This is why they are the star players in fertilizer, while the other 13 equally-important nutrients are all but ignored unless plants show signs of deficiency. Compost also improves the texture of a lawn’s topsoil, which will help water and oxygen permeate the soil and aid in the decomposition of thatch. All components of a maintenance schedule revolve around making it extremely difficult for pests to get comfortable in your lawn. Consistent applications of these nutrients maintain a healthy level of plant-available compounds. To calculate the weight of each nutrient, multiply .12 by the total weight of the bag (10lbs.). The appearance of soft leaf St Augustine grasses can become extremely pale when lawn fertilization is either forgotten or neglected. Fertilizing near or during this time will make it difficult for the grass to stop active growth, which will make it susceptible to damage from insects, diseases, and cold temperatures. However, if you follow the wrong fertilization schedule, and try to over-fertilize in an attempt to make your lawn appear healthy, you will create a poor environment of weak growth. Sick lawns get sick. ... Be sure to also refer to our Homeowner Maintenance Guides for bermudagrass, bluegrass, centipedegrass, fescue, St. Augustine and zoysia after the first 30 days are up. Eventually, stress will lead to susceptibility to pests and disease. Covering many different lawn care topics relating to most aspects of lawn care practices for St Augustine grass lawns. She has an A.A.S. Proper fertilizer choice and a timely application schedule is the key to a truly healthy St. Augustine turf. After having 4k of sod replaced out of a total of 16K I want to keep things nice. No need to fertilize newly placed St. Augustinegrass sod, UF study shows. Watering too frequently will leach nitrogen from the soil before the lawn is able to absorb much, meaning you’re washing time and money down the dirt. It has relatively good salt tolerance, and certain cultivars have better shade tolerance than other warm-season grass species. Between fertilizing, mowing, irrigating, and pest management, a healthy St. Augustine lawn can be a real labor of love. Nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium are absolutely crucial for plant growth and health and are also the most difficult nutrients to maintain in soil. Compost is an extremely slow-release type of fertilizer, but it also helps with water retention and keeping pests at bay. If you've got a lawn mower that isn't working properly, there are ways you can tell if it's your spark plug or another engine part that is the problem. But no turfgrass fares well without proper care and maintenance. Moreover, it tolerates shade, heat, salt and, to a certain extent, drought. You may begin to see circular patches of brown or dead grass as your St. Augustine begins to green up. Pests can be anything from weeds to insects to diseases. As with all lawns, attention to color rather than aggressive growth will help prevent too-frequent mowing. Fertilizing during this time will encourage weak, unsustainable growth, which is a prime target for cooler-weather diseases like brown patch fungus. Fertilizers are concentrated particles of nutrients, while compost is more of a system overhaul. St. Augustine goes dormant once the soil reaches 550. Fertilize the St. Augustine lawn grass in late fall or early spring, when it is still brownish-yellow and starting to grow. Forcing a lot of green growth without a supporting root system will stress out your lawn and will require frequent reapplications to keep up a healthy appearance. Despite the myths, you do not need to pay extra for a special St Augustine grass fertilizer. What causes fuel to sputter from a lawnmower's gas cap, and can the issue be fixed? However, if you rely on mother nature to supply your irrigation, the fertilizer may sit and accumulate in sections of your lawn, and result in nitrogen burn when it finally sees some moisture. Plant roots have to absorb nutrients in order to use them, and then they have to circulate those nutrients throughout their system in order to utilize them. Bare patches of soil are prime real estate for weed seeds to germinate and take hold in your lawn. However, it does require a decent amount of maintenance, and one of the most important things when maintaining a St Augustine lawn is fertilization. Slow-release fertilizers will not give your lawn a quick shot of lush, green growth. Sydney has over 15 years of experience in lawn maintenance, landscape design, and organic gardening. During cooler weather, St. Augustine is susceptible to many different fungi and