How to Bring Back Dead St. Augustine Grass

The use of St. Augustine grass in landscaping has been increasing over the years. The lush green blades that grow up to four inches tall make it a popular choice for homeowners and professionals alike when looking for an attractive, low-maintenance solution.

This variety is drought tolerant and offers year-round interest because of its ability to freeze back in the winter months and return with vigor in warmer temperatures. But it is not invincible when exposed to some conditions.

What if you have an area with dead patches or spots?

This article will discuss some tips on how to bring back dead St. Augustine grass. Let’s dive right in.

Why is my st Augustine grass dying?

For the best success in reviving dead St. Augustine grass, you want to thoroughly evaluate your site and determine all possible causes for the dead grass. These include:

  • Overwatering or under-watering-This may cause the roots to rot or the grass to dry out, respectively.
  • Insects such as sod webworms, cutworms, and grubs-These pests can cause damage at the root level affecting the entire plant.
  • Diseases such as brown patch, Fusarium crown rot, and Pythium blight-The symptoms include yellow discoloration, so it’s easy to identify.
  • Damage from construction equipment and other debris that suffocate the grass.
  • Excess fertilizer or not enough fertilizer. Extra chemicals in the fertilizer can accumulate at the roots for and burn them. (i.e. excess nitrogen, ammonia)

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How to Bring Back Dead St. Augustine Grass

1. Water the Lawn Properly

The first step is to determine whether your St. Augustine grass needs watering or not.

When it’s in the hot, dry months of summer, you want to water your lawn once a week for an hour per inch of soil depth about two inches. Also, monitor the daytime temperatures and how fast they rise.

In cooler months, watering once a month is adequate for your lawn. Again, watering too often can cause the root system to rot and decay, which may cause the grass to die. On the other hand, if you deprive roots of water for long periods, they will start dying.

2. Replacing Damaged Sod

If a significant patch needs replacing, remove it carefully, so you don’t damage any good part of your lawn. We recommend either using paper towels or cardboard underneath while pulling out dead grass because that will prevent spores from spreading further, causing even more issues in future.

Once you clear the dead or damaged area, replace it with new sod using a sharpened shovel or spade and tamp down the soil firmly using your feet so the roots will hold in place.

Also, water it thoroughly after you replant. Once the sod becomes greenish-brown, you’re good to go.

3. Using Pesticides

If there’s an insect infestation such as webworms or grubs, treat it immediately before they spread elsewhere on your lawn.

You can use organic pesticides available at nurseries and gardening centers or online stores, which work well with most types of pests. It is best to try a combination of both nontoxic and organic treatments.

Also read: How to eliminate nutsedge in St Augustine grass

4. Fertilize Your Lawn Correctly

As for fertilizing your lawn, do it at the proper time and don’t overdo it. The best way to fertilize is to do it once a year in the fall or spring before the heat of summer.

Fertilizers are available in granular or liquid forms online and in gardening centers. You can add a wide range of nutrients to your soil based on what the manufacturer recommends for your needs.

Always read the label first before using any fertilizer product.

5. Protect Against Drought

Learn how to protect your St. Augustine grass from an unlikely event like drought by installing extra sprinklers around bare patches or vulnerable areas where they won’t get too wet. The key is to make sure the soil and the grass-root system get enough water.

Make sure that you use, high-quality watering system for your St. Augustine grass. Taking care of the root system is the most critical part of keeping it healthy and green over time, especially during hot summers when water is scarce.

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How to Fix Overwatered St. Augustine Grass

1. Change the Soil Profile

If you have clay soil, it’s best to add some sand and organic compost to your lawn. This will help loosen the clay and allow water to drain out faster. The organic compost will also provide good bacteria and nutrients to help the grass root system grow.

2. Improve the Drainage

It’s essential to make sure your St. Augustine grass has proper drainage, especially if it is in an area that often floods during heavy storms. Make sure whichever direction you aim your sprinkler, the water doesn’t pool anywhere.

If you have many of them in one area, move some, so they don’t overlap and create puddles or shallow spots where the soil gets saturated quickly.

3. Scalping

Scalping is probably the best way to prevent overwatering and dead spots in your St. Augustine grass. It is possible to cut off the top layer of soil and grassroots through frequent mowing, which can help allow water to drain faster.

The more frequently you mow your lawn, the easier this method will be.

4. Consider Aeration

Aeration is the process of removing small plugs, or cores, of soil from the ground. This can help improve drainage by allowing air to mix with water in the soil.

Tines on a lawn aerator dig into the ground and remove plugs of dirt about 3/4-inch wide. This gives the water more room to drain without creating puddles, so your St. Augustine grass does not become overwatered and damaged

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How to Fix Dead Spots in St Augustine grass

You will need the following:

  • A rake
  • Organic compost
  • Watering can or hose with a spray nozzle attached
  • Scoop shovels
  • Fertilizer

Follow this steps to fix dead spots in St. Augustine grass.

  1. Rake out the dead spots to remove dead grass clippings and other debris
  2. Rake out some of the top layers of soil to make room for new roots. Make sure not to remove too much, or you could kill your St Augustine grass.
  3. Apply some organic fertilizer to help the grass grow new and robust roots. Fertilizers can also balance out your grass’ nutrition levels, which will make it strong enough to resist most diseases and bugs.
  4. Rake out some of the top layers of soil to make room for new roots. Make sure not to remove too much, or you could kill your St Augustine Grass
  5. Water often until you see the seeds begin to sprout. Watering at least once a day will work fine for starting new St Augustine grass seedlings. Watering more than once a day is probably unnecessary unless the location is arid.
  6. Keep weeding as needed while the St Augustine Grass grows to keep competition from other plants at bay. Since this area will likely have a lot of foot traffic, it is essential to keep weeds from growing around and on top of the spot where you planted your new St Augustine
  7. After a couple of weeks, take a look at your grass seeds. If they are about two inches tall, mow over them with the lawnmower on its highest setting. This will cut off the taller grasses and allow more sunlight to get to the weaker ones.
  8. Keep raking out dead spots and weeding until you see healthy green growth in those areas again. Once you fill all those holes with healthy St Augustine Grass, you can stop worrying about keeping up appearances and just let the grass grow freely.

How to Revive Dead St. Augustine Grass (FAQs)

Can I water St. Augustine Grass in the morning?

You can water your lawn in the morning and evening, but for most people, it’s easier to water the lawn in the evening because it’s cooler outside.

It also reduces the chance that you’ll overwater your lawn.

What causes brown spots on my St. Augustine grass?

There are a variety of things that can cause brown patches or dead spots in St. Augustine grass.

The most common cause is over-watering, which leads to root rot and fungus growth that prevents the grass from getting the nutrients it needs.

See also: Grass that turns brown in winter

What’s the difference between scalping and aeration?

Scalping is when you mow the lawn as high as possible to reshape and densify the grass.

Aeration is when you remove plugs of grass with an aerator machine.

It lets air and water through to the root system, which strengthens it.

How to bring back dead St, Augustine Grass can be a challenge, but it’s not impossible. This article has provided the steps you need to revive and maintain your St. Augustine grass lawn to be healthy again!

In addition, we’ve also discussed how to fix dead spots in St. Augustine grass, which can occur when you overwater the turf, or there are puddles of water on the ground after heavy storms.

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