Caring For Your St. Augustine Lawn
St. Augustine is a shade-tolerant warm season grass that is perhaps not the best suited, but is the most popular turf-grass in San Antonio. It is recognized by its medium to dark green color and thick, coarse blades. Here are some helpful tips to keep your St. Augustine yard looking its best during the hot months in San Antonio.
Mowing – St. Augustine prefers to be mowed at a taller height than other grasses. Resist the urge to drop your mower height; it will not reduce the time between mowing, it will only reduce the quality of your grass. The ideal mowing height during the summer is 3 to 3.5 inches. This not only allows deeper root growth, it also gives the soil a little shade and helps it to retain water. Do not bag grass clippings. Besides the headache of constantly emptying clippings into trash bags, allowing the clippings to decompose in the yard will return large amounts of nutrients to the soil.
Watering – During the hot months, St. Augustine needs approximately 1.5-2 inches of water per week to thrive. It is best to water for longer and less frequently than to water for a shorter time period and more frequently. This lets the water penetrate deeper into the soil for stronger root growth of your grass. An effective way to determine the amount of water is to place empty open top cans around your yard while watering, allowing you to measure the amount of water caught in each can.
Fertilizing – Fertilizer should be applied every 8 to 10 weeks. After applying the fertilizer, immediately water it in thoroughly. For most lawns, a fertilizer with a 3-1-2 ratio of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium will work fine. The nutritional analysis should be printed on every bag.
Weed Control – The best way to control weeds is by maintaining a healthy, dense lawn. This gives the weeds nowhere to establish a foothold. It is recommended to apply a pre-emergent herbicide during the early spring to prevent germination of any weeds, and again in the fall. If weeds do appear, I usually pick them by hand while the soil is damp. If you do apply a weed killer, do not use any products containing 2,4-D, as this ingredient will damage St. Augustine.
If managed properly, St. Augustine can provide a lush, thick yard that thrives in both sun and shade.
Blake Mayerhoff, Agent w/ River Valley Real Estate
19202 Huebner Rd Suite 100
San Antonio, TX 782588