What is the Best Soil for St Augustine Grass?

St Augustine grass is native to the Gulf of Mexico and the Mediterranean. The soil in this area is sandy. The water in this type of soil does not stay, it flows deep into the soil. St Augustine is a turfgrass and it grows near the coastal area. This article will bring awareness regarding the Best Soil for St Augustine Grass.

Click here to know a comparison between Bermuda Grass vs St. Augustine Grass. 

This grass is usually found in Florida. The roots of St Augustine can reach up to six inches in the soil. The grass has dark green shoots and spreads into the soil through stolons. You can plant St Augustine grass either by plugs or runners.

To allow the grass to grow healthy and fast in your lawn. There are some specific things to take care of, such as the type of soil suitable for healthy grass growth is one of the eminent factors to look after.

St Augustine Grass

St Augustine grass is popular in several other islands and countries from Africa to Australia. In Australia, it is popularly known as buffalo grass while in the USA buffalo grass is a different species. A warm and humid atmosphere near coastal regions is favorable for St Augustine grass. 

The grass is coarse texture grass, and it has flat blades. The blades of grass are in contact with the ground through the crown of the grass. The grass shoot, stolons, and tiller grow on this crown. The grass shoot can develop up to a few feet above the ground.

It is possible to grow St Augustine grass in clay soil, but the most suitable soil is sandy. The roots of the grass can grow deeper in sandy soil. St Augustine prefers the earth that does not hold water and pours under the ground, so the soil is warm and dry. However, topsoil with heavy nutrition is not preferable for St Augustine grass. The type of soil you choose to grow St Augustine grass is crucial for healthy growth. 

If the type of soil is perfect for grass growth. The second thing is to prepare the soil for planting. You can add some nutrients to the land, or adding topsoil before planting is an excellent option to make the ground convenient for the St Augustine grass to grow. You must also mow the area to remove all the weeds from the lawn. 

With the appropriate environment and conditions, St Augustine grass grows very fast. It will begin to grow within 7 to 14 days of planting.

What is the Best Soil for St Augustine Grass?

Soil is crucial for the proper growth of the plant. St Augustine can grow in a range of soils but the most suitable soil for the healthy development of St Augustine grass is sandy soil. The soil must have a proper drainage system for St Augustine grass to grow easily. In clay and compact soil, the grass will be unable to grow roots properly because of a lack of oxygen availability. Moreover, poor drainage systems in the soil can result in soil-borne diseases in the grass. 

Best Soil for St Augustine Grass

Following are the types of soil-borne diseases in St Augustine grass.

  • Rhizoctonia solani fungi cause Brown patch. The lawns of St Augustine grass suffer from brown patch infection during winter because of overwatering and humidity.
  • Gaeumannoymyces graminis fungi cause Take All Patch. St Augustine grass shows chlorosis, and the grass will grow thin. It results in weak roots. 

Brown Patch on St Augustine Grass

There are several ways to improve the drainage system of soil.

  • You can add compost to increase aeration in the soil.
  • The air pocket will improve the aeration in the soil. There are some tools like a broad fork and digging fork that is useful for aeration in the soil.
  • Sandy soil with fertilizer or compost can be added to the lawn as topsoil.

The pH of the soil is between 5 to 8.5 is suitable for St Augustine grass. If the soil is slightly acidic, it enables the possibility of phosphorus. A good amount of phosphorus in the soil is beneficial for St Augustine grass. If the pH of the soil is high, the grass may lack adequate nutrients. 

Following are the possible causes of change in pH

  • An increase in alkaline pH in the soil can cause chlorosis. The grass blades go yellow and brown due to iron deficiency.
  • The yellowing of the grass blades can even be due to a lack of zinc and magnesium.
  • If the soil has acidic pH, it will lose the good microbes from the soil. The earthworm will also not survive in such soils. It will make the soil less nutritious and compact.

To bring the suitable pH level of the soil, you should first test the soil. Lime and sulfur treatment will help you maintain the pH. If the pH is below 5, lime treatment will balance the acidic pH. Sulfur application to the soil balances when the pH is above 7. 

Measuring Soil pH


The appropriate soil for the growth of grass is essential. Soil provides water, nutrients, and support for grass to grow. St Augustine grass is flexible and tolerant to various environmental stresses and can grow in a different range of soils. St Augustine grass is domestic to the Gulf of Mexico and the Mediterranean region where the soil is sandy.

Therefore, sandy soil is perfect for the growth of St Augustine grass. The soil must not hold the water and shall have a proper irrigation system. Furthermore, the soil for St Augustine grass should not be acidic or basic. If your soil is not up to mark, there are several ways to improve the soil condition for the growth of St Augustine grass.