Your St. Augustine grass needs nitrogen rich fertilizers in order to be the healthiest it can be. Nitrogen rich fertilizers can either have a quick release or a slow release of the nutrient. If you apply a quick release formula you can expect your grass to respond to it in about a week, but if you apply the slow release formula then it could take as much as 10 weeks before your lawn shows the benefits of the food you provided. A good fertilizer for your lawn will be one that has a combination of quick and slow release nutrients so you can get immediate results and long lasting results from one application.
When you are shopping for a fertilizer you want to find one that will provide a pound of nitrogen for every one thousand square feet of grass area if you are using a quick release, and double that amount to two pounds for a one thousand square feet area if you buy the slow release version. You will find that three pounds of ammonia nitrate will provide about that much nitrogen to your grass.
If you buy fertilizer derived from a cotton meal you are going to need fifteen pounds of the fertilizer in order to provide the one pound of nitrogen per one thousand square feet of grass.
When you buy a fertilizer that is labeled with three numbers; such as 4 – 1 – 2. Or 12 – 12 – 12, you can figure out how much of the product you will need to apply in order to give your grass the proper amount of nitrogen with the following equation. Dive the number 100 by the first number of the three numbers. So if you are purchasing a 12 – 12 – 12 you will need to use 8.33 pounds of the product to provide your grass with the equivalent of one pound of nitrogen for a one thousand square foot area.
When you apply your fertilizer is just as important as the amount of nitrogen the fertilizer contains. You want to wait until about three weeks after the last threat of frost for your area to give your lawn its spring feeding. Then you want to give the grass more fertilizer every eight weeks if you are using the quick release formula and every ten weeks if you are using the slow release formula.
Stop feeding the grass at least one month before it goes into its dormant stage and does not apply any fertilizer during the winter months when the grass is dormant.
St. Augustine is one of the prettiest carpet style grasses that can be grown in Texas. It can tolerate the heat, and it can even tolerate the salty air conditions close to the Gulf of Mexico. It provides a beautiful green carpet on top of the dry sandy Texas soil.