Heavy populations can be reduced with appropriately timed insecticide treatments during this period. For more information on turfgrass watering, see fact sheet HGIC 1225, Conservative Turfgrass Irrigation. Gardeners enjoy this grass type for its compressed grass blades that contribute a dense texture for lawns. There will be small purplish spots on the leaves and at an advanced stage, the grass will have a scorched appearance. I know of no way to prevent them. If this document didn’t answer your questions, please contact HGIC at hgic@clemson.edu or 1-888-656-9988. Lime or sulfur may be applied if recommended by a recent soil test. Things To Do When Saint Augustine Lawns Begin Seeding. Late Summer (August): Fertilize with ½ to 1 pound of actual nitrogen per 1,000 square feet, depending on soil type, before August 15 using a high potassium fertilizer such as 15-0-15. You do not want to have Sapphire grass as your lawn. In the coastal and more Southern regions of South Carolina, this generally will occur sometime during April, but further inland, this may be as late as mid-May. To manage a lawn, it is important to know the soil texture in the top foot of soil. Apply 1 pound of potash (K2O) per 1,000 square feet, 4 to 6 weeks before the first expected frost, using 1.6 pounds of muriate of potash (0-0-60) or 2 pounds of potassium sulfate (0-0-50) per 1000 square feet. Katie. For more information on aerification, see HGIC 1226, Turfgrass Cultivation and HGIC, 1200 Aerating Lawns. Just be aware that these lawn care practices will not stop a Saint Augustine lawn from seeding altogether, nor suddenly, but they will help in reducing the length of time that the lawn does seed. The date of initial turf green-up can be quite variable. It’s normally a very aggressive spreader – in fact, most of the time I hear questions about how to stop it! Fertilization: Do not apply nitrogen at this time. Weed Control: Many winter annual weeds can be managed by applying a pre-emergent herbicide in September with a second application 8 to 10 weeks later. St. Augustine grass (Stenotaphrum secundatum), also known as buffalo turf in Australia and buffalo grass in South Africa, is a warm-season lawn grass that is popular for cultivation in tropical and subtropical regions. There are several ways to determine when the lawn needs watering. If the turf stays wet, circular yellow to brown areas may begin to develop and slowly grow in size. Gray leaf spot may occur on St. Augustinegrass during the heat of summer when the turf remains damp for extended periods, usually during rainy periods or on newly laid sod being kept wet. COVID-19 Extension Updates and Resources ... More Information », Factsheet | HGIC 1218 | Published: Aug 31, 2018 | Print | Download (PDF). Starting a lawn with St. Augustine grass seed requires the same preparation as any other lawn seed. How to Plant St. Augustine Grass That said, other weeds do produce seeds that grow, and it can be hard to tell the difference from a mower. Be careful not to set the mower too low, as it may scalp the lawn. Need help…live in DFW sodded Palmetto S/A last year looked great…over seeded Winter Rye…mow yard looks awful. For more information, see fact sheets: HGIC 2156, White Grub Management in Turfgrass; HGIC 2155, Mole Cricket Management in Turfgrass; HGIC 2488, Two-lined Spittlebug; HGIC 2157, Bermudagrass Mite, Rhodesgrass Mealybug, & Groundpearl; and HGIC 2487, Chinch Bugs. This turfgrass maintenance calendar may be used on turf grown throughout the state; however, management practices may need to be adjusted based on the year’s climate and the region where the turf is grown. Watering to prevent drought stress can help eliminate turf loss during the winter. In 3 months, recheck the soil pH and see what change was made. There was a time when St Augustine grass seed was being made available in limited quanities. Disease Control: The most common diseases that affect St. Augustinegrass during the growing season are large patch (formerly known as brown patch) and gray leaf spot. Sod farms cultivate new St. Augustine sod fields by planting small plantlets (plugs/sprigs) of St. Augustinegrass, which grow into a full field of sod in 8–12 months depending on the latitude of the sod farm. To help reduce disease problems, fertilize and lime St. Augustinegrass according to a recent soil test report. If more than six grubs are found under the sod piece, apply a lawn insecticide labeled for grub control according to label directions. Houston Grass South distributes St. Augustine, Bermuda and Zoysia grass sod grown on our family farm in Bay City, TX, where we’ve been growing top-quality grass for more than 30 years. St. Augustine grass goes dormant when soil temperatures dip down to 55℉ (12℃). Most areas of South Carolina receive enough rainfall during the winter to avoid winter desiccation of lawns. Renovation: Replant large bare areas in May using sod, plugs, or sprigs (5 bushels per 1,000 square feet). If you’re planning on establishing a St. Augustine lawn, but have had issues with Bermuda in the past, you may be in for a challenge. Repeat application in 10 to 14 days, if needed. Important times to monitor the weather are during late winter or early spring when the turf is coming out of dormancy and early autumn when the first frost is forecasted. My lawn is in the panhandle of Florida. Clemson University Cooperative Extension Service offers its programs to people of all ages, regardless of race, color, gender, religion, national origin, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital