The St. Augustine grass is a very popular turfgrass because of its deep green grass blades and its high tolerance to humidity, heat, and salt. However, without proper care and maintenance, it won’t fare well and it will start to turn thin, patchy, and brown.
Luckily, there are many ways you can bring back the St. Augustine grass, but if it’s truly dead, there’s no way of reviving it. You will have to start from scratch and cultivate a new lawn.
How do you revive St. Austine Grass?The best way of reviving your St. Augustine grass is to water your lawn every week up to 1-1.5 inches to provide the soil with the right nutrients while improving soil quality and eliminate pests like grub worms that may be killing the lawn grass.
5 Reasons why St. Augustine grass dies
Before you start you revive your St. Augustine grass, you need to know what caused the problem in the first place. Here are some of the main reasons.
Lawn diseases are one of the main reasons why your grass is dying or appears dead.
The St. Augustine grass is mostly prone to diseases like brown patch and gray leaf spot, but the brown patch is the most common and is caused by a fungus that develops and spreads when it’s hot and humid.
During the warm or hot summer months, the gray leaf spot can invade your grass causing purple to brown spots that eventually become dead patches as the disease spreads.
Watch the video below
Pest damage is usually caused by insects like grubs that invade your grass during the summer to early fall and eat the grassroots and kill the grass.
The chinch bugs are pests that will suck the fluid out of your St. Augustine leaving a secretion that will prevent the flow of water and nutrients into the grass and eventually the grass wilts and dies.
Watch thee video below too see how to detect and kill chinch bugs in St. Augustine grass.
- Excess fertilizer
Applying too much nitrogen fertilizer on your St. Augustine grass to make it grow quickly will burn your lawn.
You’ll start to notice signs like brown and yellow discoloration and root damage. To avoid this, follow a regular fertilizer schedule and feed your lawn according to its grass type.
- Poor soil quality
Poor soil with a thin topsoil layer with gravel, rocks, or very compacted clay soil underneath can be a big problem to your turfgrass.
It can cause your grass to grow unhealthy and weak shallow roots because they can’t access enough moisture and nutrients causing the grass to wilt and die.
You should do a soil test to know the nutrients your lawn is lacking and the changes you need to make.
How to revive your St. Augustine grass
- Water your grass
During the hot and dry weather, your grass might start to die and the best way to bring it back from the dead is to water it about ¾ inch 2 times a week or 1 ½ inch of water every week.
Ensure that you water your grass deeply to give it the correct amount of water. Water the brown grass deeply to reach the roots and the grass will start turning green in 3-4 weeks.
- Improve the soil
St. Augustine grass thrives in well-aerated soil so you need to improve the deep thatch in your lawn and the soil compaction.
Ensure that your lawn has the right layer of soil to allow the roots to grow deep for a healthy lawn.
Do a soil test to determine the soil composition and the nutrients needed by your grass. Ensure the soil is well aerated, especially clay soil that tends to dry your grass during drought.
Thatch is a layer of decomposing organic matter that collects between the soil surface and your lawn’s grass blades. It can harm your grass by limiting its access to water, air, and nutrients which can suffocate your grass leading to a slow death.
Dethatching helps to break up the soil and improve its breathability and also allow easy nutrient supply to your lawn. You can use dethatching blade for it.
Also read —> Can you dethatch St. Augustine grass?
- Reseed your lawn
As grass dies it leaves some bare spots so you can remove the dead grass and reseed with new grass seeds, feed, and then water to promote healthy growth.
If the damage is too extensive, the best option would be to start afresh and plant a new lawn.
How to prevent brown patch fungus on your St. Augustine grass
- Water your lawn at the right time. Don’t water it too late in the day because it will leave your lawn damp at night. This can cause brown patch mold, especially during the cool weather. Instead, water early in the morning to give ample time for your grass to dry before evening.
- Don’t water too frequently as it will keep your grass damp and cause brown patch mold. Water it when it’s dry and showing signs of drought, every 5-10 days.
- Nitrogen fertilizer promotes lush green growth and the brown patch fungus likes this soft growth. If you fertilize too early or too late it can lead to fungus growth, so the best time to use the nitrogen fertilizer is in the summer or late spring.
- Control your grass clippings by mowing your lawn more frequently, every 10 days to a height of about 3 inches. Avoid having a clipping buildup that can lead to excess moisture.
- Ensure you aerate your lawn at least once a year and maintain a good soil pH to avoid having poor drainage.
- Using fungicide early is very effective in controlling brown patch mold. For best results use it immediately you see signs of the fungus.
Can you bring back Dead St. Augustine Grass?
You can certainly revive St. Augustine grass from dry and brown to a dense and lush green lawn, but this will depend on the cause of its browning.
If your lawn grass has been dead for 3-5 weeks, you can revive it. However, if it has been dead for longer, you might not be able to revive it because its roots will also be dead.
So before you tear down your lawn to plant a new one, you should check if st. Augustine grass is truly dead or it’s just dormant and can be revived.
Common fungal lawn diseases
Affected lawn grass
Fine fescue, bentgrass, perennial ryegrass, centipede grass, Zoysia grass, Bermuda grass, Kentucky bluegrass
Water-soaked straw yellow spots and cobweb-like growth
Gray leaf spot
Tall fescue grasses, perennial ryegrass, St. Augustine grass
Small irregular patches, blades have small bleached spots with dark brown edges that turn gray when wet
Bermuda grass, perennial ryegrass, tall fescue
Elongated oval spots with dark brown margins and brown center
Fine and tall fescues, Kentucky bluegrass, bentgrass, perennial ryegrass
Small, circular pinkish spots spread about 1 foot, whitish-pink fungal threads, red-brown water-soaked blades
St. Augustine is a warm-season grass that can be prone to diseases like brown patch disease if you don’t maintain and take proper care of it. However, it can be revived to its lush green color in no time if it’s not far gone.
Can brown grass turn green again?
Grass naturally goes dormant to conserve water when there’s limited rain, and drought-induced brown grass will turn green on its own when rain increases and the weather cools.
Why is my grass dying even though I water it?
When the roots can’t access water and nutrients from the soil or the soil doesn’t have enough food and water, the grass turns brown.