Monday, July 11, 2011

St. Augustine Grass

By Bobbi

Have you ever taken your shoes off and walked barefoot in the grass? Maybe you have already experienced the cool, soft, spongy feeling of the blades on the tender soles of your feet. If you have done this already, good for you.

I have, growing in my yard, what’s referred to as St. Augustine grass. It’s a type that has wider blades than most grasses, especially compared to the delicate, thin blades of those in the northern and Midwestern parts of the country. I’m told the reason a majority of lawns here are made up of this type is due to our harsh environment of sandy soil and lots of strong sunshine most of the year. Other grasses wouldn’t stand much of a chance of surviving.

Another reason St. Augustine is unusual is that it’s a vine and grows on top of the soil. It fills up the yard by sending out shoots. Blades of grass grow off the top of what I’ll call “root system connectors” which form on the vine shoots at regular intervals every couple of inches or so. The shoots stay on their journey until dirt is found, creeping over everything from concrete to asphalt. The shoots then send out roots that attach to the dirt and keep growing those blades of grass along with more shoots. Edging a St. Augustine lawn on a regular basis is a must because it will end up covering a curb or sidewalk, if left unchecked.

You must be careful not to walk on this grass often because it will die off in high traffic areas. My kids and their neighborhood friends played touch football on our front lawn one summer and ended up killing off the grass there.

If you have a bare spot in your lawn, that’s easy to take care of. Transplanting this grass is very easy. Just search the vines until you find one of those “connectors” with lots of root systems already growing in the soil, dig it up, plant it where you want it to grow, water it, and then leave it alone. Or you can just guide a vine shoot where you want it to go. It will grow so quickly, you won’t believe it. Before you know it, that spot will be covered in grass.

If you haven’t already done so, take the time today to liberate your tired feet from their leather bondage and let them get tickled by those green blades. See if it brings a smile to your face!

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