Can I Grow Saint Augustine Grass From Seed
All new roll on sod can be an expensive option for many people, especially when we begin talking about new lawns for larger areas to be turfed. Saint Augustine grass is no exception to this rule, and can sometimes be more expensive than other grass types such as Bermuda grass and Zoysia grass. But even within these same price differences between grass types, we can also see that some brands of Saint Augustine grass can be more expensive than others, which has more to do with the advertising budgets of some of the more aggressively advertised and marketed Saint Augustine grass brands than anything else to do with the quality of the product or the amount of time needed to grow a new crop of sod at the turf farm.
For many people who are looking to cut these costs of a new lawn, they will look at options to planting their new lawn with grass seed rather than buying roll on sod from the farm.
So the question so many people ask is, can Saint Augustine grass be grown from seed?
Can St Augustine Grass Be Grown From Seed
The short answer is no, and yes, sort of.
Sound confusing? It probably does, so lets explain.
Saint Augustine grass is notoriously bad at growing from seed, this is why we cannot usually find Saint Augustine grass seed for sale anywhere around in the stores.
This is also why St Augustine sod farmers will never harvest their entire crop of St Augustine grass, but will always leave strips of turf left behind for the new crop of St Augustine grass to grow from.
In this respect, St Augustine grass cannot be grown from seed either by the turf farmer or the homeowner with any degree of success, so will therefore be a waste of time to even attempt it, or would otherwise be incredibly inefficient to do so.
Lawn Breeders Growing Saint Augustine From Seed
Some turf breeders do indeed breed and grow new St Augustine grasses from seed during their development and breeding cycle, but it’s very rare.
They do this with quantities of seed which is often selected and blended and then planted in these same large quantities in order to obtain a few new grass plants for further selection.
Instead, due to the difficulties involved in Saint Augustine turf breeding based on the difficulties of growing this grass from seed, most Saint Augustine grasses which are claimed to have been bred were instead only selected amongst naturally growing turf variants for better turf qualities such as winter lawn color, health, vigor, low thatch rates etc.
What this means is that Saint Augustine grass naturally develops different characteristics on its own as it adapts to different growing conditions, and then some people who saw these differences removed and isolated the differing St Augustine grass as their new turf variety. Or otherwise continually selected the best of each further developing crop of turf until they found the best of what they could in characteristics they were seeking in that grass.
This story of St Augustine turf breeding was simply to show just how difficult it is for anyone to grow Saint Augustine grass from seed.
The homeowner can't do it - its too difficult.
The sod farmer can't do it - its too difficult, and would be too expensive and time consuming or just plain inefficient to do so when compared to allowing the turf to naturally grow a new turf crop from its own runners.
The Saint Augustine turf breeder most often never does it either - it’s often too difficult for most of them too, and most will use selective breeding methods to develop new Saint Augustine varieties instead.
So for the homeowner wanting to grow a new St Augustine grass lawn from seed, they would be best to look at other low cost options to grow a new Saint Augustine grass lawn from either Saint Augustine lawn runners of a known and respected turf variety or from Saint Augustine plugs. Growing a new St Augustine lawn from seed is just too difficult.