St Augustine grass is a warm weather grass that gives along with a lush and green appearance. Although St. Augustine is a turfgrass and hardy, it is not as difficult to cut as some other warm weather grasses. The choices for mowing St Augustine grass is reel and power rotary mowers.

A reel motor is pushed by hand and has a series of blades that rotate north and south. A rotary mower has one blade that spins horizontally. Both mowers will cut St Augustine grass takes into account several considerations when selecting the mower.

Reel Vs. Rotary Mowers

Reel Mower

Consider how much time you want to spend mowing your lawn. Take into account the size of the lawn. Be aware it will take longer to mow along with a reel mower than a rotary mower. A real mower is better for smaller Lawns.

The peoplepoweredmachines.com website recommends real mowers for lawns 10,000 square feet or less. Decide how attractive you want your St. Augustine grass lawn to look. A reel mower cuts the blades cleanly like a pair of scissors. A rotary mower rips the grass and can damage it. A lawn cut with a real mower is healthier. The lawn will also be more attractive if you cut it with a reel mower.

Rotary Mower fro st Augustine grass
Rotary Mower

Consider the contours of your lawn. Rotary mowers do not work as well as reel motors on lawns that are not flat. On the other hand, pushing a real motor up a hill can tire you out.

Take into account the cost factors. Manual real mowers tend to be less expensive to purchase. They also require far less upkeep than rotary mowers. Reel mowers are environmentally friendly. Unlike power mowers, real mowers don’t require oil and gas. Reel mowers are also quieter.

You can easily buy both mowers, reel or rotary from home depot. There is large number of lawnmowers available for sale.

Reel mower considerations

Decide if you want a regular push reel mower or one that runs on electricity. An electric reel mower is a little easier to push but also weighs more. Consider how big the lawn is when selecting the size of the real mower. A bigger reel mower provides a wider cut.

Make sure the reel mower cuts at the desired length. Mowing St Augustine grass is cut anywhere from 1 to 3 inches depending on the time of the year and surrounding conditions. Look at the reel mower manual or consult an expert.

Be aware that a bigger reel mower will weigh more. Bigger reel mowers are harder to push. Know that reel mowers work best when the lawn is kept at a short length.

How to make St Augustine grass grow thicker (Step By Step)

St. Augustine is a warm climate grass that is valued for its green to blue-green color and ability to establish quickly. It is highly adaptable to a range of soil conditions. It can, however, succumb to damage if over fertilized. St Augustine grass is not seeded like other grass types but is planted by vegetative cuttings or sod. To have a thick lush st. Augustine lawn you must make sure that you properly sow it and in that, you adhere to proper maintenance practices once you establish it.

Things you will need:

  • Topsoil, if needed
  • Spreader for fertilizer 
  • St. Augustine sod, sprigs or plugs
  • Starter fertilizer 
  • Garden rake 
  • Hose and sprinkler
  • Fertilizer program 
  • Rotary lawnmower 

Step #1

Prepare your site to accept the St. Augustine sprigs, plugs or sod. This may mean applying a layer of new topsoil over bare areas or you may just have to loosen the existing soil with a garden rake.

St Augustine grass is not tolerant of too much water, so ensuring that the soil is well-drained and that the lawn has no low areas where standing water can accumulate is critical for successful establishment.

Step #2

Plant the St. Augustine sprigs, plugs or sod. Plant springs in rows 6 to 12 inches apart. Plant plugs 6 to 24 inches apart in rows that are 6 to 12 inches apart. Lay sod so that the ends are tightly butted together and that the seams of the adjacent row overlap as in the running bond brick pattern.

Do this in the spring when lawns are actively growing so that the roots can establish quickly.

Step #3

Irrigate the newly planted lawn. St. Augustine does not need to be kept as moist as other long types. Water in short five to 10 minutes cycles several times per day for the first seven to ten days after planting. Apply 1/4 to 1/2 inch of water daily for the next seven to 10 days. For the subsequent 3 to 4 weeks, water two to three times per week at a rate of 1/4 to 1/2 inch of water. Water only as needed after that.

Step #4

Mow the new lawn at least two weeks after planting and only if the lawn is well rooted in. Use a rotary mower with sharp blades and do not collect the clippings. Remove only one-third of the total lawn height when mowing.

Step #5

Fertilize the newly established lawn 30 to 60 days after planting. Use a complete lawn fertilizer at a rate not to exceed 1/2 to 1 pound of actual nitrogen per 1,000 square feet of lawn area. The first number on a bag of fertilizer represents the percentage of nitrogen in that bag, not the pounds calculate accordingly.

Step #6

Dethatch St Augustine grass lawns in early spring to early summer if the thatch layer is 1 inch thick or greater. Use a vertical mower or dethatcher at the proper depth. Thatch, a layer of organic matter that builds up between the soil surface and the grass blades, can also be an issue in unmaintained lawns. If over 3/4 inch thick thatch impedes proper growth and may Harbor insects and diseases.

Step #7

Water St Augustine grass lawns only on a supplemental. As-needed basis. Apply 1/2 to 3/4 inch of water to the lawn when 30 to 50% of the lawn shows signs of stress.

Step #8:

Mowing St Augustine grass lawns when they have reached a height of up to 4 inches. Mow at the highest setting, and remove no more than one-third of the grass per mowing. Return the clippings to the ground; do not remove them.

Step #9

Fertilize St Augustine grass lawns in the spring with 1/2 to 1 pound of nitrogen per 1,000 square feet of lawn area. You can apply applications of up to 1 pound of actual nitrogen can through fall at six week intervals. Do not exceed four pounds of actual nitrogen per 1,000 square feet of lawn per year.

You may also like, How To Stripes In You Lawn.

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