Lawn Care

AMERICAN LAWN GUIDE

simple lawn care tips for greener healthier backyard lawns
Saint Augustine Lawn Fertilizer

St. Augustine is one of those grass types which can be very tricky to fertilize correctly for, it has very different nutrient needs when compared to other lawn types and any general patterns of fertilizing usually used in lawn care.

St. Augustine grass needs a higher level of Nitrogen than many other lawns. When choosing a fertilizer for St. Augustine it is always best to try and find one which contains this higher ratio of Nitrogen.

Determining the Nitrogen content of lawn fertilizers is very easy. When looking at the fertilizer packaging you will notice that every bag has a Ratio displayed prominently on the pack. This ratio is the ratio of the 3 major elements of fertilizers which is Nitrogen - Phosphorous - Potassium, with the first number being the Nitrogen level. A good Nitrogen level for St' Augustine would be somewhere over 10 - which may equate ratio of something like 10 : 5 : 5, with the 10 being the Nitrogen level.

How Much Fertilizer and How Often To Fertilize

Fertilizing should always be done at manufacturers recommendations, which simply means to read the packaging carefully before use, and to follow the application guidelines. This is important as all lawn fertilizers are produced differently and can require very different application rates.

The Golden Rule of fertilizing is always to fertilize in small amounts and fertilize regularly, this is usually every 6-8 weeks in the growing season. Excessive use of fertilizer can often not be taken up by the lawn and simply washes away into the environment - the excess nutrients the lawn does take up can cause sporadic growth spurts which leaves the lawn open to many diseases and pests. So if in any doubt always use a little less fertilizer than recommended.

Iron Requirements In St. Augustine Grass

One of the major problems with St. Augustine grass is its susceptibility to lack of Iron, which is usually most evident when the lawn turns a lighter color, or even develops a yellow tinge.

If your lawn is developing a yellowing of its leaf then lack of Iron could be the culprit. The first and most important step in this determining and adjustment the Iron levels in the soil is to do a simple pH test. A pH test can be bought for a few dollars at a local garden store, and only takes a few minutes to complete.

St. Augustine has a pH requirement of 5.5 - 7.2. If testing falls outside these levels then soil adjustments will be necessary. This is most usually done with an application of garden Sulfur which can also be purchased at the local lawn care or garden center. But please, before doing this, check with and ask the advice of a qualified person at the garden center first.