diseases that thrive in cool, moist environments. St. Augustine grass thrives in the hot climate of Florida. Apply compost as a topdressing in the spring and in the fall to help build up healthy topsoil and replace a few synthetic fertilizer applications. Fertilizing Your Florida Lawn. Keep notes each year about what worked, what didn’t, and what you want to change next time. For St. Augustine, water once per week for 45 minutes – 1.5 hours, depending on your soil structure. A small site where one man shares his love for and knowledge of Saint Augustine grass lawns. The fertilizer should be used at the rate of 6 lbs. But, for the abridged version, here’s the cliff notes: Download the FREE printable lawn maintenance schedule (PDF). `ÕÜ2ÀÊV­‚8¢}Ô§.¾¡H`+õØ!Ûu)ëÞ=6ÛÀê¡oBè'õž'5~ójÃ6(êT(hŠÚ!ÀêîÐzΦvhÝPbõw¥Põ¨–Šñ§ÿ†áô¯\«+w¯Ð"Š¹‡¹WtL]¡¥¡l›ÁåÕՐù#°©aˆÔÉT FòÙӏM€JTûR>{. It has relatively good salt tolerance, and certain cultivars have better shade tolerance than other warm-season grass species. This green growth may look nice, but it’s a target for fungi, and the plant isn’t aggressive enough during this time of year to fight off disease. It provides all of the 16 nutrients that plants need to thrive, plus it introduces beneficial microbes and compounds that support the overall health of the entire lawn. We’ve included a detailed maintenance schedule/tracker in our free printable download. After you’ve mowed a few times, the lawn will be triggered to grow deeper roots and to send out runners to fill in bare patches of soil. Examples provided of tested products are actual products owned, tested, and used regularly by the author. Balance a consistent fertilizer schedule with the proper mowing height, weed control, and irrigation schedule for a thick carpet of vigorous grass. Start the season with a shorter mowing height (2.5”) and gradually increase to 4” before summer. There are three main components of fertilizer: nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. A lawn is a lot like a person. To Spread one pound of nitrogen fertilizer over the area with a spreader, and continue to do so every 30 to 60 days until late fall. The driving factor behind pest management is a healthy lawn. Many cities have passed laws to limit the amount of nitrogen per application to 1lb per 1,000sq’. Generally, St Augustine grass can be fertilized between 2-6 times per year, all depending on your location. So, before you begin any maintenance schedule, make sure you are putting your effort into sustainable, healthy growth. St. Augustine grass has a medium to dark green color with dense consistency. However, it’s also not possible if there’s too much water. St. Fertilizers comprise a broad range of amendments that add some kind of nutritional benefit to the soil. Reduce watering and don't fertilize in Central or North Florida during the cool months. It also has a low, compact growth habit. For more information on St. Augustine lawns, read these important articles: Note: You can also use worm castings on your lawn as an organic lawn fertilizer. MONTH-BY-MONTH GUIDE TO LAWN CARE (From Month-by-Month Gardening in Florida by Tom MacCubbin/additions by Lukas Nursery) JANUARY * NO fertilizer or weed/feed for St. Augustine, Zoysia, or Bahia lawns * Apply iron at one-half normal rate to renew green if needed * Apply fungicide to combat “Brown Patch” if needed * Mow, dig, and spot-kill […] It kills invasive weeds, like dollarweed and clover, but also repels and kills insects, like fire ants and fleas. Nitrogen is responsible for green top growth, so a large dose will result in quick, deep green growth that makes your lawn appear healthy for a short time. Mowing puts calculated stress on your lawn, which encourages growth as a response. As the lawn prepares for winter, nutrient requirements lessen. St. Augustine breaks dormancy in mid-spring. This is important after fertilization because you don’t want weeds to take root and absorb all the nutrients that were meant for your lawn. Mowing:Mow the lawn slightly lower than the regular summer mowing height. .12 x 10 = 1.2lbs each of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. Todetermine the amount of fertilizer product required to apply 0.5 pound of nitrogen per thousand square feet,divide 0.5 by the first number (%) in the fertilizer ratio. Compost is generally labeled as a type of fertilizer, and while it does provide nutrition, it’s actually considered a soil conditioner. For clay soils, you may need to extend time between irrigation and for sandy soils, you may need to irrigate more often. If you have established weeds, use a broadleaf weed killer, like 2-4D, and