Many homeowners are still under the impression that St. Augustine lawns are set up in the same manner as their northern bluegrass or fescue grass lawns. As such, they remain clueless on where to buy Saint Augustine grass seed– thinking they will need it to plant a new lawn or cover up dry places.
This is a common mistake made by homeowners who do not grasp the difference between warm- and cool-season grasses. St. Augustine is not one of the warm-season grasses that can be grown from seed, but some of them can (centipede grass, certain bermudagrass, and Zoysia grass). In short, only vegetative methods– such as laying sod or planting grass plugs, can be used to install St. Augustine grass.
Can St. Augustine Grass be Grown from Seed?
Simply put, St. Augustine grass generally cannot be grown from seed (in some cases, yes, it's possible). Even if you search every Saint Augustine grass seed for sale anywhere in the stores, you'll have difficulty finding one as this can be difficult to cultivate from seed. I don't recommend looking for St. Augustine grass seed for sale, as you may only end up wasting your time in the process. If you need to fill in some visible patches in your St. Augustine yard, it might be better to leave it to the sod farms.
Commercial St. Augustine sod producers often leave specific strips of turf unharvested so that the next crop of grass can grow from them. Using plugs or square cuttings on pallets, you can grow St Augustine grass in your yards. Using plugs initially costs less, but you will need to be patient while it fills in for a few weeks.
St. Augustine Lawn Grass: The Basics
It’s always best to start with the fundamentals, so let’s take a closer look at the advantages and disadvantages of growing St. Augustine grass:
Can You Buy St. Augustine Seed?
Unfortunately, St. Augustine grasses don't yield enough commercially viable seeds. It's implausible for your neighborhood garden center to sell seeds as it's not usually produced for lawn propagation purposes.
Similar to other warm-season grasses, sod farms vegetatively reproduce St. Augustine grass. This is done using grass plugs or sprigs to create fresh sod fields. Depending on the latitude of the sod farm, it may take 8 to 12 months to develop fully.
Grass ribbons are left in the field after the sod farmers harvest the sod, and these grass ribbons quickly regrow into a whole lot of sod. So, despite the terms Palmetto St. Augustine Seed, CitraBlue St. Augustine Seed, and Floratam St. Augustine Seed– there is no such thing as St. Augustine Seed per se.
If anything, a grass plug is a single turf plant that is cultivated in a tray. Their sizes might vary, typically ranging from 1.5 to 3 inches in length and width. When planted between 9 and 12 inches apart, they will gradually spread and fill in to produce a durable ground cover of St. Augustine grass. Fortunately, you can purchase these St. Augustine Sod Plug Packs online and have them delivered right to your doorsteps.
Growing Saint Augustine from Seed: Yes, it is Possible
Yes, growing St. Augustine grass seed is possible. Some turf breeders breed and grow fresh St Augustine grasses from seed– but it's pretty uncommon. Usually, they do this by planting enormous volumes of seed, which is frequently chosen and combined. This produces fresh grass plants for further selection.
Most St. Augustine grasses that are claimed to have been bred were only chosen among naturally growing turf variants for better turf qualities, including winter lawn color, health, vigor, and low thatch rates. This is due to the difficulties in breeding St. Augustine turf from seed. That said, St. Augustine grass spontaneously develops a variety of traits as it adapts to various development circumstances.
After noticing these variances, some breeders decided to use the variable Saint Augustine grass as a new turf type and separated it for such a purpose. Or, they may have likely continued picking the best from each fresh turf crop as it grew– at least until they found the St. Augustine grass variety with the ideal fusion of the most desirable features. (Related: St. Augustine Grass Seeding: A Simple Guide to Success)
TL; DR: Is There Such a Thing as St. Augustine Grass Seed?
Most commercial St. Augustine turf breeders often skip from producing its grass seeds, as it may be too tough to do. Instead, they use selective breeding techniques to create new Saint Augustine grass.
If you want to develop a new St. Augustine grass lawn, you may want to consider other options (unless you have the budget to take the grass seed route). This includes growing a new St. Augustine grass lawn from lawn runners of a reputable and well-known turf variety or plugs. Remember that it's too complicated (and expensive) to start a new St. Augustine lawn from seed.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Why are there no commercially-produced seeds for St. Augustine Grass?
St. Augustine grass is not available at your local garden store because it doesn't produce enough viable seed to be commercialized. This is the primary reason why it is not made for lawn propagation.
How long does it take for St. Augustine seed to grow?
It will usually take around 7 -14 days for its root to establish. Unless your lawn receives a good amount of rain, you will need to water it weekly. St. Augustine grass that is newly planted may require care and protection before it is established.
Will St. Augustine take over weeds?
St. Augustine can compete very well with weeds because it is a competitive and aggressive grass. It can also overtake and eliminate a lot of shrubs on your lawn when given a chance. Incorrect lawn care practices such as improper fertilization, irrigation, and mowing too closely are the main reasons weeds appear in your yard.
When should I ideally plant St. Augustine grass?
You must plant the seed, sod, or plugs during the late spring or summer because St. Augustin thrives in intense warm temperatures. Schedule a time after the last winter and three months before the frost of fall starts.
Does St. Augustine grass spread quickly?
Yes, St. Augustine multiplies quickly when given the right amount of water and space. It will take about 7 to 14 days to spread from the time it was planted. With the proper spacing of plugs or sod, you can expect it to cover the entire desired area within a single growing season.
Can I lay St. Augustine sod over existing grass?
No. This might seem like an excellent way to make the procedure quicker, but your new sod could die when the grass and dirt don't make any contact. To get all the benefits of water and nutrients, your new sod must first establish its root directly in the soil.
Does St. Augustine grass spread?
Compared to most warm-season turf grasses, St. Augustine spreads quickly and has a thick growing pattern. Its above-ground shoots (stolons) are the ones that make fast-spreading possible. Additionally, this type of grass species is good at tolerating foot traffic, making it spread with ease even when under heavy use.