St. Augustine Sod Installation Guide
St. Augustine grass is the popular turfgrass choice for Houston due to its ability to handle the heat as well as our shade and rainfall. Proper installation of St. Augustine grass sod is crucial to ensure a healthy and beautiful lawn. In this article, we will outline the steps to properly install St. Augustine sod including clearing the area of debris, preparing the soil, laying the sod, and providing necessary maintenance for the first few weeks.
Step 1: Clear the area of all debris
To begin, clear the area where you plan to install the St. Augustine grass sod of any debris such as rocks, roots, and old grass. Use a rake or cultivator to loosen the soil and remove any remaining debris.
Step 2: Prepare the soil
After clearing the area, prepare the soil by loosening it with a cultivator or rake. This will allow the roots of the St. Augustine grass to penetrate the soil more easily. Next, spread a layer of Southwest Premium Compost on top of the soil. The compost will provide the necessary nutrients for the grass to establish itself. Spread the compost evenly with a rake, making sure to avoid any clumps or mounds.
Step 3: Lay the sod
Once the soil is prepared, it is time to lay the St. Augustine grass sod. Begin laying the sod along the longest straight edge of the area. Lay the sod in a brick pattern, staggering the seams to create a strong interlocking surface. Make sure the sod is level with the surrounding soil, and tamp down any uneven areas.
Step 4: Water the sod
After laying the sod, water it immediately. Watering is essential to help the roots establish themselves in the soil. Water the sod thoroughly, making sure to soak the soil underneath the sod as well. For the first two weeks, water the sod every day to ensure it stays hydrated and to prevent the roots from drying out.
Step 5: Apply Medina Plus
Medina Plus is a soil activator with seaweed that can help the St. Augustine grass sod establish itself quickly. Apply Medina Plus once a week for the first three weeks after installation. Mix the Medina Plus with water according to the instructions on the bottle and spray it evenly over the sod.
Step 6: Maintain the sod
After the initial two-week watering period, reduce watering to twice a week for the next two weeks. After that, gradually reduce the watering frequency to once a week, depending on the rainfall. Avoid watering the grass too frequently or too little, as this can cause the roots to either drown or dry out. Fertilize the sod with a slow-release fertilizer about 6-8 weeks after installation (as long as the sod has also grown enough to be cut).
In conclusion, properly installing St. Augustine grass sod some careful preparation to be successful, but that work can lead to much better grass. The key to success is to ensure the sod is properly watered during the initial establishment phase, and to avoid over or under watering once the roots have become established. By following these steps, you can have a healthy and beautiful lawn that will thrive in Houston's climate for years to come.