Planting St. Augustine Runners: A Complete Guide

Are you wondering how to plant St Augustine runners and achieve a lush, green lawn? Look no further! In this article, we will guide you through the simple steps to successfully plant St Augustine runners and transform your yard into a vibrant and inviting space. Whether you are a seasoned gardener or a beginner, we have you covered. Get ready to unleash your inner green thumb as we delve into the art of planting St Augustine runners. So, let’s dive right in and discover the secrets to a thriving lawn!

Planting St. Augustine Runners: A Complete Guide

How to Plant St. Augustine Runners


In the world of lawn care, St. Augustine grass is a popular choice for its lush and vibrant appearance. One of the most common ways to establish a St. Augustine lawn is by planting runners. These runners, also known as stolons, are above-ground stems that can root and form new plants. Planting St. Augustine runners is a relatively simple process that can be done by homeowners with a few basic tools and some patience. In this guide, we will walk you through the steps to successfully plant St. Augustine runners and achieve a healthy and beautiful lawn.

Preparing Your Lawn

Before you start planting St. Augustine runners, it is crucial to prepare your lawn properly. Follow these steps to ensure the best results:

  1. Clear the area: Remove any existing grass, weeds, or debris from the designated planting area. This will provide a clean and open space for the runners to take root.
  2. Soil preparation: St. Augustine grass prefers well-draining soil with a slightly acidic pH level. Test your soil to determine its pH and make any necessary amendments to achieve the ideal conditions. Loosen the soil with a rake or tiller to improve aeration.
  3. Level the ground: Smooth out any uneven areas in the soil using a garden rake. This will ensure an even distribution of water and nutrients to the new plants.

Choosing St. Augustine Runners

Selecting healthy and vigorous St. Augustine runners is essential for successful establishment. When choosing runners, consider the following factors:

  • Local climate: Opt for a St. Augustine variety that is suitable for your region’s climate. Factors such as temperature, humidity, and sunlight levels can affect the grass’s performance.
  • Quality of runners: Look for runners that have a vibrant green color and show no signs of disease or pest damage. Healthy runners should have a good amount of leaves and nodes.
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Planting St. Augustine Runners

Now that you have prepared your lawn and selected the runners, it’s time to plant them. Follow these steps for successful planting:

  1. Water the area: Before planting, thoroughly water the designated area to moisten the soil. This will make it easier for the runners to establish roots.
  2. Trim the runners: Using garden shears or a sharp knife, trim the runners to a manageable length, typically around 7-8 inches. This will help the runners take root more effectively.
  3. Plant the runners: Lay the trimmed runners on the soil, spacing them about 6-12 inches apart. Gently press them into the soil to ensure good contact between the runners and the ground.
  4. Water and fertilize: After planting the runners, water the area thoroughly to promote root growth. Apply a slow-release, nitrogen-rich fertilizer according to the manufacturer’s instructions. This will provide the initial nutrients the new plants need.
  5. Maintain moisture: Keep the area consistently moist until the runners have successfully rooted. This may require daily watering, especially during dry or hot periods. Avoid overwatering, as it can lead to shallow root growth.

Caring for Newly Planted Runners

Once you have planted the St. Augustine runners, it is important to provide proper care to ensure their healthy establishment. Consider the following tips:

  • Mowing: Wait until the runners have rooted and grown to a height of around 3-4 inches before mowing. Set your mower blades to a higher setting (around 2.5-3 inches) to avoid scalping the new grass.
  • Watering: Gradually reduce the frequency of watering as the runners establish roots. Deep and infrequent watering encourages deep root growth and helps the grass become more drought-tolerant.
  • Fertilizing: Apply a balanced fertilizer according to the recommended schedule for St. Augustine grass. Follow the instructions carefully to avoid over-fertilization, which can lead to excessive growth and thatch buildup.
  • Weed control: Monitor the lawn for weeds and remove them promptly. Use herbicides labeled safe for St. Augustine grass to control persistent weeds if necessary.
  • Pest management: Keep an eye out for common pests that can damage St. Augustine grass, such as chinch bugs or armyworms. Treat infestations promptly to minimize damage.
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Planting St. Augustine runners is an effective way to establish a beautiful and healthy lawn. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can ensure the successful establishment of your St. Augustine grass. Remember to prepare your lawn properly, select quality runners, and provide adequate care. With patience and proper maintenance, you’ll be rewarded with a lush and vibrant St. Augustine lawn that will be the envy of your neighborhood. Happy planting!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best time to plant St. Augustine runners?

The best time to plant St. Augustine runners is during the warm season, preferably in late spring or early summer. These runners thrive when the soil temperature is consistently above 60°F (15°C).

How do I prepare the soil for planting St. Augustine runners?

To prepare the soil for planting St. Augustine runners, start by removing any weeds, rocks, or debris from the area. Loosen the soil using a garden fork or tiller to a depth of about 4-6 inches. Afterward, add organic compost or well-rotted manure to enhance soil fertility and improve drainage.

What is the recommended spacing for planting St. Augustine runners?

The recommended spacing for planting St. Augustine runners is typically about 12-18 inches apart. This allows enough room for the runners to spread and establish a healthy turf. However, you can adjust the spacing depending on how quickly you want the runners to fill in the area.

How deep should I plant the St. Augustine runners?

When planting St. Augustine runners, it is important to bury them just below the soil surface, about 1/4 to 1/2 inch deep. This encourages proper root development while ensuring the runners are not buried too deep, which could inhibit growth.

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How often should I water newly planted St. Augustine runners?

Newly planted St. Augustine runners require regular watering to establish strong roots. Water the area thoroughly immediately after planting, then continue to water every 2-3 days for the first few weeks. Once the runners are well-established, you can adjust the watering frequency to about once a week, providing approximately 1 inch of water each time.

Can I mow St. Augustine runners after planting?

It is recommended to allow St. Augustine runners to grow and establish for at least 2-3 weeks before mowing. Once they have reached a height of 3-4 inches, you can carefully mow the turf, ensuring not to remove more than one-third of the grass blade height at a time. Regular mowing helps promote healthy growth and maintains an attractive appearance.

Final Thoughts

To plant St. Augustine runners, start by preparing the soil, ensuring it is well-drained and free of any debris or weeds. Dig trenches that are 2 to 3 inches deep and 6 to 12 inches apart in the desired planting area. Gently place the runners in the trenches, leaving 2 to 3 inches between each one. Cover the runners with soil, lightly tamping it down to ensure good contact. Water the area thoroughly, keeping the soil moist but not waterlogged. Regularly water the runners to encourage root growth and establish healthy plants. Maintain proper care and maintenance practices to ensure the success of your St. Augustine runners.