St. Augustine is one of Florida’s most well-known, hardy grass varieties. Named for Florida’s oldest city, St. Augustine thrives here in our hot and humid climate.
Since St. Augustine is a warm-weather grass variety, it does not enjoy prolonged cold temperatures. When the temperature drops down close to freezing, St. Augustine grass responds by going dormant.
Dormant grass is simply grass that is stressed due to some external cause, in this case, cold weather. When grass is stressed, it goes into resource conservation mode by focusing all of its energy on the roots. This causes the blades to turn brown and dry out, giving the appearance that the grass is dead. But, no worries! Dormant grass will bounce back pretty quickly once the weather warms back up. If the cold weather hangs around long enough though, the grass could be permanently damaged or killed. Most grasses, including St. Augustine, can withstand going dormant for about a month before permanent damage sets in.
Many people mistakenly believe that fertilizing their lawn once it goes dormant will revive it, but this is not the case. The fertilizer will not be absorbed properly and is pretty much money wasted. Some fertilizers may even worsen pest or disease issues in the grass. So, whatever you do, resist the urge to apply fertilizer to dormant grass of any type.
It is especially important to follow proper watering guidelines for your dormant St. Augustine grass. Since the grass is stressed and trying to conserve resources, it is crucial that you continue providing enough water for the grass to survive. For St. Augustine grass, you should apply at least ¾” of water coverage to the entire lawn every 10-14 days during the cooler months, and at least once per week in the spring and summer.
If cold weather has caused your St. Augustine grass to go dormant, it should perk back up quickly once the warmer temperatures return. If the weather warms up and your grass stays brown, there may be some other reason for the discoloration.
Help! I Need Professional Lawn Care in Tampa Bay!If you’re in over your head with caring for your St. Augustine grass, or simply don’t have the time, the lawn care experts at Green Solutions are ready to help! Call us at (813) 684-7336 or request a free estimate online today!