spot-treat your lawn as needed. Saturate the soil 6” deep. Features. Turn the water on early in the morning and again in the early afternoon. Warm, humid environments are the perfect growing climate for St. Augustine. The result is … The most common fertilizers supply a balanced amount of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. In South Florida, turfgrass grows year-round, while in North and Central Florida, it grows from roughly March or April through September, October, or November. St. Augustine grows in warm, humid environments. Weed and feed fertilizers not only provide fertilization, but also weed killer. For example, you’ll find 24-2-11 fertilizers like this one from Lesco, best for St. Augustine grass in Florida. May 5, 2010. For example, a 10lb bag of 12-12-12 is 12% nitrogen, 12% phosphorous, and 12% potassium. These diseases attack stressed lawns. Near the last fertilizer application of the year, begin decreasing the mower height to 2.5” so the lawn is shorter before dormancy. Some are nutrient-specific, while others provide the full range of macro and micronutrients. If you are looking for a natural lawn fertilizer that is safe for pets and children, be sure to read this article. St. Augustinegrass establishes quickly and easily and may be planted as sod, sprigs, or plugs. St. Augustinegrass produces a green to blue-green dense turf that is well adapted to most soils and climatic regions in Florida. However, this turf can be sensitive, so it’s important to implement a holistic care schedule to prevent pests, diseases, and thatch buildup. In the United States, St. Augustine is common in Hawaii, California, Texas, and Florida, where its name originates (after St. Augustine, Florida). Consistent, deep, infrequent irrigation is the key to healthy lawn growth and healthy use of applied fertilizers. Insects, diseases, and weeds thrive in poor environments. With the right nutrition, hydration, and physical maintenance, it’s easier to fight off disease and stay healthy. Apply phosphorus fertilizer and keep a good watering schedule to help with quicker root and foliage development. They increase the overall health of the soil, which makes fertilizers even more effective because it creates a healthy foundation for the lawn to grow into (source). Warm-season grasses like St. Augustine have similar maintenance requirements. If you mow too short, St. Augustine will be constantly trying to get back to square one, instead of filling in your entire lawn and choking out weeds. Unlike corporate website companies, the authors on this website regularly use many of the tips and recommendations provided in their own garden and lawncare. You're mowing your lawn, and gas starts spitting out of your fuel cap. Fertilize with a slow-release formula, adding about 4 pound of 16-4-8 fertilizer per 1,000 square feet every 4-6 weeks. When to fertilize your lawn depends on a few things, but the biggest rule is to fertilize only when your lawn is actively growing. These amounts are represented on fertilizer bags by three numbers, like 12-12-12, 8-4-6, or 10-10-10. Thriving Yard is a privately owned website. This is much like a muscle’s response to exercise; some tissue is broken down, so the body responds by rebuilding and strengthening the area. Multiply these percentages by the weight of the bag to determine the weight of each nutrient. For a .5” layer of compost, use 1.5 cubic yards per 1,000sq’. While many homeowners see the goal of fertilizing as having a nice looking lawn, the real goal is having a lawn that resists the pests that will make it look bad. Thriving Yard is an affiliate for companies including Amazon Associates and earn a commission on qualifying purchases. Divide 100 by 15 to get 6.6; this is the number of pounds of slow-release fertilizer needed to apply one pound of nitrogen per 1,000 square feet. St. Augustine goes dormant during cool weather, so a shot of fertilizer at the wrong time can force new, green growth when the plant is trying to rest. … But, it will provide sustainable nutrition that supports your plants as a whole. The best fertilizer for St Augustine grass is any fertilizer that has one pound of … Note: Preemergence herbicides will not control weeds which are actively growing. Multiply these percentages by the weight of t… Here's How to Know if a Lawn Mower Spark Plug is Bad. Synthetic slow-release fertilizers are better than quick-release fertilizers but lack the benefits of organic options. Due to the climatic range and geographical locations of where St. Augustine grass grows fall fertilizer applications differ depending on location. It is nearly impossible