When you're looking for a warm-weather grass that's also tolerant of shade and changing weather conditions, St. Augustine grass may be just the thing for your needs. Since most varieties of St. Augustine grass are sterile, this isn't a grass that's often grown from seed. That doesn't mean it isn't possible, though. Here's a look at what you need to know to grow St. Augustine grass from seed in your yard.
Choosing St. Augustine Grass Seed
If you're planning to grow St. Augustine grass from seed, the first thing you need to do is locate a supplier who can provide you with fertile seeds that will actually germinate. Start by reaching out to your local landscaping professional to see if you can purchase the seed directly. If you can, you may even be able to negotiate to have the seed applied professionally. Some landscapers won't offer seed directly to homeowners, though. In that case, you'll want to turn to a sod farm or other specialist who grows St. Augustine grass commercially.
Planting Your New Seed
Once you've located the seed for your yard, consider purchasing approximately a pound of seed for every 1,000 square feet or so. This should give you enough to apply an even, thorough layer of seed across the whole surface of the yard. Use a tiller to break up the soil and create a good environment for the seeds to settle. Once you've tilled the yard, mix some starter fertilizer into the first couple of inches of soil.
Spread the seed evenly from left to right. Then, go back over the space from right to left. This should help you get a thorough layer of seed. Rake over the soil lightly, pressing the seed into the ground a little bit. Then, water the whole area. Spend the next couple of weeks keeping the soil moist, but try to avoid over-saturating it. You don't want puddles of water on the soil surface. After a couple of weeks, you should start to see seedlings.
Caring for New Grass
Once the seedlings have sprouted and your lawn is starting to show the green growth, it's time to start thinking about long-term watering care and fertilizer. St. Augustine grass is demanding in terms of nutrients and fertilizer. Apply nitrogen-rich fertilizer to the soil once a month until the grass has completely filled in and your lawn is thriving. A local landscaper can help you choose the best type of fertilizer based on your yard's soil composition. Once the lawn is thriving, you can reduce your fertilization to every couple of months.
Other Planting Alternatives
If you have trouble finding the seed for St. Augustine grass, that doesn't mean that you can't have a yard full of the unique flat-bladed greenery. Instead, look to one of the alternative planting methods. For example, many sod farms offer freshly harvested St. Augustine grass in sod form. Another option that you can consider is plugs. Planting plugs a foot or two apart during the spring months will help you to create a lush, green lawn. Finally, you could also plant sprigs six inches apart or so to fill in the property. No matter what kind of grass you choose, make sure you take the time to till and fertilize the soil first for the best rooting and growth.
Few things can make your house feel more like home like an inviting, thick, green lawn where you can spend your days. If you're looking for a way to create that perfect yard, St. Augustine grass from a place like California Sod Center may be just the thing you need. With the information presented here and the support of a knowledgeable and skilled landscaper, you can create the yard you've been dreaming of from seed or any other starter method.