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That Wily and Elusive St. Augustine Seed

by Dawn West, All About Lawns Columnist

grass, grass seed, grass seeding
St. Augustine Seeds

You've done your research, and you've decided St. Augustine is the grass for you. Then you move onto the natural next step, picking up some St. Augustine grass seed. And that's where you run into trouble.

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  • Less weeds
  • Make it thicker
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You scour the internet. You make a run to your local garden supply store. Not a bag of St. Augustine seed to be found. Has the universe conspired to thwart your desire for a new lawn? Is St. Augustine grass out? Is it like pet rocks, just not cool anymore?

Shopping for St. Augustine seed can make you question your sanity. Have you forgotten how to Google? Are you just missing it? Here's the secret; it's not just you. St. Augustine grass doesn't produce a marketable seed, so trying to track down bags of St. Augustine seed is like trying to shop for a unicorn.

If you want to put in a St. Augustine lawn, you're going to have to use a vegetative start like sprigs, plugs, or sod. Here's how.

St. Augustine Sprigs

Sprigs are stems of grass with no soil attached. To put in St. Augustine grass sprigs, prep the soil just like you would if you were going to plant seeds. Then you've got two choices:
  1. Scatter the sprigs and press them an inch or two into the soil with a stick.
  2. Dig shallow trenches about a foot apart and place the sprigs partway into them before spreading soil over the bottom two or three inches of the stems.

After that, water and treat the sprigs like you would a newly seeded lawn.

St. Augustine Plugs

Plugs are little pieces of sod. Once again, you'll prep the soil just like you would if you were seeding, but then you'll dig shallow holes every six or so inches and places the plugs into them. Then water and treat the plugs like you would new sod. They'll eventually grow in to fill the spaces between plugs.

St. Augustine Sod

St. Augustine sod is like any old sod, a mature lawn, cut in strips, ready for you to roll out like magic green carpet. You'll want to prep the soil with the same loving care you would for seeding, then lay the sod in a brick pattern.

About the Author
Dawn West B.A. holds a B.A. in English from Harvard University and teaches writing at Oregon State University.

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