10 Dec St. Augustine Seed: No Such Thing!
St. Augustine Seed: No Such Thing!
Many who move to the South mistakenly believe that St. Augustine lawns can be installed the same way that their northern bluegrass or fescue lawns were installed. They assume that they should be able to buy St. Augustine seed in order to establish a new lawn; this is an understandable mistake by someone who does not understand the difference between warm and cool season grasses. While there are some warm-season grasses that can be propagated via seed (all centipedes, some bermudagrasses and some zoysiagrasses), St. Augustine is not one of them. St. Augustinegrass can only be installed in a vegetative fashion: either by laying sod or planting plugs.
There are several advantages and disadvantages to each propagation method (vegetative sod or plugs vs. seed) that this blog post will not address. Instead, this blog will address the fact that there is not a seed option for St. Augustinegrass when establishing a lawn.
St. Augustinegrasses do not produce enough viable seed for commercialization. For this reason, seed is not produced for lawn propagation use and it is therefore not available for sale at your local garden center.
Sod farms propagate St. Augustinegrass vegetatively, as they do most warm season grasses. Sod farms cultivate new St. Augustine sod fields by planting small plantlets (plugs/sprigs) of St. Augustinegrass, which grow into a full field of sod in eight to 12 months depending on the latitude of the sod farm. Take a look at the video below to see the process of how farmers sprig warm season grasses using slabs of sod.
Once the sod is harvested, the sod farmers leave ribbons of grass in the field, which then re-grow into a full field of sod in a little less time than the original field grew in.