or family status and is an equal opportunity employer. Apply sulfur only when the air temperatures are below 75°F. If the turf at the edge of the dying area shows a smoky brown, rotted appearance, it will be necessary to apply a fungicide treatment. The best way to install a St. Augustine grass lawn is to purchase grass sod from a high-quality sod dealer like Houston Grass South. Dormancy conserves the grass’s energy and prevents damage due to … When the entire lawn appears dry, apply ¾ to 1 inch of water the next morning. You should, therefore, establish your lawn in mid-summer when conditions are great for the growth and spread of this grass species all over your lawn. This will give the number of pounds of product to apply to 1000 square feet of turf. The mower setting should be between 2 to 2½ inches high. This will allow the turf to become acclimated by the time the first frost occurs. This information is supplied with the understanding that no discrimination is intended and no endorsement of brand names or registered trademarks by the Clemson University Cooperative Extension Service is implied, nor is any discrimination intended by the exclusion of products or manufacturers not named. With warm temperatures through September and the possibility of excessive rainfall that may occur during that period, diseases can increase rapidly. Weed Control: A selective, annual grass and/or broadleaf weed control pre-emergent herbicide that is labeled for use on St. Augustinegrass and applied during late winter and spring will reduce many weeds the following summer. Clay soils, however, will hold moisture for a longer period of time. However, as the soil temperatures start to climb, the yellowing should slowly go away. Be careful not to set the mower too low, as it may scalp the lawn. Use a lawn mower with a bag attached or hand rake to collect and properly dispose of the turf material pulled up. Mowing: The ideal mowing height for St. Augustinegrass can range from 2½ to 4 inches depending on the specific site and management regime and is best determined by the growing conditions. Call 281-431-7441 for Help in Selecting the Best Grass Variety for Your Project When applying insecticides for chinch bug control during the summer, rotate chemical families or mode of actions to reduce the chance of pesticide resistance. Plant St. Augustine grass plugs or sod in full sun, at least 90 days before your region’s first estimated fall frost, to give the grass plenty of time to establish. Take a look at the video below to see the process of how farmers sprig warm season grasses using slabs of sod. Follow all label directions on the product for application rate. Sod farms loves pushing this because incentives matter; if you buy… As it stands now, no seed is available for St Augustine grass. St Augustine will produce seedheads but the seeds don’t grow. For more information on white grub management, see HGIC 2156, White Grub Management in Turfgrass. On first signs of seeding, apply these lawn care tips to your Saint Augustine lawn: Need help: Weed control for ornamental perennial peanut (rhizomes type)? Since it is fueled by moisture, it is important to maintain a rather dry condition in the lawn by employing proper watering practices, as well as providing adequate soil drainage. This could indicate an iron or manganese deficiency due to soil temperatures lagging behind air temperatures, high pH soils, or high phosphorous levels. Potassium, typically known as potash, may be applied to enhance winter hardiness if a recent soil test indicates low to medium levels of potassium. Not so fast, tallylassie, St. Augustinegrass seeds have high germination, over 70% in my experience. Scotts® Turf Builder® Thick’R Lawn™ is specially designed to turn weak, thin grass into a thicker, greener lawn. Contact the local County Extension Office or the Clemson Home & Garden Information Center for identification and control of weeds in the lawn. Mid-summer (June through July): Fertilize with ½ to 1 pound of actual nitrogen per 1,000 square feet, depending on soil type, using a high potassium fertilizer such as 15-0-15. Insect Control: Any insects that were missed during the nymphal stage in the summer will have grown to a size where turfgrass damage is occurring. See HGIC 1211, St. Augustinegrass for additional information on care and cultivar selection. For more information on weed control, see HGIC 2310, Managing Weeds in Warm-Season Lawns. Early Summer (May): Apply ½ to 1 pound of actual nitrogen per 1,000 square feet in early May after the lawn fully greens up. To determine the amount of product required to apply 1 pound of actual nitrogen per 1,000 square feet, divide 100 by the first number on the fertilizer bag. Does not contain grass seed. St. Augustine grass can be planted in a variety of soil types with a pH range of 5.0 to 8.5. Be sure to use a sharpened mower blade. Circle C Farms, Inc. 7.8. Follow all directions, precautions and restrictions that are listed. “People get stingy with the water, especially when people are clamoring about a water shortage or drought time, and they’ll cut back on the water. Plant St. Augustine grass during summer Being a warm-season turfgrass, St. Augustine grows best during summer. The irrigation interval will vary from site to site depending on the environmental conditions at that site and soil type. If either of these insects was a problem early in the season, apply an insecticide during mid-July to control the younger immature insects. This height reduction should be done just before