How to Spread St. Augustine Grass
By: Julie Day
“Is there something I can do to make my St. Augustine grass spread over the rest of the yard more quickly?” -Joe
St. Augustine grass spreads both by rhizomes and stolons, meaning that it sends out runners both above and below ground. It’s normally a very aggressive spreader – in fact, most of the time I hear questions about how to stop it! St. Augustine is a warm-season grass that grows well in full sun and moist soil in warm, coastal areas.
If you have large bare spots, you may want to propagate the grass instead of waiting for it to spread. Because the seeds are so difficult to collect, St. Augustine is commercially available only as plugs, sprigs, or sod. You can buy these, or you can spread it yourself by digging small plugs or sprigs from an established area and planting them in the bare spots.
St. Augustine responds well to nitrogen fertilizer, but it’s vulnerable to over-fertilization. Use a mixture of instant and slow-release fertilizers for best results, at a rate of no more than 1 lb of nitrogen per 1000 square feet per month during the growing season (spring to early fall). Check with your garden center for fertilizers specific to St. Augustine grass.