for soil to hold on to nitrogen, which is why it is so easy for nitrogen to leach into water sources. link to Lawnmower Spits Gas Out of Fuel Cap: Reasons and Fixes, link to Here's How to Know if a Lawn Mower Spark Plug is Bad, Download our FREE printable St. Augustine Fertilization And Maintenance Planner. Fertilizing during this time will encourage weak, unsustainable growth that will be susceptible to disease. This is our recommended fertilize schedule for Raleigh St. Augustine and Palmetto St. Augustine Grass March 1st – March 15th 24-2-11 April 15th – May 1st 28-0-3 w/organic June 1st – June 15th 19-0-6 w/crosscheck July 15th – August 1st 19-0-6 w/crosscheck September 1st – September 15th 24-2-11 or 28-0-3 w/organic October 15th – November […] And, just like a muscle, a lawn can only repair itself if it has adequate nutrition. If your lawn is malnourished, mowed at an improper height, or given too much/too little water, pests will find a way into your yard. Using too little fertilizer will not produce that lush, dark green color or rapid growth for which St. Augustine is known. A quick-release fertilizer makes all of the nitrogen available immediately upon application. fertilizer with a 15-0-15 label contains 15% nitrogen, 0% phosphorus and 15% potassium. The only way to plant St. Augustine … Don’t bag your clippings. However, other nutrients, like phosphorus, bond too well to the soil, meaning it doesn’t leach out, but it’s also difficult for plants to absorb it. If you create a healthy environment, pests are unable to thrive, and your lawn gets to enjoy a solid, nutritious foundation. Conditioners are more than a quantifiable source of vitamins and minerals. These fertilizers will also release supporting nutrients, but phosphorus and potassium are not as easy for plants to absorb, so plants will absorb a disproportionate amount of nitrogen before they can take in adequate amounts of phosphorous and potassium. For best prices, order compost from a local nursery supply company. A healthy St. Augustine lawn will choke out weeds and other grass strains. This is the time to begin fertilizing. However, it does not endure flooded land or prolonged periods of cold weather. Saint Augustine has plenty of history to explore -- more than 450 years of it! for every 1,000 square feet of lawn. Compost is not applied like a fertilizer. Use Quality Fertilizer When Fertilizing St. Augustine Grass The proper food needed for Fertilizing St. Augustine Grass should be in granular lawn fertilizers sold at nurseries and garden centers. The grass does well in the sun, requiring at least 6 or more hours of direct sunlight each day, and is also salt-tolerant, perfect for property near oceans. The more often a quick-release fertilizer is applied, the more stressed your turf will be. However, St. Augustine doesn’t have rhizomes, so it has to maintain enough top growth in order to send out runners to repair itself after mowing and to fill in bare patches of soil. NOTICE OF CUSTODIAN OF PUBLIC RECORDS: The City of St. Augustine has designated the City Clerk, Darlene Galambos, its Custodian of Public Records pursuant to Chapter 119, Florida Statutes. Product recommendations not personally owned are based on the author’s knowledge of the company, product, reliability, and reputation. If you don’t look after your St. Augustine grass lawn properly, it may turn brown, patchy, and thin. Use enough water to keep the root system wet, but do not flood the turf. This extends the time when the lawn is most attractive. Water St. Augustine when the leaves get dark and your shoes leave footprints in the grass. St. Augustine is a beautiful, lush, frustratingly high-maintenance turfgrass. Most warm-season grasses spread out through above-ground runners and underground rhizomes, meaning they can be cut quite short and still fill in quickly. thumb for application is Feb. 1 in south Florida, Feb. 15 in central Florida, and March 1 in north Florida. Plants, unlike animals, don’t need to store up much nutrition for the winter. The most common fertilizers supply a balanced amount of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. St. Augustine takes off during the summer. This height reduction should be done just before the lawn greens up, which usually occurs during late April or early May. While all turfgrass maintenance has the same underlying principles, each yard is different, and every homeowner will have a different vision for their ideal lawn. These nutrients help support root growth and other chemical processes that contribute to the whole plant structure. This way you can create a maintenance plan that is tailored