How to Make St Augustine Grass Spread Quickly | Quick Pro Tips


You’ve erected your new lawn and would like to know how to let the most of St Augustine grass spread quickly for the lush, dense lawn. Due to its extensive growth, this variety of grass can overgrow. However, there are some ways you can assist it in spreading. Let’s go over these in more in detail.

What is st augustine grass

St Augustine is a tough carpet-like grass that thrives in warmer climates. The scientific term for it is Stenotaphrum secundatum. The gardeners of Australia in Australia and South Africa know it as buffalo grass.

The grass’s individual blades are wide and flat and spread when it puts out runners higher than the ground. This lets the grass create a dense layer that can handle the traffic load. The ideal climate for it is from semi-tropical to tropical. Typically, you will create the St Augustine lawn using plugs or sods. And that’s the reason why people are often asked how to spread the lawn quickly.

Types of st augustine grass

There are many varieties of cultivars for this species. Here is an overview of the most commonly used varieties:

  • Captiva– It was created at the University of Florida. The University of Florida and released in 2007. It features a small profile and is ineffective against the southern chinch bug.
  • Florentine– is A older model that was introduced in 1959. It has a smoother texture and is darker in the shade. This cultivar needs less mowing and can withstand lower temperatures.
  • Floratam The Floratam is a cultivar that was introduced in 1973 as a result of a partnership between Texas A&M University and the University of Florida. It isn’t as cold or shade-tolerant as other varieties. However, it does possess a solid resistance to the virus infection that causes St Augustine’s decline.
  • Palmetto– This is an It is a greener grass that has a less vigorous size and growth pattern. It release around the middle of the 1990s.
  • Raleigh– Raleigh is a cultivar that can withstand cold temperatures. It was first released in the year 1980. It is, however, more susceptible to diseases and insect attacks.
  • Seville- Seville is identical to Floratam and was first released in 1980. It is more fine-textured.
  • Sapphire- Sapphire is an Australian cultivar that was introduced in 2004. It is characterized by dark blue-green foliage and purple runners. Another benefit is that it can produce rapid growth laterally.
  • Sir Walter- A different Australian cultivar that was introduced in 1996. It’s perfect for dry and hot weather due to its drought resistance.
  • Texas Common – This cultivar is very similar to the native species. It’s not being grown extensively currently, but it is susceptible to the SAD virus, which is unavoidable.
  • Variegatum- A fascinating cultivar, was awarded the Award of Garden Merit by the Royal Horticulture Society in 1993. What makes it different is that it strip with white blades, which is why it has the name.

How to make st augustine grass spread quickly

St. Augustine grass grows and spread through above-ground shoots known as stolons. When your yard is thin and sloppy, it is possible to start care programs to make it thicker and fill in the empty areas. How to make St Augustine grass spread quickly? To help how to make St Augustine grass spread quickly and more densely, sods are planted in the early summer months in well-drained soil with a pH range between 5.0 and 8.5. Apply a fertilizer containing phosphorus for rapid root development. Water frequently throughout the day for the initial 14 days. Make sure to cut your new lawn high so that the stolons can grow and thicken. After laying St. Augustine grass sod, make sure you do not push your lawn too hard or too early with too much fertilizer or weed control herbicides until the lawn is 50% green-up. 

Prep your soil

St Augustine grass prefers well-aerated soil with acidity between 6.5 and 6.5. Lower pH can improve by adding lime to fertilizer and into your soil. My yard was sandy soil with a pH of 3.0, which was much too weak for St Augustine to take root. Therefore I had to begin by raising the pH with fertilizer that was high in ammonium nitrate. My soil also had a spongy texture due to quite some clay soil in my region. I added sand to my fertilizer-soil mixture to ensure that the stolons took root.

This helped my soil aerate enough to allow for the growth of my plants and allow the grassroots of smaller sizes to expand when the grass plugs began spreading. Make sure your yard is level before you begin planting. The grass is water-dependent. In addition, St Augustine grass is finicky. Make sure that there aren’t abrupt inclines on your property since stolons are likely to struggle to develop here. If there are steep slopes that are not adequately controlled, you will see decreases. Small depressions on your yard’s surface may create a water pool. Your grass stolons could quickly decay away in these pools of collection.

