If you're planting a new lawn, choosing the right type of grass is important. If you're looking for a grass that's ideal in warm climates but can easily adapt to increased shade and fluctuating weather, St. Augustine grass may be your solution. This is ideal in more tropical environments where the weather can fluctuate significantly. Unfortunately most varieties of St. Augustine grass are sterile, so you don't find this grass grown from seed very often. That doesn't make it impossible, though. Here are some tips to help you grow St. Augustine grass from seed to create your lawn.
How to Obtain Your St. Augustine Grass Seed
If you really want to start with seed to grow St. Augustine grass, you need to find a supplier who offers fertile seeds. That's the only way that your seeds will germinate and produce grass. Talk with a local landscaper to see if you can obtain seed directly from them. Some landscapers will supply the seeds but may require that they apply the seed for you. If your landscaper won't offer the seeds directly, you might be able to obtain them from a local sod farm that grows St. Augustine grass. It's best to purchase an average of one pound per 2,000 square feet of lawn space.
How to Plant Your St. Augustine Grass Seed
Break up the soil across your yard with a tiller to create a soft, well-prepared environment for the grass seed to settle. After the yard is tilled, work some starter fertilizer into the first couple of inches of tilled soil.
Spread your grass seed in an even layer from left to right across the yard. Once you've covered the whole area, go back and work from right to left. This process ensures that you cover the yard with an even, consistent layer of seed over the soil. Then, rake the soil lightly to press the seed into the ground. Once the surface is raked, water the seeds thoroughly.
Over the first couple of weeks after planting, you need to keep the soil consistently moist. Don't over-saturate it though –- you shouldn't have any standing water on the surface of the soil. After the first couple of weeks, you should start to see some seedlings appearing.
How to Care for St. Augustine Grass
After the seedlings sprout and your lawn starts to fill in, you'll want to transition your watering and other treatment to a maintenance effort. In the early growth cycles, St. Augustine grass needs lots of fertilizer. Apply a fertilizer with a rich nitrogen content monthly until the lawn is full and growing well. Then, apply the fertilizer quarterly instead.
What If You Can't Find Seed for St. Augustine Grass?
If you are unable to find a supplier who will sell you seed, you can still cover your yard in St. Augustine grass. Reach out to a landscaping professional to see if you can order St. Augustine grass sod for your yard instead. For areas where sod isn't available, consider asking your landscaper about plugs. Plugs can be planted in the early spring season to help you create a full lawn. Whether you opt for seed, sod or plugs, the preparation is the same. Make sure to till and treat the soil first.
A full, thick lawn of healthy grass can really make your new house feel like home. With the information presented here and the support of a landscaping professional who is familiar with St. Augustine grass, you can plant your new lawn starting with St. Augustine grass seed or other alternatives. Start planning now and you'll be able to plant your lawn right after the spring thaw.
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