You know what’s a real bummer? Seeing your once-lush St. Augustine grass goin’ through some tough times.
But don’t sweat it, my friends.
We’ve got the lowdown on how to bring your turf back to life, so it’s lookin’ gorgeous once again.
Let us help you figure out what’s ailin’ your grass and give you the best tips to prevent it from happening in the future.
So, let’s get down and dirty with some good ol’ lawn care knowledge!
Table of Contents
Identifying the Problem
Signs of a Dying St. Augustine Grass
A popular choice for lawns in warm climates due to its tolerance for heat, humidity, and salt, St. Augustine grass can still suffer from disease or environmental stress, resulting in dead or dying patches.
Here are some signs that your St. Augustine grass may be in trouble:
- Yellowing or browning of the blades
- Thinning of the turf
- Bare patches or dead spots
- Patches of grass that are shorter than the surrounding turf
- Presence of pests, such as chinch bugs or grub worms
Causes of Dying St. Augustine Grass
There are several factors that can contribute to the decline of St. Augustine grass.
|Poor Soil Quality||St. Augustine grass prefers well-draining soil with a pH between 6.0 and 7.5. Soil that is too acidic or alkaline can cause the grass to struggle.|
|Improper Watering||Overwatering or underwatering can both cause stress to the grass, leading to browning or yellowing of the blades.|
|Disease||St. Augustine grass is susceptible to several diseases, including brown patch and take-all root rot. These diseases can cause yellowing and thinning of the turf.|
|Pests||Chinch bugs, grub worms, and other pests can damage the roots and blades of St. Augustine grass, leading to dead or bare patches.|
|Environmental Stress||St. Augustine grass is sensitive to extreme heat, cold, and drought. Exposure to these conditions can cause the grass to go dormant or die.|
Identifying the cause of your dying St. Augustine grass is the first step in reviving it.
Once you know what’s causing the problem, you can take steps to address it and get your lawn back to its former glory.
Reviving St. Augustine Grass
Like any grass, St. Augustine grass can suffer from damage and require revival.
Here are the steps to revive St. Augustine grass:
Step 1: Test the Soil
The first step to reviving St. Augustine grass is to test the soil.
The grass thrives in soil with a pH level between 5.0 and 7.5.
If the pH level is too high or low, the grass will struggle to grow.
Soil testing kits are available at most garden centers and can be used to determine the pH level of the soil.
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Once the pH level is known, it can be adjusted with lime or sulfur to bring it within the ideal range.
Step 2: Remove Weeds, Thatch, and Improve Drainage
Weeds and thatch can choke out St. Augustine grass and prevent it from growing properly.
To remove weeds, use a weed killer that is safe for St. Augustine grass.
To remove thatch, use a thatch rake or power rake to loosen and remove the dead grass blades that have accumulated on the surface of the soil.
Also ensure that your lawn has proper drainage to prevent waterlogging, which can damage the grass and encourage disease.
If necessary, consider adding a French drain or other drainage solutions.
Step 3: Aerate the Soil
Aerating the soil is an important step in reviving St. Augustine grass.
Aerating involves creating small holes in the soil to allow air, water, and nutrients to penetrate deeper into the soil.
This can be done with a manual or power aerator.
Step 4: Fertilize the Lawn and Encourage Beneficial Insects
Fertilizing the lawn is essential for reviving St. Augustine grass.
Use a fertilizer that’s high in nitrogen, which is essential for healthy grass growth.
Follow the instructions carefully so you avoid over-fertilizing, which can damage the grass.
To maintain a healthy ecosystem and keep pests in check, encourage beneficial insects, such as ladybugs and lacewings, by planting flowers and herbs that attract them or introducing them to your garden.
Step 5: Water the Lawn Properly
Proper watering is crucial for reviving St. Augustine grass.
The grass should be watered deeply but infrequently, about 1-1.5 inches of water per week.
Watering too frequently can lead to shallow roots and weak grass.
Watering too little can lead to dry, brown grass.
Step 6: Mow the Lawn Correctly
Mowing the lawn correctly is important for reviving St. Augustine grass.
The grass should be mowed to a height of 3-4 inches, which allows for healthy grass growth and helps shade the soil to prevent weed growth.
Be sure to keep the mower blades sharp to avoid damaging the grass.
Step 7: Reseed or Resod the Lawn
If the St. Augustine grass is severely damaged, it may be necessary to reseed or resod the lawn.
Reseeding involves spreading new grass seed over the existing lawn, while resodding involves replacing the existing lawn with new sod.
