Saint Augustine grass goes by many names. It has been called carpet grass, crabgrass, gramillon in Argentina, wiregrass and buffalo grass. The official, scientific name, however, for St. Augustine grass is stenotaphrum secundatum. This species is of tropical origins, believed to be native to the regions surrounding the Gulf of Mexico and the Mediterranean. In fact, the first notes of its existence date back to before the eighteen hundreds. Over time, the grass ventured from these coastal areas to more inland areas and today, it is most commonly found in Florida, as well as parts of California and Texas.
When planting Saint Augustine grass it is most important to remember the grass’s origins. This is a temperamental species and while it can be grown both inland and in coastal regions, there are specific maintenance requirements that vary depending on the location.
The growth of Saint Augustine grass depends directly on three conditions: first, temperature, second, moisture and third, the availability of nutrients. While Saint Augustine grass can withstand a mild winter, it thrives in high temperatures reminiscent of the temperature of its native lands. Saint Augustine grass can also grow in a variety of soil types. It is important that soil strike a balance between being completely dry and completely saturated. Saint Augustine grass cannot grow, for example, in areas that tend to collect and pool with excessive water. Neither can Saint Augustine Grass grow in areas that are far inland without proper hydration. Saint Augustine grass grown in coastal areas with a regular amount of rainfall will require the least amount of maintenance in regards to hand watering.
Saint Augustine grass, a dark green to blue, thick grass, can be planted in one of three ways. These ways include stolons, plugs or sod. Propagation by means of seeding is a fairly recent development and is not widely used as of yet. Grass should be planted one to two feet apart followed by a routine of consistent mowing, fertilizing and watering. Sod is the fastest way to begin your lawn of Saint Augustine grass. Sprigging, however, is the least expensive way to begin your lawn of Saint Augustine grass.
The best fertilizer to use for Saint Augustine grass contains a high amount of nitrogen for added nutrition. A new lawn should be fertilized thirty to sixty days post planting and watered multiple times a day for the first week of growth. Regular, once a day watering is acceptable for the remainder of the lawn’s life.
The best time to plant Saint Augustine grass is during a time of growth, allowing the root system to develop in warm, ideal conditions. The development of a good root system is essential for Saint Augustine grass’s survival, later, during the cooler months.
There are several dangers that pose great threats to the survival of Saint Augustine grass. Apart from a series of diseases, insects play a major role in grass destruction. Some of the insects that are most harmful to Saint Augustine grass specifically include the Southern cinch bug, the white grub and the sod webworms, to name a few. Excessive shade is also detrimental to the growth of Saint Augustine grass as well as excessive watering or lack of watering.
Like most lawns, Saint Augustine grass does experience the rise of weeds. Because Saint Augustine grass is so dense, however, it does not allow for many weeds to sprout, simply because there is not room for them to grow. Insecticides as well as other lawn care products can easily solve many of the problems that may arise when growing Saint Augustine grass.
There are many different cultivars of Saint Augustine grass, some of which fall into a special dwarf cultivar category. Some examples of Saint Augustine grass cultivars include bitterblue, classic, deltashade and palmetto, to name a few.
Saint Augustine grass is a rich colored, almost bold looking grass that comes with a rich history. This thick growing grass is sure to create a healthy, lush looking lawn and a great surface on which to enjoy those beautiful summer days. Step barefoot into the thick swell of green and be transported to the Mexican gulf, of the countries that dip into the Mediterranean sea. This is just one part of the allure of Saint Augustine grass, an allure many have come to already recognize.