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how fast does st. augustine grass spread

How Fast Does St. Augustine Spread?


When it comes to establishing a lush and healthy lawn, one grass variety that often comes to mind is St. Augustine grass. Known for its vibrant green color, thick growth, and ability to tolerate shade and heat, St. Augustine grass is a popular choice for homeowners across various regions.

One question that frequently arises when considering this grass type is, “How fast does St. Augustine grass spread?” In this article, we will explore the growth rate of St. Augustine grass and provide insights into its spreading habits.

Important Facts about St. Augustine Grass

St. Augustine grass (Stenotaphrum secundatum) is a warm-season grass type, meaning it thrives in hot and humid climates. It is commonly found in coastal areas and the southern United States. St. Augustine grass spreads through above-ground runners, known as stolons. They creep along the ground and produce new growth points at each node. This spreading growth habit allows St. Augustine grass to establish a dense and lush turf over time.

The rate at which St. Augustine grass spreads varies depending on several factors, including environmental conditions, maintenance practices, and the specific variety of St. Augustine grass. Generally, St. Augustine grass spreads at an average rate of 6 to 12 inches per year. However, under ideal conditions, it will spread even faster.

Availability of Water

how fast does st. augustine grass spread
The lawn is properly watered by an automatic watering system.

One crucial factor that influences the spreading rate of St. Augustine grass is the availability of water. Proper watering is essential for promoting and maintaining healthy growth.

Providing adequate and consistent moisture encourages the development of stolons, allowing the grass to spread more quickly. However, it is important to avoid overwatering, as excessive moisture can lead to disease and other issues.

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St. Augustine Fertilization

In addition to water, St. Augustine grass requires proper fertilization to support its growth and spreading. Regularly applying a balanced fertilizer specifically formulated for St. Augustine grass can provide the essential nutrients needed for vigorous growth and spreading.

Consult with a lawn care professional or refer to the manufacturer’s instructions to determine the appropriate fertilizer application schedule and rates for your specific St. Augustine grass variety.

how fast does st augustine spread?
Mow your grass at its recommended height.

Mowing St. Augustine Grass

Mowing practices also play a role in the spreading rate of St. Augustine grass. Regular and proper mowing helps to encourage lateral growth and the development of new stolons.

However, avoid mowing the grass too short, as this will stress the grass and impede its spreading ability. Maintain a mowing height of around 3 to 4 inches to promote healthy growth and spreading. Read more about how to maintain St. Augustine grass.

Sunlight Requirements for St. Augustine Turf

While St. Augustine grass is known for its ability to tolerate shade, it still requires a certain amount of sunlight to spread and thrive. Ensure that your lawn receives a minimum of 4 to 6 hours of direct sunlight per day to support healthy growth and spreading.

If you have areas that are heavily shaded, consider alternative grass options or ornamental groundcovers for those specific areas.

Varieties of St. Augustine

It is important to note that some St. Augustine grass varieties spread more aggressively than others. For example, the Raleigh and Palmetto varieties are known for their relatively fast spreading habits compared to other St. Augustine grass types. If you desire a quick-spreading turf, consider selecting one of these varieties.

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Optimize the Growth of Your St. Augustine Turf

To maximize the spreading rate of St. Augustine grass, it is crucial to maintain a consistent and proactive lawn care routine. This includes regular watering, proper fertilization, mowing at the correct height, and addressing any pest or disease issues promptly.

Additionally, performing routine lawn aeration can help promote better root growth and overall lawn health, which in turn can enhance the spreading ability of St. Augustine grass. Ready to get started with your St. Augustine lawn today? Check out our sod installation page for details.


how fast does st. augustine grass spread?
Proper lawn care ensures faster growth of your St. Augustine lawn.

In conclusion, St. Augustine grass is a warm-season grass that spreads through above-ground runners called stolons. On average, St. Augustine grass spreads at a rate of 6 to 12 inches per year. However, factors such as water availability, fertilization, mowing practices, and sunlight exposure can influence its spreading rate.

By providing proper care and attention to your St. Augustine grass, you will encourage faster spreading and establish a lush and beautiful lawn. Consult with a lawn care professional for personalized advice and recommendations based on your specific lawn conditions and goals.

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