The green, dense turf produced by St. Augustine sod is well adapted to life in South Florida. It does well in our sandier soil, has a good salt tolerance, and even does well in both sun and shade. As one of the most common choices for Sarasota and Tampa area lawns, St. Augustine grass can be found all across the region.
However, if you decided to switch your lawn to St. Augustine grass, you may be surprised. There is actually no such thing as St. Augustine grass seed. The only way to enjoy a St. Augustine lawn is to utilize sprigs or lay down sod.
Why Can’t You Find St. Augustine Seed?
You are not likely to find St. Augustine seed anywhere. St. Augustine grass is notorious for being nearly impossible to grow from seed. In fact, it is so hard to get these seeds to grow that even sod farmers have had to adapt. Those who produce St. Augustine sod never harvest their entire field, but instead leave strips of turf for the grass to grow from. If the professional growers don’t even attempt to cultivate from seed, the average homeowner would never be successful at doing so.
Instead, you are most likely to buy St. Augustine turf on pallets as rolls or squares of sod. As a warm weather grass, you can purchase St. Augustine grass in the spring or summer. Because this grass requires at least 90 days of growth before a frost, it is best to lay your new sod in the spring or early summer. Waiting until the early days of fall is probably safe in the Tampa area, but why risk it? Lay your new lawn early in the year and allow it many months of settling and taking hold.
Generally, you will want to spray a weed killer over the area in which you are planning to lay your sod. Cover with a tarp, and let the weed killer do its work for 10 to 14 days. After this period of time, any growth which may have impeded the success of your St. Augustine grass is likely gone, and should give your turf its best chance of success. Dead plant matter can be left in the soil as fertilizer.
Once this is done, till the soil at a depth of 4 to 6 inches. This can be done with a shovel, but is best accomplished with a rototiller for entire lawns. After tilling the soil, rake it smooth and even, removing any rocks and debris which are in the soil. You are then ready to lay your sod.
Once the sod is down, water it immediately. You should initially water with 1 inch of water. This is enough to settle the sod, but not to drown it. If water pools or runs off, you are adding too much water. After an initial watering, your new St. Augustine sod will need to be given approximately 1/2 inch of water every day for 3 weeks. This is another great reason to lay sod in late spring / early summer. Often, nature will take care of the watering requirements, given our area’s nearly daily rainstorms. If the blades start folding onto themselves or turning a bluish hue, your sod needs more water.
St. Augustine grass will provide you with a lush lawn which does well in our climate. But you won’t find St. Augustine grass seed, so order your St. Augustine sod from Tampa’s premiere landscape supply company – Big Earth Landscape Supply. Whether you need advice for the most beautiful lawn on the block, or are wondering about the best product to kill weeds – we have the answers you need. Stop by, or shop online today.