Both options should be done in the fall or spring when temperatures are mild and rainfall is more frequent.
Preventing St. Augustine Grass from Dying
St. Augustine grass is a popular choice for lawns in warm climates, but it can be susceptible to disease and other issues that can cause it to die.
Proper maintenance is key to keeping your St. Augustine grass healthy and vibrant.
Regular Maintenance Tips
Regular maintenance is essential to keep your St. Augustine grass healthy.
Here are some tips:
- Water your lawn deeply and infrequently. Aim for 1-2 inches of water per week, depending on the weather conditions. Watering deeply encourages deep root growth, which helps the grass to withstand drought and other stresses.
- Mow your lawn regularly, but don’t cut it too short. St. Augustine grass should be mowed to a height of 3-4 inches, which allows for healthy grass growth and helps shade the soil to prevent weed growth. Keep the mower blades sharp to avoid damaging the grass.
- Fertilize your lawn with a high-nitrogen fertilizer according to the package instructions. This promotes healthy growth and helps the grass recover from stress or damage.
- Regularly aerate the soil, especially in high-traffic areas. This allows air, water, and nutrients to penetrate deeper into the soil, promoting strong root growth.
- Keep an eye out for pests, such as chinch bugs and grub worms. If you notice signs of pest activity, take action to control them before they cause significant damage to your lawn.
- Monitor the health of your lawn and address any issues promptly. This includes addressing soil pH imbalances, improving drainage, and treating any diseases or pests that may be affecting your grass.
By following these tips and practicing regular lawn maintenance, you can help prevent your St. Augustine grass from dying and keep your lawn looking lush and healthy.
Common Mistakes to Avoid
There are some common mistakes that homeowners make that can cause St. Augustine grass to die.
Here are some mistakes to avoid:
- Overwatering your lawn. Too much water can cause the roots to rot and can make the grass more susceptible to disease.
- Using too much fertilizer. Over-fertilizing can burn the grass and can also make it more susceptible to pests and diseases.
- Cutting your grass too short. Cutting the grass too short can damage the blades and can make the grass more susceptible to pests and diseases.
- Ignoring signs of disease or pests. If you notice brown patches or other signs of disease or pests, take action immediately to prevent further damage.
By following these tips and avoiding common mistakes, you can keep your St. Augustine grass healthy and vibrant for years to come.
Can I Bring Dead St. Augustine Grass Back?
Bringing dead St. Augustine grass back to life is possible, but it requires some effort and patience.
It is important to note that not all grass can be revived, especially if the damage is too severe or the grass has been dead for too long.
However, if the grass is only partially dead or has just started to turn brown, there is still hope.
One of the first steps to revive dead St. Augustine grass is to determine the cause of the damage.
Common causes of grass death include pests, diseases, drought, and poor soil quality.
Once the cause has been identified, steps can be taken to address the underlying problem.
Another important step is to remove any dead grass and thatch from the lawn.
This can be done using a rake or a dethatcher.
Removing dead grass and thatch will allow water, nutrients, and air to reach the roots of the remaining grass, promoting healthy growth.
After removing the dead grass and thatch, it is important to water the lawn properly.
This means watering deeply and infrequently, rather than frequently and shallowly.
Deep watering encourages the roots to grow deeper into the soil, making the grass more resistant to drought and other stresses.
In addition to watering, it may be necessary to fertilize the lawn to promote healthy growth.
However, it is important to use the right type of fertilizer and to apply it at the right time.
Using the wrong type of fertilizer or applying it at the wrong time can actually do more harm than good.
Finally, it is important to be patient. Reviving dead St. Augustine grass can take time, and results may not be immediate.
However, with proper care and attention, it is possible to bring dead grass back to life and enjoy a lush, green lawn once again.
What Killed My St. Augustine Grass?
One of the most common reasons for St. Augustine grass dying is improper watering.
Overwatering or underwatering can both lead to issues.
Overwatering can lead to fungal diseases, while underwatering can cause the grass to dry out and die.
Another common reason for St. Augustine grass dying is poor soil quality.
Soil that is too compacted or lacks nutrients can cause the grass to struggle and eventually die off.
Pests can also be a problem for St. Augustine grass.
Chinch bugs, grub worms, and armyworms are just a few of the pests that can cause damage to the grass.
By the time you notice the damage, it may be too late to save the grass.
And improper mowing can also cause damage to St. Augustine grass.
Mowing too low can stress the grass and leave it susceptible to diseases and pests.
Mowing too high can lead to thatch buildup and cause the grass to become weak and thin.