St Augustine Grass

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This article will teach you how to plant St. Augustine Grass.
by Spencer Young · Zone 8A · 10° to 15° F to Zone 11 · Above 40° F · Lawn Care · 0 Comments · August 27, 2010 · 6,071 views

Overview of Palmetto St. Augustine Grass

Palmetto St Augustine Lawn
Palmetto is a native St. Augustine cultivar selected for better color and finer texture. Palmetto St Augustine demonstrates superior shade, cold, frost, drought and heat tolerances in comparison to other St Augustine varieties. This versatile turfgrass is used across the southern United States from the Carolinas to California under a wide range of climate and soil conditions making it the ideal choice for residential and commercial use. Palmetto is rapidly becoming accepted as a landscaping standard as it has been used in thousands of lawns since 1994. An excellent warm season alternative for north Georgia through the Carolinas and south.

Palmetto grass is a semi-dwarf grass, giving it a plush appearance similar to Seville and Delmar, but Palmetto grass is less prone to becoming thatchy, even in full sunlight. The leaf blade width is similar to Bitterblue and Raleigh and finer than Floratam. When mowed high (3-4 inches) it is often mistaken for fescue. The leaf blades are tapered at the tip with a rounded end, and are soft to the touch, unlike the prickly feel of Floratam.

Palmetto grass will remain green longer than any other variety of St. Augustine, and will stay green much longer than Bermuda grass and Centipede grass. Palmetto grass will slowly become dormant after several heavy frosts, and will remain evergreen in temperatures below freezing if there are no hard frosts. It will first go "off color" (e.g., the bottom layer of stolons will maintain green leaves while the top leaves develop the brown tinge characteristic of frost damage) before it lapses into total dormancy. In many parts of the South (Zones 7 through 9), Palmetto grass will be semi-evergreen.

Soil Preferences: Palmetto St. Augustine grass adapts to many soil types but prefers moderately loose soils for peak performance. If you have clay-type soil that does not crumble when squeezed in your hand, add soil ammendments to existing soil at time of installation. Or, for existing lawns that are hard-packed aerate and apply sand, gypsum and/or soil ammendments to make soil more porous.

Light Requirements: Palmetto St. Augustine grass grows well in either sun or shade. Among the other warm season grasses it is the most shade tolerant.

Climate Preferences: Palmetto St. Augustine grass has demonstrated excellent heat and cold tolerance. Its growing range extends from USDA hardiness Zones 7(?) through 11.

Irrigation: Though drought tolerant, St. Augustine will appreciate infrequent deep watering during prolong periods of dry weather. Do not over-water (avoid standing water for any period of time). A gray-green color and wilted, folded, or curled leaves indicate that it is time to water.

NOTE: Always water during the early to late morning hours and never at night. Watering at night will often lead to fungal development.

Spencer Young

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