Choose your grass

Many different kinds of St Augustine grass are created identical. Although I would’ve loved an easy fix of installing sod and instantly filling my backyard, I did not have the budget. Hey, I recently purchased an apartment, and I was slashing my bank account. Therefore, I decided to go with grass plugs rather. They are a fantastic option to have an attractive lawn in no time, so they adhere to the correct method of planting and keep the most of your routine for maintenance.

Plant your grass

If you’re planting sods, you can simply place them in the ground, covering the exposed soil. Then comes the beginning of the watering process, and I’ll go into it in a minute. In the case of planting grass plugs, there’s a little more process involved. Depending on the amount of the budget for you, it’s likely that you’ll need the number of plugs that you can afford. I decided to split the number of plugs I used by the size of my yard.

This helped me understand how many plugs I had for each square foot. If your plugs are farther apart, they’ll need more time to cover loose soil. If the plugs are more and have more plugs for each square foot, you’ll see more growth in a shorter period. I had approximately 12 inches worth of ground between my plugs, meaning that my lawn was entirely covered by the end of the season, with just some bare patches visible.

If you can only install your plugs about spaced 24 inches apart, you’ll be waiting to cover the entire lawn for a whole year. It’s also not as laborious as plugging in a double amount of plugs, which means you can reap the benefits when you’re more flexible. However, I’m not patient, so I quickly connected my lawn with all the plugs and set about taking care of my brand new lawn while my back straightened from a slack position.

Use a fertilizer high in phosphorus

Phosphorus can help stimulate the rapid growth of the roots. This is why it is crucial to allow your grass to grow. Make sure to apply an organic fertilizer rich in calcium until the grass is at the desired amount of spread. After the grass cover over all the areas of grass that cover and you are ready to revert back to a well-balanced fertilizer to promote healthy green growth.

Make sure you plant your lawn in summer

Since St Augustine is a warm-season grass, it is essential to establish your lawn during summer. This will give the best conditions for growth, allowing it to increase. Be sure to water it frequently, especially during dry, hot conditions. You might have to do this multiple times throughout the day, especially after the first time you plant your sods or plugs. Notably during the initial week. When your lawn establishes, it will not require the same amount of watering. It will go dormant through winter, and maintenance is less frequent in this period.

Remove any weeds as soon as you see them

They will battle against your lawn for the water and nutrients, so get rid of them as quickly as you can. You can pull them out by hand or use a high-quality broadleaf herbicide that won’t harm your grass. A lot of weeds can slow the growth of your grass. Therefore it is essential to get rid of them when you notice them.

Mow high to start

St. Augustine grass should be cut between 2.5 up to 4.0 inches frequently enough to not cut more than one-third on the blades of leaves to promote rapid development and growth. Because the turfgrass grows through the above-ground stems, also known as Stolons, the grass is susceptible to injury if it is cut too low or too sharply.

In the heat during the summer months, your lawn might grow slowly because of drought stress. This can correct by watering your lawn more frequently and mowing less frequently than you would typically daily interval of 5-7 days to help to encourage the St. Augustine lawn to become more whole and thicker.

Caring for your lawn

After the plugs were erect and I started to care for my yard. A healthy lawn requires water, growth stimulation, and careful tending like a toddler. One of the things that I noticed is that weeds are more prominent and more prolific growers over grass plugs. So, it is essential to get rid of weeds every week. If you let the weeds overtake the grass plugs, you’ll soon find yourself with barren patches of sand. You should water your lawn regularly; however, do not overdo it. St Augustine grass plugs will thrive when placed in semi-dry or aerated soil, so do not drown them.

In the beginning, you’ll want to give your lawn gentle irrigation at least three times every day. As the grass begins to root and grow, you will find it’s not necessary to water as often. The grass will begin expanding in no time, and you’ll have to cut it!


We hope you find these suggestions on ensuring how to make st Augustine grass spread quickly. Before planting your new lawn, make sure you have prepared your soil and repaired any drainage issues. The lawn you create will plant in the summer months to promote rapid growth. Also, ensure that you water your lawn regularly during the beginning. Maintain your lawn promptly, and you’ll be able to enjoy a lush, dense lawn that you can enjoy throughout the summer.

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