It doesn't matter which type of St Augustine lawn we're fertilizing , the requirements for fertilization of all St Augustine lawns is almost exactly the same as with any other turf variety. Despite the myths, you do not need to pay extra for a special St Augustine grass fertilizer.
The main reason that St Augustine lawns lose their color throughout the year is due to lack of proper fertilization. The appearance of soft leaf St Augustine grasses can become extremely pale when lawn fertilization is either forgotten or neglected.
Fertilization Of St Augustine Grass
For most warmer regions which are best suited to growing St Augustine lawns, this will of course also mean that our winters will never be too long or too cold. With this in mind, no matter where we live, we can always plan our most effective fertilizing program easily.
We begin our fertilization program one month before the onset of winter, by applying a winter type fertilizer. Two months later, in the middle of winter, we apply another application of winter lawn fertilizer.
Every two months thereafter - we apply a standard high quality lawn fertilizer, until we return back to our first winter fertilization - one month before the onset of winter.
We can often skip the fertilization which falls at the height of Summer. This is because our St Augustine lawns are usually thriving in these hottest months anyway. We also risk lawn damage from fertilizing our lawn in the heat of Summer is increased if not watered in right after the application.
The application of winter fertilizer one month before winter arrives is one of the most important lawn feeding times of the entire year. Research has proven that all lawn types fertilized at this time of year, will green up and return to health much faster once the winter is over and when Spring has arrived. A stronger healthier lawn going into winter will also be a greener and healthier lawn over the coldest months of the year.
Slow Release Lawn Fertilizers
Slow release lawn fertilizers are becoming more common in recent times, and are a terrific alternative to the standard ferilizers that we’re all used to.
If using a slow release lawn fertilizer, then application schedules can be lengthened in duration. Beginning always one month before winter arrives, we can then apply slow release fertilizers three to four times annually. While ensuring the first lawn mowing after each application is mowed without a catcher and is a mulch mow that does not remove any clippings from the lawn. Which ensures the fertilizer is not removed from the lawn during lawn mowing.
Follow manufacturers directions for application rates and frequencies for slow release lawn ferilizers.
Saint Augustine lawns have a slightly higher than average requirement for Iron over other lawn varieties. Iron is a Trace Element which should be found in all quality lawn fertilizers.
Our St Augustine turf will need an Iron supplement with Chelated Iron, or some other Trace Elements supplement at least once per year to help the lawn maintain it's dark green color. These products can be purchased rather cheaply at all lawn care and garden stores.
Special St Augustine Grass Lawn Fertilizer
I'm often asked if the lawn fertilizers which are being sold as special St Augustine grass fertilizers are the best choice for St Augustine lawns, and my answer is always the same. No.
I always recommend to my clients that they purchase a high quality fertilizer from a respectable fertilizer manufacturer at a fair price.