the lawn greens up, which usually occurs during late April or early May. The plant is very finicky about producing viable seed….. and for that reason, seed companies have just about given up on it. It is a medium- to high-maintenance grass that forms a thick, carpetlike sod, crowding out most weeds and other grasses. Our lawn has some now and we like it a lot, but we’re having trouble finding seeds. Be aware, it could take several months for lime and sulfur applications to affect the soil pH. When the turf begins to dry, it will appear to have a bluish hue. Perhaps more frequent mowing would keep them from being so offensively visible. St. Augustine grass is commonly planted in the Gulf Coast areas of the United States. Insect Control: There are various insects and related pests that may infest St. Augustinegrass during the summer months. Augustine grass does not have a viable seed but spreads through rhizomes. Lime or sulfur may also be added if a soil test indicates a need. Mowing: Mow the lawn slightly lower than the regular summer mowing height. Spraying with liquid iron (ferrous sulfate) at 2 ounces in 3 to 5 gallons of water per 1,000 square feet or applying a chelated iron product will help to enhance turf color. The added moisture in the soil will help keep the growing points of the turf warmer, preventing crown death. This is best done before the first frost. 85-sq ft … I think I’ll use the bag in the mower this time, just in case. I have observed and counted large numbers of emerged St. Augustinegrass seedlings following sod harvest of some varieties (but not Floratam), and the numbers of seedlings are proportional to the seed production per unit area. St. Augustine Grass Bermuda Grass; It requires at least 5 hours of direct sunlight to grow and thrive really well. In my case the sections with them are very dense. If either insect is observed, apply a lawn insecticide when damage becomes excessive. Damage is often more severe in sunny areas near driveways, sidewalks, or roadways, where the turfgrass is under more heat stress. Ever. Monitor the lawn on a regular basis to assess the need for irrigation. Follow label directions for use of any herbicide and use with caution during these times. If possible, use a mower with a bagger to collect the clippings and remove the dead material left from winter dormancy… Overseed a Thin Lawn. Localized dry spots or hot spots can be watered as needed by hand. The mower setting should be between 2 to 2½ inches high. Fertilizing with a micronutrient fertilizer, such as manganese sulfate, can alleviate manganese deficiencies. If a soil test indicates a higher soil pH, sulfur can be applied to lower it. Find St. Augustine grass & grass seed at Lowe's today. Not so fast, tallylassie, St. Augustinegrass seeds have high germination, over 70% in my experience. All recommendations for pesticide use are for South Carolina only and were legal at the time of publication, but the status of registration and use patterns are subject to change by action of state and federal regulatory agencies. During periods of environmental stress due to high temperatures or a lack of rainfall, raise the mowing height ½ to 1 inch until the stress is eliminated. St. Augustinegrass is sensitive to certain herbicides, such as 2,4-D, so follow label directions for reduced mixing rates. Trent C. Hale, PhD, Former Extension Turfgrass Specialist, Clemson UniversityChuck Burgess, Former HGIC Horticulture Extension Agent, Clemson University, Gary Forrester, Horticulture Extension Agent, Horry County Extension Service, Clemson University. In certain situations where large patch has been prevalent yearly, a preventative fungicide application may be needed starting in early October to stay ahead of the disease. If the soil stays saturated all winter, this can cause many other problems. They are not all that common. Do not apply herbicides unless grass and weeds are actively growing and are not suffering from drought or heat stress; therefore, water the lawn thoroughly the day before application. What makes commercial seed production unprofitable are several factors, such as the difficulty of processing the seeds (the spikelets are embedded in sockets in a corky rachis), their slow “take” in competitive situations, and the fact that any seed produced from a vegetative planting will be all inbred seed, with depressed vigor. Overall, proper water management, fertilization, mowing height, and thatch control are essential to curtail large patch and gray leaf spot problems. Irrigation: Water the lawn to prevent drought stress. Do not use a power rake with a 1-inch blade spacing, as severe turf injury may result. For best results, use a dethatcher with a 2- or 3-inch blade spacing set at a ¼-inch depth after the turf has fully greened-up. Please see HGIC 2151, Gray Leaf Spot on St. Augustinegrass. A soil probe can be used to monitor soil moisture. In most southern climates, St. Augustine grass is the coveted turf of choice, while Bermuda grass is an invasive nuisance. This is especially important if warm, bright days preceed days forecasted to be in the low 20’s or colder. All recommendations are for South Carolina conditions and may not apply to other areas. Winter desiccation can be a problem during dry winters. St. Augustinegrass (Stenotaphrum secundatum), sometimes referred to as Charleston grass, is a coarse-textured, spreading grass that is popular throughout warmer regions of the Southern United States. These combinations are found either as a seed mixture, or a seed blend. For more information on thatch removal, see HGIC 2360, Controlling Thatch In Lawns. A dull mower blade will shred the turfgrass foliage.Gary Forrester, ©2018, Horticulture Extension Agent, Clemson University. Copyright © 2020 Clemson UniversityClemson Cooperative Extension | 103 Barre Hall Clemson, SC 29634864-986-4310 | Contact UsHGIC@clemson.edu, Centipedegrass Yearly Maintenance Program, College of Agriculture, Forestry and Life Sciences. 