When to Fertilize St Augustine Grass in Florida

Published Categorized as Lawn Care

Do you live in Florida? Have you recently installed sod and are wondering when to fertilize St Augustine grass in Florida? Don’t worry. St Augustine grass care in Florida is one of the fascinating topics I love engaging in, and to start with, here is the correct answer to our question:

Typically, the right time to fertilize St Augustine grass in Florida is early May and early July. In May (early summer), apply 1 pound of nitrogen fertilizer per 1,000 sq ft. 

Why St. Augustine Grass in Florida?

Whether you live in north, central, or south Florida, St Augustine grass is the popular grass and the most recommended plant because the Florida climate suits the grass.

But as you know, however suitable the environment may be, without proper care and maintenance, the grass will slowly start to turn brown and eventually die. So, you need St Augustine grass care Florida tips, and that is what I am going to give you.

Before I talk about when to fertilize St Augustine grass in central Florida, or by large, when to fertilize St Augustine grass in Florida, it would be fair to start with how to plant the grass.

Also read: How to Take Care of Lawn in Florida

Best Time to Plant St Augustine Grass in Florida

Let’s start with the northern and central parts of Florida. Spring is the best time to plant St Augustine grass in these parts. 

If you live in the southern part of Florida in areas such as Ft. Lauderdale, Plantation, Pompano Beach, Hollywood, and Miami, among others, you can plant St. Augustine anytime

In general, you’d plant St Augustine grass in Florida by following this calendar:

  • Plant St Augustine grass in Florida without the worry of your grass dying in early spring (February through March)
  • You must adhere to the spring schedule in northern Florida, such as Jacksonville and Tallahassee.
  • As mentioned earlier, you can plant your St Augustine grass any time of the year if you reside in the southern part of Florida.

NB. You cannot use seeds to plant St Augustine grass. Instead, use grass plugs or lay sod.

Related: Best Grass for Dogs in Florida

How Often to Water St Augustine Grass in Florida

Two things determine when and how much water your St Augustine grass in Florida needs – the type of soil and the time of the year. Sandy soil drains water fast; thus, you may need to water your St Augustine grass frequently. 

But if the soil in your yard is clay, then you will water your grass less frequently. Like most turfgrasses, St Augustine grass requires more water and frequent watering during the summer than winter.

So, let’s break it down this way:

  • Sandy soil – water your St Augustine grass 3-4x a week, attaining 0.8 inches of water per session. If you use a sprinkler, that would take 30-45 minutes.
  • Clay soil – water your grass 2x per week while ensuring you attain 0.8 inches per session. This is 30-45 minutes if you are using a sprinkler.
  • During winter – reduce your watering frequency to 1 session every 2-4 weeks. However, watering your St Augustine grass is unnecessary if precipitation in your area is at least 1 inch.

NB1: During your watering schedule, monitor your lawn because underwatering can easily cause stress and may invite chinch bugs. 

NB2: Overwatering St Augustine grass will brown patch, a fungus that invades your grass when the soil is too wet. 

Best Time to Water St Augustine Grass in Florida

When to fertilize St Augustine grass in Florida

Because many parts of Florida receive heavy rainfall towards the end of summer and fall, you need to reduce significantly the amount and frequency of water on your St Augustine grass. 

The best time to water your St Augustine grass in Florida is during the morning (between 3 AM and 7 AM) before due. Watering your grass during the afternoon when the sun is at its peak will be useless, for the water will evaporate to thin air due to high temperature.

Avoid watering your St Augustine grass in the evening because leaving water stagnating in the lawn can attract mold, fungus, insects, and other grass diseases. 

Related: How Often Do You Water New Sod?

When to Fertilize St Augustine Grass in Florida

Early May and early July are the best time to fertilize your St Augustine grass in Florida. If you live in South Florida, you can fertilize St Augustine grass any time of the year (preferably once every 2 months) because the grass hardly enters dormancy.

But if you live in northern and central Florida, fertilize your St Augustine grass up to 4 times a year (starting from February, April, July, then October).

St Augustine grass requires 2 to 4 pounds of nitrogen per 1,000 sq ft yearly. The beauty of grass is that if you fertilize and water it correctly, it will resist diseases and drive away weeds from the lawn.

Best Fertilizer for St Augustine Grass in Florida

St Augustine grass requires more than one type of fertilizer. But there is no harm if you have a preferred fertilizer that works well on your grass. Generally, you need to apply slow-release iron-rich fertilizer on your St Augustine grass. 

When you apply this fertilizer in early spring, the grass will have a blue-green color, which shows the grass is healthy. During late spring and fall, you need to apply a more powerful fertilizer to give your grass the boost it needs to heal from damage. 

Final Thoughts

Discussing St Augustine grass care in Florida is attractive, especially if you are new to lawn tending. Before deciding when to fertilize St Augustine grass in Florida, you need to know the best time to plant the grass, how and the amount of water, and the amount and type of fertilizer to feed your St Augustine grass.

Whether the soil is sandy or clay, proper watering, and informed fertilization will help you grow lush St Augustine grass in Florida.