to your lawn. The use of synthetics may require additional applications of nutrient-specific amendments, like chelated iron, to fix deficiencies. In April I put down Scotts Bonus S not long after the new sod had taken hold to get things to green up and control any weeds. A slow-release fertilizer makes small amounts of nitrogen available over a specific length of time. It tolerates modest shade but develops poorly in heavy shade. St. Augustine grass is one of the most popular grasses used for lawns in South Florida. Climate zone, weather patterns, and proximity to the coast will affect the exact timing of certain maintenance tasks. GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Florida homeowners and contractors laying St. Augustinegrass sod this spring can save money and help the environment if they wait at least one month before fertilizing, University of Florida experts say. Thick thatch layers can restrict the amount of water that the soil can absorb, so spend time dethatching St. Augustine in the spring if your thatch layer has built up to over ½” and feels spongy. Small doses will result in a slow, controlled top growth during the growing season along with supporting nutrients to encourage root growth. It has an N-P-K ratio of 18-3-6, which is slightly more in nitrogen than the ideal, but still works well with St. Augustine grass; Pendleton’s fertilizer is a high concentration ratio that is supposed to be mixed at a ratio of 50:1 For example, for a 20­5­5 fertilizer (containing 20%nitrogen), divide 0.5 by 0.20 (NOTE: 20% = 0.20). There are different brand names available and results will depend on the quality of the product. A good schedule is to feed St. Augustine lawns in March, May, July and September. During the summer, when it is actively growing, it needs consistent nutrition to keep up with growing deeper roots, longer runners, and replacing top growth lost from mowing. Here are the 8 Best Fertilizers for St Augustine Grass 1) Scotts Turf Builder Southern Triple Action This fertilizer is essentially three products in one. Throughout the year, grass goes through stages of growth where it has different nutrient requirements. During warm weather, when St. Augustine is actively growing, it needs a consistent supply of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium to grow deeper root systems, send out runners, and maintain new leaf growth. St. Augustine grass is one of the most popular grasses along the Gulf Coast, known for its rich blue-green grass blades and high tolerance to heat, humidity, and salt. Roots need an equal amount of water and oxygen in order to absorb and use nutrients. In a hurry? It grows well in almost all types of soil. in Landscape Design/Organic Produce Production from the Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture. Apply postemergence herbicides (e.g., atrazine) in May as needed for control of summer annual and perennial broadleaf weeds such as knotweed, spurge, lespedeza, etc. This works for any fertilizer product or amount of nitrogen. The king among these three is nitrogen. Lawnmower Spits Gas Out of Fuel Cap: Reasons and Fixes. When can I begin transitioning my lawn to a regular fertilizer schedule? St. Augustinegrass is the most commonly used lawn grass in Florida (Figure 1). With regular irrigation and fertilizer, it is a thick dark-green grass that grows slowly, needing less mowing than other grasses. Other nutrients, like iron, calcium, sulfur, etc., are equally important for the plant, but less important in a fertilizer. Advantages St. Augustinegrass produces a green to blue-green dense turf that is well adapted to most soils and climatic regions in Florida. Anyone wishing to inspect or copy public records consistent with Florida law should contact the Custodian of Public Records at: In addition to its impressive roster of top-rated hotels, resorts and bed and breakfasts, St. Augustine is known for its excellent restaurants serving a variety of dishes reflecting the town's multicultural heritage. Hello. On the other hand, too much fertilizer will create a haven for pests. Do not apply fertilizer until you’ve applied a systemic fungicide at a curative rate and your grass has recovered. Poor environments breed pests, and you will constantly be fighting bugs, weeds, and fungi. Each of the guides lay out maintenance tips for spring, summer and fall. If possible, use a mower with a bagger to collect the clippings and remove the dead material left from winter dormancy. Sharpen your blade at least once per season. Chinch bugs are a major pest of St. Augustinegrass, and can cause a lot of damage. This will result in a