St. Augustine grass is a warm-season grass suitable for the environment with high temperatures, salt, and humidity. You can find it in Texas, southern parts of the United States, Mexico, and South and Central America. It is called buffalo turf in Australia, and in South Africa, it is called buffalo grass. St. Augustine grass is very popular because of its dark green blades and high tolerance to heat, salt, and humidity.
St. Augustine grass can be burned in early spring and late winter because of the frost and look dead. It can turn brown and, with time, die from drought because of other factors. The basic rule is to revive St. Augustine grass and which can be done if there is sufficient water, careful use of fertilizers, and controlled use of pesticides. Typically, water can help it withstand the stress of drought and maintain the soil moisture, while fertilizer would help improve the soil, protecting the pesticide from weeds.
Common Problems with St. Augustine grass
Most of the time, St. Augustine grass fall victim to several diseases. The brown patch is most common. Typically, this type of disease is initiated by fungus and is developed and spread at very high humidity and heat. It can thrive in low maintenance and favorable weather conditions. The Take All Patch root fungus disease initially appears brown. This will make the root system weaken, and the grass blades wither and turn brown. The gray spot on the leaf creates tiny lesions to the lawn and lawn, thinning and brown spots.
The pest damage is typically caused by insects such as grubs, which invade the lawn in the summer until early fall, eating the soil and killing the grassroots. Next, you will get a chinch that sucks St. Augustine’s fluid and leave secretion that prevents nutrients and water from flowing into the grass, and ultimately the grass will wither and die.
Another problem with St. Augustine grass is the excess use of nitrogen fertilizer. Owners begin a lawn care program in the spring. Most of them use fertilizer to make the grass grow faster and become thicker and denser. If you spend more nitrogen fertilizer on developing your lawn quickly, you risk scorching it. You will start to notice dark dot patches, which can turn into dead spots.
Summer is usually associated with drought. If you depend on rain very much to water your grass, it can dry out the grass during the drought. This is known as drought stress. Typically, St. Augustine grass grows well when watered several times a week. However, if left without water for about six weeks, it may turn brown and look dormant and die. If it is not very late, you can revitalize your lawn and bring it to life simply by watering it correctly with an excellent sprinkler, which sprays the water evenly.
In winter, the grass goes into dormancy and can turn tan or brown in spring. St. Augustine grass usually remains dormant when the temperature in the soil drops below 55 degrees. Excessive desiccation in dry winters is common, particularly with water-sensitive grass varieties like St. Augustine grass. However, you can restore your lawn by watering it in the winter, so the grass doesn’t die in the spring.
How to Revive St. Augustine Grass
1. Improve the Soil
If the soil is not conducive to healthy growth, St. Augustine grass may die. Therefore, you need to perform the soil test. You can buy the homemade kit and then send it to the laboratory for analysis. Knowing the composition of your soil and its nutrients will promote the success of your grass.
It would be best if you also carry out dethatching. Excessive thatch build-up can damage St. Augustine grass with spell problems greater than ½ inch. Thatch is the decomposition of organic matter, such as the shoots and stems of grass, collecting the grass blades and soil and suffocating the grass. This limits the availability of necessary nutrients from the water and air. You can buy or rent the dethatching rake to break down the soil and improve the breathability of the ground.
2. Eliminate Excess Salt from Excessive Fertilization
Burn from fertilizer can make the lawn appear dead. The grass turns yellow and then turns brown like it is dead. To revive St. Augustine grass and make it grow back from excessive fertilizer, pour plenty of water to remove excess nitrogen salts, which burn the grass. Soak tanned areas in water daily for one week to remove extra salt.
Water the grass, which is not less than one inch every day, to reduce burn from fertilizer. Then water the lawn evenly with the sprinkler so that the grass can grow evenly. Make sure you don’t overwater it, as this can cause other problems like yeast infections, light green discoloration, poor growth, and yellowish.
3. Use the Grub Killer
Many grubs in the grass that feed on the roots can make the lawn develop brown patches and die. If the damage isn’t very much, you can regrow your grass by removing the grub worms. Check the grass to know the grubs and apply the best grub killer like Scott’s GrubEx, Milky Spore Grub Control, or BioAdvanced Grub Killer Granules. They all kill active grubs, which enable St. Augustine grass to grow back and revive.
4. Reseed the Grass
For you to revive St. Augustine grass, which has been dead for above five weeks, the best way is to reseed it. In late winter and early spring, prepare your garden and start a new yard with St. Augustine grass, as there are no grass seeds available for this species. Restoring the lawn can assist in restoring the green appearance of your grass, especially if the grass has died because of winter kill, also called frost damage or frost burn and extreme drought. If there are few dead grass patches, you can add sprigs or sods, spread St. Augustine grass, and cover bare areas.
6. Sufficient Watering and Proper Mowing
Water becomes the driving engine of all and is life. But flooding the lawn is not the smart option. St. Augustine grass is termed as the semi-drought tolerant plant and works well when there is controlled watering. A water depth of 4 to 6 inches is recommended to prevent fungus infections. Also, it helps the grass penetrate deeper into the soil, giving it nutrients and strength.
To check the water penetration depth, it is recommended to use any piercing tool such as a screwdriver. Regular and proper mowing promotes lateral growth and accelerates the reviving process. Only the field grass that needs to be mowed should be 1 to 4 inches high if mowing is the best practice. Sharp blades should also be used because blunt blades put unnecessary pressure on the lawn.
7. Make the Grass Free From External Stress
Stop using St. Augustine grass for other activities for a particular time. Use the barriers to prevent interventions from humans or animals until the grass is at the end of the revival process. This reduces the lawn that is already under pressure. Upon revival, the tentacles of new grass are delicate and subject to rapid damage, so great care must be taken.
8. Treat the Brown Patch Diseases
The brown patch diseases are a fungus, which affects the grasses when they stay wet for an extended time. If prevention and treatment are not done in time, the grass can form brown patches, which may be challenging to revive. Once you see any brown patch sign-on St. Augustin’s grass, apply Azoxystrobin-based fungicide like Syngenta Heritage G or Scotts DiseaseEx, which can kill the fungus and revive your grass.
9. Pay Attention to The Mowing Height
Lawnmowers can uproot the root in your lawn. So, if you’re learning how to use it, it’s best to hire a professional to mow on your behalf. St. Augustine grass’s height should be cut between 2½ and 4 inches, depending on location and the care system. Also, the growing conditions play an essential role in grass growth because some people grow the lawn in sunny areas and others in shady areas.
St. Augustine grass is found in the warm season and is prone to diseases such as brown patches. If not correctly taken care of, it can wither and die. Fortunately, there are different ways to revive it, but you won’t be able to revive it if it is dead. The best way is to water it frequently every week, supply the soil with nutrients, improve soil quality, eliminate pests such as grubs, and more. This will make St. Augustine grass revive.