Taking good care of your lawn often requires no more work overall than taking poor care of it. A lawn that is properly mowed, fertilized and watered has far fewer problems with weeds, diseases and insects. A well kept lawn also remains dense and attractive, providing you much more enjoyment and environmental benefits.
Water needs are moderate to high, and thrives on wet sites-apply 0.5 to 1 inch of water as a deep soaking every 3 to 6 days to encourage a deep, healthy root system during dry or hot periods. Avoid frequent, shallow watering that results in shallow roots, permitting weed germination and growth.
Optimum mowing height 2 - 3 inches for a high quality lawn, mow too low and weeds are likely to gain a foothold. Mow regularly with a sharp rotary or reel mower, allowing clippings from frequent mowing to remain on the lawn. Never remove more that 1/3 of the shoot growth at one mowing. A mild vertical cutting may be needed during the warmer months on a vigorous turf that has received high nitrogen fertilization.
Fertilize twice a year, spring and fall, with a complete fertilizer containing nitrogen, phosphate and potassium. May also apply 2 to 3 summer applications of nitrogen fertilizer using 1 lb. Nitrogen per 1,000 sq. ft. Apply nitrogen at 2 to 66 lbs. Per 1,000 sq. ft. per year. Too high a rate of nitrogen fertilization can increase thatch build-up, encourage chinch bugs and brown patch damage.
A well-maintained turf will provide the best weed control. Some varieties are resistant or tolerant of chinch bugs and to the St. Augustine decline (SAD) virus. Most fungal diseases of St. Augustine grass can be controlled with fungicides.