St. Augustine grass is adapted to moist, coastal areas with mild winter temperatures. It is known to be tolerant of high summer temperatures, and St. Augustine grass retains its color at temperatures as much as 10° lower than those which discolor Bermuda grass.
St. Augustine grass tolerates moderate shade, being as good as or better than other warm season grasses for shaded sites. However, under densely shaded conditions, St. Augustine grass develops thin, spindly turf.
So long as fertility and drainage are adequate, St. Augustine grass tolerates a wide range of soil types. St. Augustine grass grows satisfactorily at a pH range from 5.0 to 8.5, but develops a chlorotic appearance in highly alkaline soils (above pH 7.5). It does not tolerate compacted or waterlogged soil conditions. St. Augustine grass is highly tolerant of soil salinity, producing satisfactory growth at salt levels as high as 16 mmhos. Bermuda grass will tolerate only slightly higher salt levels.
St. Augustine grass is used primarily for lawns as it does not tolerant traffic as well as some other warm season species. It produces satisfactory turf at moderate levels of maintenance, effectively competes with weeds and other grasses and has only a few serious pests.
In moist, warm climates St. Augustine grass maintains a satisfactory turf cover with only occasional mowing. In drier climates (below 30 inches annual rainfall) it survives with supplemental irrigation. At higher maintenance levels, St. Augustine grass produces a thick, lush, dark green turf that is highly preferred by homeowners.
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