3 steps to success: prep, apply, water. This fertilizer may be especially important if the soils are sandy. The principal variety, Floratam, is virtually 100% sterile, doesn’t even produce any seed, while dwarf varieties such as Seville produce abundant seed which is 70% or more viable. Large patch is a fungal disease that is active during warm, humid spring and fall weather. You cannot let it dry … However, if a pre-emergent herbicide was applied late February to mid-March, postpone any cultivation practices that will disturb the soil until just before the next pre-emergent herbicide application date. For more information on mowing, refer to HGIC 1205, Mowing Lawns. If a pre-emergent herbicide was not applied in the spring, the resulting weeds will need to be controlled using postemergent herbicides. Alternatively, the lawn can be hand raked to remove the excessive dead leaf material from the lawn surface. St. Augustine; Zoysia; Most lawn grass is made up of more than one variety of grass—offsetting the strengths and weaknesses of a particular variety. St. Augustine varieties are available in sod, sprigs or plugs only. Research has shown that an early season insecticide application after the turfgrass has greened-up will reduce the late season activity. Apply a post-emergent herbicide as needed to control existing winter weeds. See HGIC 1652, Soil Testing for instructions on how to properly submit a soil sample. Wait to irrigate again until the lawn shows moisture stress. For more information on disease control, please see HGIC 2150, Brown Patch & Large Patch Diseases of Lawns. If the damage is minimal, monitor the activity and wait before applying an insecticide. Helps repair St. Augustinegrass 60% faster - Results 15 days after application vs. untreated control. Later, the center of the circle may start to re-green. Maybe some day it will. I contacted Dr. Richard Duble, Turfgrass Specialist and Professor for A&M and he writes: "seedstalks are not that uncommon in the summer. If an insect problem occurs, it is important to positively identify the problem and select the appropriate insecticide to apply. Summer weeds, such as spurge and annual lespedeza can be managed by using a post-emergent herbicide for broadleaf weeds sometimes referred to as a 3-way mix. Additionally, do not apply post-emergence herbicides when the turf is emerging from winter dormancy or when the summer temperatures are 90 °F or higher. For more information on weed control, see HGIC 2310, Managing Weeds in Warm Season Lawns. St. Augustine grass is a type of warm season grass that is popularly grown in the southern regions of the United States. Fertilizer Calculations: To determine the amount of granular fertilizer needed to apply ½ pound of actual nitrogen per 1,000 square feet, divide 50 by the first number on the fertilizer bag. St. Augustine grass spreads rapidly and aggressively via above-ground stolons, or runners. Join our mailing list to receive the latest updates from HGIC. Last frost dates and first frost dates can vary by several weeks from the coastal areas of South Carolina to the foothills of the Upstate. Another method is to walk across the lawn late in the evening. Insecticide applications targeted at the mole crickets in their smaller nymph stage are the most effective controls, even if damage has not yet occurred. Insect Control: Cold winter temperatures will help usually keep insect problems at bay. Results may vary. Use pesticides only according to the directions on the label. According to the University of Texas, this grass is native to the regions surrounding the Gulf of Mexico. For more information on weed control, see HGIC 2310, Managing Weeds in Warm Season Lawns. It will turn brown with fall freezes and will be slow to green in the spring. An application of a soluble iron product, such as iron sulfate or a commercial chelated iron, in between fertilizer applications, will enhance the green color without encouraging growth. “Keep it wet,” Orr says. A long-term approach is needed to correct either cause, but an iron product can be added to quickly enhance turf color between the spring and summer fertilizer applications. Disturbing the soil after an application will allow weeds to emerge through this barrier. Chinch bugs can be very destructive to St. Augustinegrass. Three-way herbicides typically contain 2,4-D. St. Augustinegrass is sensitive to 2,4-D, so follow label directions for mixing and use. Lawns in shady areas perform better when mowed at 3 to 4 inches high. However, an early spring warm-up can lead to both mole cricket and chinch bug activity. St. Augustine doesn’t need a lot of water, it just needs it consistently. When to Plant St. Augustine Grass St. Augustine grass grows best in the warmth of spring and summer, when high temperatures are normally 80-100 °F. If new turfgrass growth is encouraged by fertilization during the early spring, and it is followed by a late frost, this can result in significant damage to the lawn. A chinch bug is a small black insect with silver wings that sucks plant juices from the stem. 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