strong turf that resists pests and diseases (source). Slow-release fertilizers can be synthetic or organic, but organic fertilizers provide many benefits that synthetic ones can’t. Fertilizers comprise a broad range of amendments that add some kind of nutritional benefit to the soil. Balanced nutrition is at the core of a healthy lawn. St. Augustine is a turfgrass that makes for a thick green lawn, especially in warm coastal areas like Florida, the Carolinas, and Southern California. The main reason that St Augustine lawns lose their color throughout the year is due to lack of proper fertilization. The key to a healthy mowing schedule is to remove enough growth to trigger new growth, but not so much that the lawn is unable to recover. Nutrition and water go hand-in-hand. To get St. Augustine grass to spread faster, plant St. Augustine during summer and make sure you lay it down the right type of soil – preferably a well-aerated soil type. However, if your lawn has an imbalance of these factors, it becomes stressed, and its ability to fight off pests and diseases is weakened. The other 64% is fillers. St. Augustine is dormant during cooler temperatures. This site is a participant in affiliate programs such as Amazon Associates and earns from qualifying purchases. Welcome to Saint Augustine Lawn Care. Use a thicker topdressing in the spring and a thinner topdressing in the fall, when your lawn is about to slow down. Healthy irrigation schedules saturate the soil and then allow it to breathe. St. Augustine is also prone to gray leaf spot at this time. Download our FREE printable St. Augustine Fertilization And Maintenance Planner before you go! In northern areas where St Augustine will go dormant, no fertilizer is needed. These amounts are represented on fertilizer bags by three numbers, like 12-12-12, 8-4-6, or 10-10-10. St. Augustine grass (Stenotaphrum secundatum) is a warm weather, subtropical grass which can be found throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico, South America, western and southern Africa, the Caribbean, the Hawaiian Islands, and Oceania. Looking to get some schedule going for my St. Augustine in Central Fl. They provide microbes, electrical charges, carbon, bulk, and other components of soil that fertilizers just don’t have. Healthy lawns are a product of careful planning and commitment. Some are nutrient-specific, while others provide the full range of macro and micronutrients. Each nutrient has a chemical makeup that determines how well it will bond to the compounds in the soil (cation exchange capacity). Dormancy is a means of protection from cold temperatures that would otherwise kill the plant. The mower setting should be between 2 to 2½ inches high. Most fertilizer schedules will recommend application rates between .5lbs and 1lb of nitrogen for the health of the lawn, but you can help prevent water pollution by using a slow-release fertilizer like compost. Trying to force your lawn to green-up before it’s ready, stay green longer, or grow too much during the summer will only create the very issues that make your lawn look unhealthy, which defeats the whole purpose. The Best Fertilizer for St Augustine Grass This variety of grass does well when it is fed a fertilizer with a 4-1-2 ratio of Nitrogen, Phosphorous and Potassium or N-P-K. For example, if you go to the home improvement store and see a bag labeled 16-4-8, broken down into the least common denominator, the formula is 4-1-2. This isn’t possible without an adequate amount of water. Water a new St. Augustine lawn two times per day for the first 3 weeks then cut back to a normal seasonal schedule. Consistent, vigorous growth helps the lawn resist pests and disease, and also helps it cope with potential drought conditions. Follow the 1/3rd rule, but be sure to maintain a height of at least 2.5” for St. Augustine. Keep in mind that the active part of the growing season for this turf is during the heat of summer, so most of your lawn’s ability to fight off weeds will be determined by your fertilizing/mowing schedule for mid-summer, even though weeds tend to germinate earlier and later in the season when the weather is cooler. Be careful not to set the mower too low, as it may scalp the lawn. Pendelton Turf and Supply Liquid Fertilizer will help your St. Augustine Grass looking healthy in no time. St. Augustine Grass in South Florida. The reason why you should be choosing a top-rated fertilizer for St. Augustine grass is that the rapid growth you’ll get will help you overcome weeds and lots of lawn diseases that are common with poor nutrition. 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