Considerations for Landscaping with St. Augustine Grass

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In Florida, St. Augustine grass is one of the best types of sod you can use for landscaping your yard. It creates a dense blanket of grass with wide blades, yet many varieties are still soft enough to lay on without a blanket. You can use this grass even if your yard is shady, in contrast with many other types of grass that will die if they don’t get enough sun. The humidity of Florida even lends itself well to this type as it thrives in a more tropical climate. Before you order that pallet of St Augustine sod, you should review a few considerations for landscaping with this type of grass.

Water Needs

According to the University of Florida, St. Augustine grass does need watering during drought periods to keep it alive. Fortunately, Florida tends to get plenty of rain so true droughts aren’t overly frequent, but you can always run a sprinkler periodically to ensure your grass is getting enough water.

Maintenance

Aside from possible watering, St. Augustine grass is easy to mow and edge. It becomes dormant during the colder months, so it virtually stops growing and needs very little care.

Chinch bugs are one possible pest issue with St. Augustine grass. You can perform a simple test for chinch bugs and if you determine that treatment is needed, a soap solution can act as a natural insecticide to rid your lawn of the bugs.

These bugs can become more of an issue if your grass develops thatch. This can become a problem with any type of grass that produces runners, which are horizontal offshoots of new grass growth. When these runners are allowed to grow out of hand, you end up with patches of grass that are thick and not actually rooted in the ground. You can help prevent this by not cutting it too low and bagging your lawn clippings.

Installation

St. Augustine doesn’t grow well if you try to plant it with seeds, so sod or plugs are typically used. Because this type of grass produces runners, the grass quickly spreads and establishes a root system with minimal effort from you.

There are a few steps you should take before you lay down your new sod. Preparation of the area is key and includes removing old grass and making the soil level.

Overall, a beautiful lawn of St. Augustine grass is worth the effort of installation and maintenance. It is durable enough for children to play on yet comfortable enough to sit and lay on.

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