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How Do I Choose the Best Fertilizer for St. Augustine Grass?

Fertilizer for St. Augustione grass usually contains extra nitrogen.
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  • Written By: Christina Edwards
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  • Last Modified Date: 04 October 2014
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St. Augustine grass is a type of lawn grass popular in warmer climates, such as the southern parts of the United States. With the proper fertilization, this type of grass can thrive, resulting in a lush green lawn. Fertilizer for St. Augustine grass should usually contain more nitrogen than other types of fertilizers. Depending on the soil, the fertilizer may also contain phosphorous and potassium.

Nitrogen is often one of the key components of good fertilizer for St. Augustine grass. This nutrient is essential for bright green grass, as well as steady growth. The quantity of nitrogen in a particular fertilizer is usually shown in the first number of the fertilizer analysis.

A fertilizer analysis is typically printed on the package of fertilizer. These three numbers indicate the percentage of each nutrient in the fertilizer. The other two numbers indicate the amount of phosphorus and potassium, which are needed for healthy roots. For example, a fertilizer analysis that reads 30-5-10, would be made up of 30% nitrogen, 5% phosphorous, and 10% potassium. Fertilizer made for St. Augustine grass would usually have a first number that is higher than the other two.

In some cases, a good fertilizer for this grass may not even need to contain any phosphorous or potassium. Depending on the soil, it may only need nitrogen. This type of fertilizer is often referred to as an incomplete fertilizer.

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Homeowners who plant St. Augustine grass may choose to test the soil to find out the levels of phosphates and potassium. If the level of phosphates is low, the fertilizer may need to contain this nutrient. Similarly, if the potassium levels in the soil are low, the fertilizer will usually need to contain this nutrient as well. Fertilizers that contain all three of these nutrients are often referred to as complete fertilizers.

There are a few different methods for spreading fertilizer for St. Augustine grass. Some can be simply attached to a garden hose and sprayed on. Powder fertilizers are also available, which can either be sprinkled on or mixed with water before applying. Granular fertilizer is another popular option. These pellets are often much slower acting than other types of fertilizers since they are time released, but there is also less chance of fertilizer burn.

Fertilizer should be applied when the St. Augustine grass is actively growing. This usually occurs in the spring, after all threats of frost have passed. Afterward, the grass can then be fertilized every four to six weeks. Grass should also not be fertilized during periods of stress, such as droughts.

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mobilian33
Post 3

I planted a lawn with St. Augustine grass and it looked great. In the spring I thought I had never seen grass so green. Let me mention that we were getting regular rain showers throughout the spring. Once summer rolled around, the regular rain came to a halt. The temperatures got warmer and the sun was drying out everything. At this point, the grass quickly began to lighten in color and then turned brown.

I'm not saying don't use this grass, but you need to be prepared to water your lawn if you do. It doesn't do well without water for any significant period of time. If you are willing to water your lawn regularly then this might be a good choice for you. I definitely like the way my lawn looked in the spring.

Drentel
Post 2

@Feryll - St Augustine grass grows best in warmer climates, so before considering planting this grass make sure the climate where you live is going to be right for St. Augustine grass because all of the fertilizer in the world can't make grass grow where it is not suited for the weather.

Since you mentioned that you want something that will hold up to wear, you might want to go with something a little tougher than the St. Augustine grass seed. A lawn seeded with this grass can start to look pretty worn when it is constantly walked on.

Feryll
Post 1

I am looking for a new type of grass to plant in our yard. What we have doesn't hold up well to foot traffic. We don't have any pick-up football games on our lawn, but we do stay outside as much as we can and we entertain in the yard, so we want some kind of grass that won't die and turn brown after we trample across the lawn a few times.

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