In Florida St. Augustine grass is the most commonly used lawn grass throughout the state. It is widely adapted to the warm, humid region and grows adequately in a broad variety of soils. It produces a beautiful dense, green turf and is relatively shade and salt tolerant. Some disadvantages to St. Augustine grass are, it is not drought tolerable, is susceptible to damaging pest and disease infestations, and does not stay green through the winter months in many parts of the state. Proper lawn maintenance practices are vital for avoiding damage and obtaining a high-quality lawn. St. Augustine grass requires fertilizer to maintain its dense growth and green color. It also necessitates proper mowing and watering by the homeowner. Pairing Impact's turf program of fertilizer and nutrients, and applying these helpful tips, your lawn will be looking at it's best.
Proper mowing practices are necessary to keep any lawn healthy and beautiful. St. Augustine grass should be maintained at a height of 3.5 – 4 inches. No more than one-third of the leaf blade should be removed each time you mow. Always keep the blades sharp and well adjusted to get a clean cut. A dull mower blade shreds the grass rather than cutting it, leaving your lawn with a brownish cast and susceptible to disease. Try sharpening your mower blades monthly and you will notice the difference. Another important mowing practice is knowing when to mow. Growing season will require your lawn to be mowed weekly and less often during cooler months of the year.
Your lawn should receive ½ to ¾ inch of water every 2-3 days during active growth. For most residential systems, this corresponds to about 45 minutes on rotor zones and 20 minutes on spray zones during the driest, hottest months. During the less active or cooler months, ½ to ¾ inch of water is needed every 10 to 14 days to keep your lawn looking at its best. Be sure not to over watering as it can be costly, waste water, cause pollution and damage your lawns root system. Water can come from rainfall or irrigation; however always follow your water restrictions for your district. Since rainfall varies from location to location, the proper use of rain shutoff devices, which are required by law, and rain gauges should be incorporated into the sites irrigation system to prevent over watering.
Very early morning watering is ideal. Midday watering, when the weather is hottest and dry, wastes water due to the excessive evaporation that takes place. Evening watering inclines the lawn to promote disease problems as the turf does not have sufficient time to dry.
Keep lawn equipment clean. Spraying with ½ bleach and ½ water mixture will help avoid the spread of fungus should this problem occur.