A healthy Saint Augustine grass lawn can grow at a very fast rate during peak growing seasons, in fact, a Saint Augustine lawn which is receiving adequate water and nutrients can grow very quickly in the peak of Summer. This brings us to the question of just how often should a Saint Augustine lawn be mowed.
Benefits of Regularly Mowing Saint Augustine Lawn
While Saint Augustine grass is not one of the more aggressive grass types for creeping into garden beds and pathways, its runners will still naturally grow into surrounding areas and take over if left unchecked, albeit it at a slow rate.
Regular lawn mowing at correct lawn heights forces the grass to use its available energy to repair its grass leaf which was damaged from the lawn mowing. This process also helps the lawn stay green and healthy, in a process called "tillering".
As the lawn uses this energy to repair and grow more green leaf, it will greatly reduce all its efforts to spread, meaning far less lawn invasion into garden beds and pathways.
Matching Lawn Mowing Frequency To Lawn Growth Rates
All Saint Augustine lawns will grow at different speeds, which will be dependant on the type of Saint Augustine grass being used, the weather and time of year (ie Summer or Winter), the availability of nutrients from fertilizer, soil quality and available water.
Regardless of the speed of growth of our own Saint Augustine lawn, the lawn mowing principle remains the same, always try never to remove more than one third of the green leaf in a single mowing.
This regular lawn mowing will ensure the lawn is not scalped from mowing, keeping the lawn looking green and healthy, and controls the thatch build up which everyone with a Saint Augustine lawn is well aware of.
The regular mowing will also have the added benefit of removing many weeds before they have a chance to grow more seed heads and reproduce more weeds.
Mowing Lawns With The Seasons
Lawn Mowing Saint Augustine Grass In Summer
So with this in mind, a very healthy soft leaf Saint Augustine lawn will need to be mowed most regularly in the Summer, while a lawn in average condition may only require less frequent mowing through Summer. Leaving a Saint Augustine lawn to grow too long between cuts in Summer will greatly increase mowing times when we do decide to mow, will make mowing the lawn more difficult, produce many more clippings, grows the thatch layer, and risks damaging the lawn from mowing.
If we hire a lawn contractor to service our lawns, then with this doubling of service times and efforts, expect the mowing price to also double.
Lawn Mowing Saint Augustine Grass In Winter
As we proceed into Winter, the lawn will significantly slow its growth rates, and as such we adjust our mowing frequency according to the growth pattern. This is can often mean mowing every 4 weeks. It’s not generally recommended leaving lawns for longer than 4 weeks between lawn mowing in Winter in many regions. This is because winter lawns can be highly deceptive in appearances, while many winter Saint Augustine lawns may look like they may not be growing much in the colder months, this is because the lawn is using its energy to strengthen itself in its thatch layer instead of growing more green leaf.
So while the green leaf may not look like it's growing much, the thatch layer is growing, and for the best lawn care practices, this thatch layer always needs to be properly managed in all Saint Augustine lawns. The regular Winter mowing will also aid in keeping the lawn leaf green through Winter.
Spring and Fall Lawn Mowing
Spring and Fall are as we would expect as far as mowing requirements go. Each will be at a frequency between the Summer and Winter scheduling of lawn mowing.
Coming out of Summer we begin to reduce lawn mowing frequencies as the weather cools in the Fall. While leaving Winter the mowing frequency increases as the weather also increases in the Spring. Always matching lawn mowing to the growth rates of the lawn at the time.