It’s officially springtime, and as the season of renewal begins you may find yourself with a troublesome lawn courtesy of St. Augustine grass. This fast-growing and hardy turf grass is a popular choice in warm climates, but it can become a nuisance if uncontrolled.
If left unchecked, the St. Augustine grass can spread and take over large swaths of your yard, spread into flowerbeds and beyond. But all is not lost—you too can take back control of your lawn and vanquish this resilient adversary.
With some knowledge of St. Augustine grass ecology, some patience, and a little elbow grease, you can wrest victory from the clutches of defeat and enjoy a flourishing, vibrant lawn once more.
How To Get Rid of St Augustine Grass
Understanding St. Augustine Grass
Gifted with an emerald hue and bolstered by its resistance to sweltering heat and humidity, St. Augustine grass is a favored choice for lawns and landscapes in the Gulf Coast region of the United States. Cascading 8 inches high, its wide, flat blades provide a coarse texture reminiscent of velvet.
Quick to expand, this grass has the potential to spread rapidly and can easily choke out other types of plants and grasses.
Although it boasts these enviable qualities, St. Augustine grass is still susceptible to disease, particularly fungal infections that thrive in humid climates. To preserve its lush vibrancy, it should be given regular care in the form of watering, fertilization, and mowing.
In addition, caution must be taken to avoid unwanted spreading across the landscape. With diligent attention, St. Augustine grass will woolfy your yard, offering a vibrant haven of tranquility.
Why Remove St. Augustine Grass
St. Augustine grass is a popular choice for lawns in the southern United States due to its tolerance for heat and humidity. However, it can also be a nuisance for homeowners who want to maintain a healthy lawn.
Here are a few reasons why someone might want to remove St. Augustine grass from their lawn:
St. Augustine grass is known for its invasive nature and can quickly spread beyond its intended area. It can easily take over neighboring flower beds, gardens, and even other types of grass. If left unchecked, it can be difficult to control and may require extensive measures to eradicate.
St. Augustine grass requires a lot of maintenance to keep it healthy and looking good.
This includes regular watering, fertilizing, and mowing. It can also be susceptible to pests and diseases, which can be costly and time-consuming to treat.
Some homeowners simply do not like the look of St. Augustine grass. It has a coarse texture and can be difficult to walk on barefoot. It also tends to turn brown during the winter months, which can be unsightly.
St. Augustine grass can be a source of allergies for some people. Its pollen can cause respiratory issues, especially for those with asthma or other respiratory conditions.
Methods of Removing St. Augustine Grass
There are several methods to remove St. Augustine grass from your lawn. The most effective method depends on the size of the area and the amount of time and effort you are willing to invest.
Below are some of the most common methods of removing St. Augustine grass.
Herbicides are chemical substances that are used to kill unwanted plants. There are two types of herbicides: selective and non-selective. Selective herbicides kill specific types of plants, while non-selective herbicides kill all plants.
Glyphosate is a common non-selective herbicide that is effective in killing St. Augustine grass. It is important to read and follow the instructions on the herbicide label carefully to ensure safe and effective use.
Manual removal is the process of physically removing the St. Augustine grass by hand. This method is best for small areas and requires a shovel or other digging tool.
The key to successful manual removal is to remove as much of the root system as possible. This can be time-consuming but is effective in preventing the grass from growing back.
Using Sod Cutter
A sod cutter is a machine that is used to remove a layer of grass and soil from the ground. This method is best for large areas and is less labor-intensive than manual removal.
The sod cutter removes the St. Augustine grass and the underlying soil, making it easier to replant with a different type of grass.
The solarization method uses heat to kill the St. Augustine grass. This method involves covering the grass with a layer of newspaper or plastic and leaving it in place for several weeks during the hottest months of the year.
The heat generated by the sun will kill the grass and the underlying roots. This method is best for small areas and requires patience and time.
Choosing and Planting Alternative Grass
Selecting the Right Grass
When selecting an alternative for your St. Augustine turf, the climate and soils of your locale are critical factor to contemplate. Bermuda grass is a dependable choice—its resilience and rapid growth rate make it an ideal option for lawns that require hardy vegetation.
Zoysia grass is similarly robust, displaying impressive tolerance of conditions such as drought and shade. Alternatively, Centipede grass presents lower maintenance demands, adeptly adapting to acidic soils.
The type of root systems within the grass species should also be considered. Bermuda and Zoysia both possess rhizomes, underground stems that facilitate speedy propagation and allow the turf to recover from wear and tear efficiently.
For its part, Centipede grass has stolons—above-ground runners that foster swift dispersal and the formation of a dense mat. With its remarkable set of qualities, each of these grasses offers a unique opportunity to modernize your outdoor aesthetic.
Planting the New Grass
Before planting the new grass, it is important to remove all of the St. Augustine grass and its roots. This can be done by tilling the soil or manually removing the grass and its roots. Once the area is clear, the soil should be tested to ensure it has the proper pH balance and nutrient levels for the new grass.
When planting the new grass, it is important to follow the specific instructions for the type of grass being planted. Bermuda grass and Zoysia grass should be planted in the late spring or early summer, while Centipede grass should be planted in late spring or early summer. The new grass should be watered regularly and fertilized as needed to promote healthy growth.
It is also important to consider the effects of salt on the new grass. If the area is near the ocean or has high levels of salt in the soil, it may be necessary to choose a salt-tolerant grass or take steps to reduce the amount of salt in the soil. Adding organic matter to the soil and using a low-salt fertilizer can help reduce the effects of salt on the new grass.
To Sum It Up
Getting rid of St. Augustine grass can seem like an intimidating task, but by taking the right steps and putting in a little elbow grease, you can achieve success.
From proper herbicide selection to diligent labor, it is possible to successfully clear your yard of this noxious weed. With an organized plan and a bit of effort, you can easily reclaim your lawn and create a beautiful outdoor space for years to come.