St Augustine Grass

St Augustine grass grows well in a very confined area of the United States extending from western Texas along the very southern tier of states adjacent to the Gulf of Mexico and covering all of Florida. It can also be successfully grown along the coastal areas from Florida to South Carolina and in southern California. While this grass has a somewhat limited growing area, it is a great choice for residents that may live in those regions.

St. Augustine grass is a warm weather turf that thrives in bright sun, high humidity and moist soil environments. It does not tolerate shade particularly well and will not generally do well in drought conditions. For that reason St. Augustine grass should not be considered as a viable turf option if the growing area is subjected even to occasional drought conditions or periods of very cold weather. This wide bladed, deep blue-green and very course grass is normally grown from sprigs, plugs or sod with sod being the more often chosen method for establishing a lawn. There has been great difficulty developing a seed that can be depended upon to produce successful growth, hence seeding is currently not widely available. It spreads through above ground stolons and for that reason it is easy to control the spread to prevent intrusions into flower or garden beds.

There are several varieties of St. Augustine grass and there are on-going efforts to develop additional varieties that will extend the growing area. One such variety referred to as Palmetto St. Augustine has been developed over the last decade. This grass has increased drought tolerance as well as the ability to maintain good growth in shady areas. It also tolerates cold better than most varieties although after several days of frost conditions it will become dormant and begin to brown.

In general the St. Augustine grasses require a bit more maintenance than many others and may become susceptible to disease or insect infestations if not tended regularly. It is important to note that St. Augustine grasses produce a significant amount of thatch which contributes to the aforementioned conditions. Annual de-thatching will insure a healthy turf growth. St Augustine grasses provide a good choice for those living in the growing area where it will thrive, however it is presently not a good choice for any that live outside that well-defined region.

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