St Augustine grass is a warm season grass widely used for low traffic lawns and in ranches and pastures.
It loves moisture and is found naturally along shorelines and in coastal tropical and sub tropical areas like the Gulf of Mexico region, West Indies and West Africa. Beach ridges, lagoons, swamps and limestone shorelines are where it grows naturally.
People love St augustine grass because of its thick turf appearance and the fact that it thrives in hot climates and can sustain cooler temperatures than other warm season grasses like bermuda grass. It does require maintenance: fertilizing (nitrogen), mowing, applying fungicides and thatching. One of the best mowers listed here is recommended.
St Augustine Grass Features
Growing season. Very fast growing during summer months. Goes dormant in winter at around 50 F (10 degrees C).
Shade tolerance. Type of grass that is moderately tolerant of shade. More tolerant than other warm season grasses.
Drought tolerance. Not very/moderately tolerant of drought. Loves water even more than other warm season grasses. Requires extra irrigation in dry climates.
Foot traffic tolerance. Not tolerant of foot traffic. Ideal for lawns and general purpose turf. Not ideal for sports fields or walking parks.
Maintenance needs. Could be considered high maintenance. Requires fertilizing, pest management, disease management, regularly mowing and regular thatching.
Sun requirement. Tolerant of shade.
Disease tolerance. St Augustine grass is susceptible to pests and disease. Does require application of insecticides and fungicides.
St Augustine Grass Lawn Mowing
Mowing height. St Augustine grass requires frequent mowing during summer for ideal health. If in full sun probably once per week. If in shade probably every 10 days. If you want a grass lawn less than 2 inches you should mow it every 5 days. As the height you desire increases you should be mowing less frequently. Come fall and throughout winter you should leave the grass an inch longer to allow its leaf to absorb more sun.
Recommended lawn mower. St Augustine grass can be thick and hard to mow and for that reason the best petrol is recommended.
Sources and Further Reading
1. There’s a large amount of information on St Augustine grass. The most thorough and easy to understand was this publication written for Texas A & M Horticulture Department by Richard L. Duble, turfgrass specialist.
2. The University of California Agriculture Department also did a page for St Augustine grass that was used to research this page’s information.