St Augustine Grass Turned to Straw: Causes + What to Do

Published Categorized as Warm-Season Grasses

St Augustine grass is the most popular turf in the Gulf Coast and Southern United States. Homeowners love it as it can tolerate heat, humidity, and salt. But believe it or not, this lawn can also experience various problems. For instance, my client’s St Augustine grass turned to straw last winter. It took him serious intervention to turn brown St Augustine grass green again. Because this isn’t a one-man problem, let’s discuss why her St Augustine grass died and the possible lessons you can learn from her experience. Later, we’ll also see how to get St Augustine grass to grow back.

Your St Augustine grass turned to straw due to over-watering, under-watering, applying too much fertilizer, or nutrient deficiency. Also, pests like white grubs and diseases like gray leaf spots may make your turf look straw-like. You can bring this lawn back by watering the grass appropriately, improving nutrient levels, and controlling pests and diseases.

Why St Augustine Grass Turned to Straw (4 Undisputable Reasons)

St Augustine Grass Turned to Straw

Now, let’s discuss the four possible reasons why your St Augustine grass died and how to remove dead St Augustine grass. Later, we will spend a few minutes perusing through a few strategies on how to get St Augustine grass to grow back.

For now, first things first – why St Augustine grass turned to straw.

1. Poor Watering

St Augustine Grass Turned to Straw

Applying little water to your St Augustine lawn causes the grass to dry out and turn to straw. Similarly, too much watering suffocates the grass by preventing the root from absorbing oxygen and nutrients. The turf roots also rot due to over-watering.

2. Nutrient levels

Over-fertilizing your St Augustine lawn damages it by making the grass yellow or appear like straw. Likewise, under-fertilizing causes St Augustine to turn brown and die due to insufficient nutrients.

3. White grubs

St Augustine Grass Turned to Straw

Grubs live under the surface of the yard, eating the turf roots. The lawn will then lose its roots, making the leaves turn brown and appear straw-like.

4. Gray leaf spot

St Augustine Grass Turned to Straw

Gray leaf spot is a lawn disease affecting St Augustine grass, especially during summer. The disease appears due to excess nitrogen in the lawn and looks like a spot in the leaf. If not controlled, it kills the grass and makes it appear like straw.

How to Get St Augustine Grass to Grow Back

i. If your St Augustine lawn turn to straw due to over-watering or under-watering, ensure you water the lawn appropriately. Follow the right watering schedule in your region to restore the grass effectively.

ii. Another best way to get your lawn to grow back is by improving the nutrient levels. You can do this by fertilizing the yard with a balanced fertilizer. Avoid damaging your grass with too much fertilizer.

iii. If pests like chinch bugs and white grubs have damaged your property, get rid of them by applying appropriate pesticides such as Acelepryn SC Insecticide (pictured below). This helps promote healthy growth.

iv. You can also revive your St Augustine grass by applying the correct fungicide. So, if your lawn is dying due to diseases like grey leaf spots, seek professional help to treat the issue effectively.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: How do I remove dead St Augustine grass?

A: If you need to know how to remove dead St Augustine grass, begin by cutting the dead turf using a sod cutter. Cut the grass into easy-to-pull strips, then rake it from the ground. Use an outdoor vacuum or lawn mower to remove the loose dead turf. Collect all the clippings from the yard and dispose of them.

Q: Why is my St. Augustine grass drying?

A: Dry-looking or brown St Augustine grass results from fungal infections, like grey leaf spots and brown patches. These infections commonly appear in over-watered and over-fertilized St Augustine grass. Your grass may also dry due to drought, especially if you’re not giving your lawn enough water.

Bottom Line

If your St Augustine grass turned to straw, it could be due to various factors. These include poor watering, over-fertilizing, nutrient deficiency, pests, and diseases. If you’re wondering how to bring St Augustine grass back after these problems, begin by watering the grass appropriately. You can also revive the lawn by improving nutrient levels and controlling pests and diseases.

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