St. Augustine grass’s drought tolerance and deep green color make it popular in hotter areas like the southern US. But despite this resilience, it’s necessary to grow this plant at the right time so that it can grow roots and establish itself in warmer areas.
If you’re looking to find out when to plant St Augustine grass in Texas, March to late June is the optimal gardening season. Read below for more tips on starting a lush home lawn.
Table of Contents
- Best Time to Plant St. Augustine Grass in Texas
- Care and Maintenance of St. Augustine Grass
- Tips for Successful St. Augustine Grass Planting
- How Long Does St Augustine Sod Take to Root?
Best Time to Plant St. Augustine Grass in Texas
1. Plant in spring and early summer from March to June.
Right off the bat, it’s vital to note that you cannot plant grass seed when it comes to St. Augustine lawns, since this breed is only cultivable through plugs, sprigs, and sod.
However, some basic rules apply for establishing this plant, regardless of the gardening medium you choose:
- The first is to grow St. Augustine grass after the last frost, when temperatures measure over 60 degrees at the minimum or 80 to 100℉ for optimal expansion.
- Second, it is pivotal to grow grass in Texas at least 90 days before the first frost. This is the best time of year for starting St. Augustine lawns, as they will have time to spread their roots and absorb nutrients before winter arrives, effectively protecting the plants from frost damage.
Using these guidelines, we have calculated the best time to lay St. Augustine sod in Texas as well as plant plugs and sprigs for some regions below.
Note that even though July and August show up in our estimates, it’s ideal to avoid these months and start your lawn in June and earlier if you can’t do so in September and later. Following this schedule will help your grass avoid extreme heat and establish itself to survive in winter Texas.
|Location||Final frost||First frost||Planting time|
|Amarillo||April 22||October 24||April 23 – July 26|
|Austin||March 18||November 10||March 19 – August 12|
|Brownsville||January 24||December 29||January 25 – September 30|
|Cleburne||March 26||November 6||March 27 – August 8|
|Fort Worth||March 12||November 14||March 13 – August 16|
|Mansfield||March 16||November 12||March 17 – August 14|
2. St Augustine grass growing season in different hardiness zones
Whether you’re sowing plugs, sprigs, or laying sod in Texas, remember that St. Augustine grass grows best in hardiness zones 8 to 10, with zone 7, 11, and 12 being slightly less optimal for planting.
With that said, we’ve estimated the gardening schedule for Texas’s zone 7 to 10 and left out zone 6.
- Zone 7 – April 16 to June 30
- Zone 8 – March 16 to June 30
- Zone 9 – February 2 to September 1 (avoid planting in July and August when there’s excessive heat)
- Zone 10 – Any time the temperature is right, since frost is rare.
Care and Maintenance of St. Augustine Grass
Make St. Augustine grass spread quickly by watering it one to two times per week whenever there’s no rain.
The lawn should receive an inch of moisture every seven days and supplemental nutrients every two to three months.
In practice, it’s best to fertilize St Augustine grass based on the results of a soil test, but you can apply nitrogen at a rate of one to four pounds per 1000 square feet: once in the spring after the lawn has been mowed twice and another time in the fall, four to six weeks before the first frost.
Speaking of mowing, keep the grass blades no taller than two to four inches and avoid cutting more than 30% of the turf’s height at a time.
You should also keep an eye on common diseases such as large patches, gray-leaf spot, and take-all root rot.
Prevent these problems by removing thatch regularly, applying fungicides when possible, fertilizing with sufficient amounts of minerals, and watering only when the ground is dry.
Tips for Successful St. Augustine Grass Planting
We’ll briefly describe two methods of planting St. Augustine grass: using sod and using plugs.
Because St. Augustine grass does not establish well from sprigs, we’ll leave them out here. Note that sod will grow the quickest, although it is the most expensive medium to purchase.
- First, ensure the soil has a pH of 5.0 to 7.5 while being loose and well-drained. The planting location should receive full sun with at least four to six hours of light per day.
- Once you’ve picked your garden plot, remove all weeds and other vegetation from it using a herbicide. Till and rake the soil down to six or eight inches to aerate it. This step should be done 2 weeks before planting St. Augustine.
- Then follow the tips below depending on your planting medium.
- Using St. Augustine sod
Lay sod early in the morning, 48 hours after watering the ground. Place each slab of grass on the soil and pat it down with your hands, all while ensuring the edges align with each other but do not overlap.
Proceed to use a knife to cut and shape the blocks, then spread soil on the joints before rolling and watering your lawn. These steps will ensure contact between the roots and the ground for the best chance of development.
- Using St. Augustine plugs
Dig four holes diagonally to form a diamond shape. You can use a trowel or an auger with a drill for this.
Either way, the holes should be as deep as the plugs’ roots and six to twelve inches apart. You can repeat the digging until there are enough spots for all your grass plugs, all while ensuring the openings are wide enough to accommodate them.
Next, plant St Augustine grass plugs in the dug holes and cover the turf bases with soil and your hands. Water the ground immediately to help the roots settle.
How Long Does St Augustine Sod Take to Root?
With proper care, you can expect St. Augustine sod to establish within nine to ten days. This is when white roots start to branch out and attach themselves to the soil.
When to plant St Augustine grass in Texas? To sum up our answer, spring and early summer are the best seasons for doing so.
Take note of your frost dates before planting, and remember to order sod or plugs instead of St Augustine grass seed 50 lb and 100 lb bags, as they’re not really a thing.
Hi, I am William – Floridayards’ digital content creator. My job is to find answers to all your concerns with thorough research and our team’s expert advice. I will also bring you honest reviews on the best products and equipment for raising your beautiful garden. Please look forward to our work!