Sound management practices can help any Texan cultivate thriving St. Augustine grass, and a new digital guide and management calendar from the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service provides detailed steps for success.
St. Augustine grass requires four to six hours of sunlight to survive. However, the shade densities they can withstand make them tolerant compared to most warm-season species, said Chrissie Segars, Ph.D., AgriLife Extension turfgrass specialist and assistant professor in Dallas.
“That comparative shade tolerance has made St. Augustine grass one of the most popular types of turfgrass in Texas,” she said. “In this new guide and calendar, we show you science-backed practices and the best times of year to employ them.”
Segars has co-authored the new resources alongside Becky Bowling, Ph.D., AgriLife Extension urban water specialist and assistant professor in Dallas.
“We cover key characteristics, strengths and weaknesses of St. Augustine grasses, and we delve a bit into the most popular varieties on the commercial market,” said Bowling. She transitioned to her urban water position after serving as an AgriLife Extension turfgrass specialist in Bryan-College Station for two years.
The St. Augustine Lawn Management guide provides a map of where the turfgrass thrives. It also offers tips for every aspect of management including how to establish the species; mowing heights, frequencies and mowing recommendations; fertilization; and multiple sections on proper irrigation.
The guide also covers technical aspects of management like certification and vertical mowing, and it offers tips for controlling diseases and insect pests like gray leaf spot and chinch bugs among a range of others.
Meanwhile, the associated St. Augustinegrass Home Lawn Maintenance Calendar provides an at-a-glance reference for what time of year to use the techniques from the guide.
“They’re just a couple of fantastic free resources for any Texan who wants to get the most out of their St. Augustine lawn,” Bowling said.
Texans can visit Aggie Turf online for additional resources on managing Texas turfgrasses.