Encouraging spreading in St. Augustine

Encouraging spreading in St. Augustine

alex@altamax.net – posted 26 July 2004 09:37

Hi There,

I moved into a new home (rental) in April and it has a 3000 square foot yard that was in alive but unmaintained condition for the most part when we moved in. The soil could be better but other than light cultivating/aerating I cannot do much to improve as this is not my house and I dont want to make big investments. I kinda went a little wild at first – treated to much, watered too much, etc.. and things got kind of hairy for awhile.

Now thing are doing better – I plugged some of the most bare areas of the yard and fertilized with a local nursery’s fertilizer and the results have been great – the existing grass is spreading well and thickening. The plugs actually are alive and spreading runner slowly but not very active laterally. My questions are these (but feel free to comment on things I am not asking)

1) What can I do to encourage my St. Augustine to spread and thicken? I want serious growth. I have no problem with mowing alot in order to deal with the growth for now.

2) Why are my plugs so slow to spread? I see others lawns where the St. Aug has runners spreading over concrete several feet long!! My longest runner on these plugs is maybe 1 foot after almost a month planted.

Thanks a ton!


Alex_in_FL – posted 26 July 2004 20:24


Several of us have noticed that St. Augustine loves to grow over concrete.

Okay, here are my suggestions:1. Rake and remove any dead grass2. Put sand in bare areas3. Water deeply every 3 days4. Talk your neighbor in to pouring concrete near your yard (:-> )


alex@altamax.net – posted 27 July 2004 06:35


Putting sand in the bare areas will encourage growth? Does that include the areas inbetween the plugs that havent filled in? How deep should the sand be? What about areas that are sparsely grown in?

Thanks so much!

Alex_in_FL – posted 28 July 2004 19:08

I have noticed that St Aug does not like to grow over dead St Aug. Why? I have absolutely no idea.

I read about a guy using beach sand in his yard on bare areas to encourage St Aug growth over bare areas. Also, the sand discourages weed seeds from growing compared to fertile soil.

Suggest putting down a pre-emergent to help avoid weeds. It is awful hot and may not be super effective but for $10 you might avoid fighting lots of weeds. That is my two cents worth.


alex@altamax.net – posted 29 July 2004 06:33

Thanks Alex. I will look into pre-emergents – do you think a post emergent to clear out some of the nutgrass and clover that exists would be a better idea than letting the st. aug strangle it out.

I went out there yesterday to mow and man is the st. aug spreading – nice green young clumps are coming out from the borders of the existing area. They lay kind of low as they fill in but once they get dense is when I think they push eachother vertically.



ted – posted 29 July 2004 14:04

pre-emergent will not affect any existing weeds. that’s why it’s call a PRE-emergent. it’s used in your market in the late fall and very early spring. it will not control any existing weeds.

alex@altamax.net – posted 30 July 2004 09:47


I think maybe alex recommended pre-emergent to control weeds from emerging on the bare spots. Weeds germinate if its above a certain temperature right? They dont care if its June or August. What prememergent would yall recommend?


Alex_in_FL – posted 31 July 2004 06:13


Yes, pre-emergent was to help prevent weeds in the sanded areas. And yes, I think spot spraying the weeds (not spraying entire yard) would help. St. A. doesn’t choke out many weeds. If it is lush it will keep weeds out however.

Sedge and clover are both hard to kill. For sedge I like Manage. However you mentioned clover and sedge (nutgrass) so try Image. If you have other weeds then try a mix of Image (full strength) plus Atrazine (1/2 strength). Given the time of year (hot) either wait until cooler or try this approach:1. SPOT SPRAY ONLY!!!2. Mix Image per directions and add about 1/2 strength atrazine.3. Turn on sprinklers in late afternoon for 15-30 minutes then spray with your mix afterwards (trying to keep from burning the grass).

No guarantees but this is the approach I would take. Glad to hear the grass is growing for you.


perfecto – posted 02 August 2004 00:22

Will Image kill small trees & other vegetation.I have red clover in a big clump in my front yard(due to very thin grass)& it spread to my decorative trees(don’t really know their name)Can i kill the clover without damaging the trees?Also have crabgrass & some other unidentifiable weeds.Quite a mess!!!

Alex_in_FL – posted 02 August 2004 20:27

I recommend roundup for under trees. Just spray lightly and avoid getting it on the tree leaves.

I think Image kills one type of clover but not the other.

ted – posted 02 August 2004 20:38

perfecto- where are you ? are we assuming you’re in the south? if so, image might be your product, if not then you’ll need to use a 24d mix with mcpp- geography is very important!

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