How to Get St. Augustine Grass to Spread: A Comprehensive Guide

Having a lush, green lawn is a dream for many homeowners, and St. Augustine grass is a popular choice for achieving this. If you’re wondering how to get St. Augustine grass to spread effectively, this comprehensive guide will provide you with the knowledge and techniques you need. 

From understanding the characteristics of St. Augustine grass to mowing, fertilizing, and protecting it in extreme weather conditions, we’ll cover everything you need to know. Let’s dive in!

Understanding St. Augustine Grass

Before delving into the process of getting St. Augustine grass to spread, it’s crucial to explore its characteristics. St. Augustine grass is known for its vibrant green color, dense growth, and ability to thrive in warm climates.

However, it does have both advantages and disadvantages that you should consider before choosing it as your lawn grass.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Choosing St. Augustine Grass

 St. Augustine grass offers numerous advantages, such as its shade tolerance, resistance to wear and tear, and ability to withstand drought conditions. On the other hand, it has a lower cold tolerance and requires regular maintenance to prevent thatch buildup.

By understanding these pros and cons, you can make an informed decision about whether St. Augustine grass is the right choice for your lawn.

How to Get St. Augustine Grass to Spread?

1.    Preparing the Groundwork

The first step in getting St. Augustine grass to spread is preparing the ground. This involves assessing the soil conditions, conducting a pH test, and making necessary amendments for optimal growth.

Understanding your soil’s characteristics and pH level will help you determine the appropriate steps to take to ensure the best possible environment for your grass.

2.    Selecting the Right Variety

St. Augustine grass offers several varieties, each with its unique characteristics and suitability for different climates.

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Familiarize yourself with popular St. Augustine grass varieties and choose the ideal one for your specific climate and soil conditions. Selecting the right variety is crucial for the success of your lawn.

3.    Seeding vs. Sodding

Deciding whether to seed or sod St. Augustine grass is an important consideration. Explore the pros and cons of each method to make an informed decision.

Seeding may be more cost-effective but requires careful maintenance, while sodding offers instant results but comes at a higher cost.

4.    Nurturing New St. Augustine Grass

Timing is key when planting St. Augustine grass, and early summer is the optimal period for establishment. Learn how to prepare the soil for seeding or sodding and master proper watering techniques.

5.    Fertilizing St. Augustine Grass

Regular fertilization is essential for the long-term health and spread of St. Augustine grass. Explore the importance of fertilization and learn how to choose the right fertilizer for your lawn.

6.    Mowing and Maintenance

Maintaining the ideal mowing height is crucial for the health and spread of St. Augustine grass. Discover the art of mowing this grass type and learn tips for maintaining the appropriate height. We’ll also guide in controlling weeds, and pests, and preventing common diseases.

7. Control Weeds and Pests in St. Augustine Grass

To control weeds and pests in St. Augustine grass, practice regular lawn maintenance by mowing at the proper height, watering deeply but infrequently, and fertilizing appropriately.

For weed control, manually remove weeds, apply pre-emergent herbicides in early spring or fall, and use post-emergent herbicides for existing weeds.

8.    Protecting St. Augustine Grass in Extreme Weather Conditions

Extreme weather conditions can pose challenges to St. Augustine grass. Learn how to prepare your lawn for hot and dry weather, protect it against frost and freezing temperatures, and ensure proper winter care.

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By taking appropriate measures, you can safeguard your grass and promote its spread.

9.    Extra Tips for Enhanced Spread

In this section, we’ll provide additional tips to enhance the spread of your St. Augustine grass. Topics covered include aeration and dethatching, proper watering schedules, fertilization timing and techniques, and shade management for optimal growth. These tips will help you achieve a dense and healthy lawn.


To achieve a beautifully spread St. Augustine grass lawn, it’s important to understand its characteristics, prepare the groundwork, select the right variety, and nurture the new growth. Regular mowing, maintenance, fertilization, and protection against extreme weather conditions are crucial. By implementing the tips and techniques discussed in this guide, you can successfully promote the spread of your St. Augustine grass and enjoy a vibrant, lush lawn.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How long does it typically take for St. Augustine grass to spread?

St. Augustine grass typically takes around 2 to 3 months to spread and fill in an area.

Can I use St. Augustine grass in shady areas?

St. Augustine grass prefers full sun but can tolerate light shade, although it may become thinner and less vigorous in shady areas.

What are the common pests and diseases affecting St. Augustine grass?

Common pests and diseases affecting St. Augustine grass include chinch bugs, armyworms, brown patch fungus, and gray leaf spots.

How often should I mow St. Augustine grass?

St. Augustine grass should be mowed to a height of 2.5 to 4 inches, and the frequency of mowing can vary depending on the growth rate, usually around once every 7 to 10 days.

Can I overseed St. Augustine grass to enhance spread?

Overseeding is not recommended for St. Augustine grass, as it is a thick and aggressive grass that doesn’t typically benefit from overseeding.

How can I revive thin or damaged St. Augustine grass?

To revive thin or damaged St. Augustine grass, you can aerate the soil, dethatch if necessary, provide proper irrigation, fertilize appropriately, and address any underlying pest or disease issues.

Additional Questions

How can I promote the spread of St Augustine grass?

It’s important to remember that **fertilization plays a crucial role** in promoting the growth of your St. Augustine grass. Initially, you should use a phosphorous-rich fertilizer, as this assists in properly establishing the roots after the grass has been installed. However, be mindful that the fertilizer should contain very low or no nitrogen at all at this stage. Once your grass has started to grow, you should then switch to a nitrogen-based fertilizer, which is designed to boost the growth rate of the grass. My years of maintaining lawns has really shown me the difference a good fertilizing strategy can do for the overall health of the yard.

Will bare patches be covered by the spreading St. Augustine grass?

How can I achieve a fuller St. Augustine lawn?

Remember that St. Augustine grass thrives best in soil that is sandy, acidic, and well-draining. To get a lawn that’s thick and full, you should always aim to maintain a soil pH level that’s between 5.0 and 8.5. If you’ve got patches in your lawn without any grass, you can **add topsoil there and level your yard** to prevent water from accumulating in certain areas. If your existing soil is clayey or doesn’t drain well, consider aerating it or tilling it after adding compost or pine bark. I’ve personally seen the transformation of a lawn when such steps are taken, and the result is often thick, lush, and full St. Augustine grass.

When will my St. Augustine grass start spreading?

It’s common to see **newly installed St. Augustine grass plugs starting to spread after 7-14 days**, but this is, of course, subject to the grass’s roots being firmly established in the soil. From my experience in lawn maintenance, I’ve observed that weather conditions can also affect this time frame, so it might vary slightly based on your specific circumstances.

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