How to Make St. Augustine Grass Spread Quickly

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St. Augustine grass is wide-spreading grass that survives in warm seasons and high salt hence mostly preferred for coastal regions. It is tough textured grass with attractive blue-green blades. Most people love their denser growth patterns.

It is usually used in ranches or for pasture. Are you planning to grow this type of grass? Is it taking too long to form a thicket? Do you need it to spread faster? Trouble no more. Here are tips on how to make St. Augustine grass spread quickly.

Quick answer

Primarily, to get the St. Augustine grass spread faster, you should plant it in the summer soil, in a well-aerated soil of 5 to 8.5 PH, at a spacing of 6 to 11 inches and water regularly the first days and rarely in the latter days. Further, add the nitrogen-based fertilizer for healthy shoots and stolon

How to make St. Augustine grass spread faster

The first step in knowing how to make St. Augustine grass spread quickly, is recognizing its growing technique. St Augustine grass spreads in both its rhizomes and stolons. Wondering what those parts are?

Here is a brief description; the rhizome is the underground stem that sends the shoots and the roots, while the stolon is the shooting part that grows along the ground. With that knowledge, we can move on the real deal, we will divide the steps into two groups, before planting and after planting.

Before planting

Step 1: identify the right planting season

Most people argue that grass will grow in any season as long as it got the needed requirements. Well, that is true; it will work differently for your situation. I hope you are still with me on how to make St. Augustine grass spread faster.

For the underlying reason that St. Augustine grass is a warm-season grass, it will grow faster in the summer season.

Step 2: check the soil.

Waterlogged soils are not suitable for the St. Augustine grass, limiting the supply of oxygen. Being a drought-resistant grass, it usually grows and spreads well in highly-aerated soil.

Which are the best soil type and acidity for St. Augustine grass? Quite simple, sandy soil and a PH of 5 to 8.5 will be okay. However, if your soil PH is lower, you can consider using baking powder or any other base to get the right alkalinity.

Step 3: prepare the land.

After confirming the PH and the soil type is okay for the grass, now it is time to prepare the planting season’s lawn. How will you do that?

Super straightforward, seedlings do well in a slight damper soil. For that reason, you should consider watering the lawn to moisten the ground, resulting in faster growth and spread. 

Step 4: plant appropriately

You are likely to assume that you should plant grass in a close manner so that it can quickly cover the bare soils.  However, that is far from the fact with the St. Augustine grass.

It requires a high-density plug installation. The spacing between the sprigs should be at least 6 to 11 inches. Why is it so? That is to allow the vast spreading of the stolons and rhizomes.

After planting

Step 5: irrigation

The watering times decrease as the grass growers. For the first few days, water as regularly as possible. However, it would be best if you did not get the soil waterlogged.

After one month is over, you should scale down the watering schedule only when necessary. 

Step 6: fertilizer

Adding fertilizer usually boosts the growth and the spread of St. Augustine grass.

Which is the best fertilizer to make the St. Augustine grass spread faster? That is a question I hear from most people. This is it; phosphorous-laden fertilizers provide the needed nutrients to strengthen and stimulate the spreading of the stolon.

However, after the two months, you should switch to nitrogen fertilizer. Why? At this time, you need the blades to flourish to fill the bare grounds. The nitrogen-based fertilizers are known to be perfect for that.

Step 7: control weeds

Weeds consume the nutrients that the plants need to grow. Hence, don’t be amazed if you get weakly growing grass even after applying all the above steps. Even worse, weed may attract some diseases, which may lead to plant death.

So what should you do?

Get rid of all the unwanted plants to get the St. Augustine grass spread faster. The most common weeds are dallisgrass and the broad-leafed weeds.

Step 8: stick to the appropriate maintenance schedule.

And now that you have the grass spreading as you wished, it isn’t time to relax. If anything, you should still be active like before until the grass thickens.

 Maintain a proper maintenance schedule, such as irrigation and adding the fertilizer timely. But more importantly, keep your eye on any weed that may be threatening to choke their spread.

How fast does St. Augustine grow?

Honestly, St. Augustine grass has dense growth patterns. Thus, it grows and spreads quite faster, unlike most grass types. For facts, it will take less than 14 days for the newly planted plugs to start spreading. Still, if you are not satisfied with that growth curve, you can check on tips on how to make St. Augustine grass spread quickly.

However, it is good to note that the growth pattern is dependent on some factors such as irrigation and the available nutrients. To improve its growth patterns, you should dampen the soil only in the first month, after just water when necessary.

Still, you can add fertilizer if the soil is deficient of the nutrients needed for growth.

How to make St. Augustine grass thicker?

Is the St. Augustine grass growing slower than you anticipated? Do you need it to form a thicket faster than it is doing? This section is likely to leave you in perfect peace regarding those issues.

Here are a few steps to get the St. Augustine grass grow thicker;

  1. Irrigate– the right amount of water is essential for growth. The irrigation schedule should scale down as the days go.
  2. Add some fertilizer– this is a sure bet way to get the St. Augustine form a thicket fast. Add either the phosphorous fertilizer or the nitrogen-based fertilizer depending on the growth stages.
  3. Weed– weed sucks the nutrients needed by the plants for growth. Hence, resulting in weak or even death of the plants. The only precaution is removing all the unwanted plants in the lawn.
  4. Check on the soil PH– St. Augustine grass works well in a PH of 5 to 8.5. Needless, to say a higher or lower PH will result in slower growth or even worse yellowing of the plants. Resultantly, for a lower PH, you can use baking powder or any other alkali to raise the acidity. In the same case, you may need vinegar or any other acid-based liquid to lower the PH.
  5. Improve the soil quality– this type of grass works well in high-aerated soils. What if your lawn soil is different? Then still there is a solution. However, if it is clay type or any other waterlogged soil, then you should change to a different grass type. Back to what I was saying, for a mid-range aerated soil, you can add sandy soil as the top layer of the lawn.

Conclusion

Bare grounds can be quite irritating, especially if the grass is not spreading as faster as you expected. Even though St. Augustine spreads more quickly, you can still do something also to quicken it more.

First, plant in the right season and the right soil. Still add the needed nutrients and remove all unwanted plants. Which is this right season and soil? Quite simple, check on this article to get the answers and more on how to make St. Augustine grass spread quickly.


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