Pro Tips for Caring for St. Augustine Grass
Call 281-431-7441 for the best St. Augustine grass sod available in the Houston area, delivered at great prices too! In this video, Houston Grass South Owner Michael Romine talks about the care of St. Augustine grass based on many years of experience in the grass business. Do you want to increase your knowledge of the grass sod installation and turfgrass care? Please check our library of Houston Grass South information videos for your use in learning more about how to buy, install and care for grass sod.
This is a summary of Michael Romine’s video on the care of St. Augustine grass.
How to care for St. Augustine grass? If you’ll look on our website, and if you come in to our office, we have a detailed tip sheet that talks about all the watering and mowing at the different times of year and the differences in caring for newly established grass versus grass that’s been there for several months. We go into great detail, but if somebody asks me generally “How do I care for St. Augustine grass” and say I had just planted it, watering it is the most critical thing up front.
Watering. Again, depending on the time of year, the cooler months of the year you’re going to have to water it a little bit less. But during the warmer parts of the year, it’s going to be real important to water it every day. No matter what time of the year you water, you’re looking at about four hours of watering the day you lay your sod — four hours of water out of a sprinkler and a hose — then four hours the next day.
You’ve really got to get your sod pieces stuck to the ground and get some good water on it. But then you never have to do that again. Once the grass is established, I would say in the winter months your grass has to have one inch of water every two weeks. During the summer months, later fall, later spring and through the summer and early fall when it’s we’re seeing 90 degree days then it needs one inch of water per week. I suggest you break that up into two different waterings, rather than all at once. And out of a hose that may be four hours or so or out of a sprinkler system. 15 to 20 minutes per zone, or something like that.
Mowing. Another critical thing I would say is mowing. A good rule of thumb is if the grass is green no matter what the variety you need to mow at least once every seven days. Preferably every five or six days.
You never want to cut off more than a third of the leaf tissue off at one time. If you’re fertilizing right and you’re mowing right, if you wait seven days you’re probably cutting more than a third of it off. Even if you’re leaving it at that three inch mark, or so.
Fertilization. The other critical component of any of the grasses is the fertilization. Minimum fertilizer requirements for all the grasses is twice a year. Once in the spring and once in the fall. For Bermuda grasses, I would say that you need to double that, so say four fertilizations per year. You only fertilize when the grass is green. If you fertilize too early going in the spring time and get another frost, you thrown your money away. Because basically the grass browns back off if it frosts and you’ve done no good.
And we don’t recommend fertilizing dead in the middle of summer either because that excessive nitrogen and excessive heat can tend to burn the grass. I would say early spring, late spring and throw another one in the fall to get it ready to go into dormancy.
As far as type of fertilizer, without testing your soil, all we can tell you is you need a balanced fertilizer, like a 15-5-10, Triple 13, or something like that. Something that’s got all three components but not one real high number and a zero on another or something like that. A good balanced fertilizer with a slow release form of nitrogen. It’ll usually say that on the bag. That way it doesn’t just get a burst of green and then that’s it. And get the nitrogen sticks around for awhile. Keeps that grass green for awhile as opposed to just greening up real quick and then that’s it.
Houston Grass South is located south of Houston, just off Highway 6 at FM 521 (McKeever Road). That’s a few miles east of Sienna Plantation. You can pick up your grass sod at our office or we can deliver it to you. If you have questions, please call us at 281-431-7441 or send us an email through our contact form.
Texas A&M University has a world-famous turfgrass research program, and the University provides a great reference for identifying the weeds commonly found in Texas lawns. If you want help in identifying any weeds, please check out this information. A&M also has information on the insects that typically impact Texas turfgrasses.