Dwarf St. Augustine grass is a widely used lawn grass along the Gulf Coast in the U.S., in Southern Mexico, throughout the Caribbean region, South America, South Africa, Western Africa, Australia and the South Pacific and Hawaiian Islands. The species is primarily of tropical origin and is native to sandy beach ridges, fringes of swamps and lagoons, salty and fresh water marshes, and limestone shorelines. Dwarf St. Augustine grass gradually moved inland to naturally open sites such as stream banks, lakeshores, and other moist sites. Dwarf St. Augustine tolerates a wide range of soil types, but does not withstand waterlogged or droughty sites.
Moderate to high watering is necessary for Dwarf St. Augustine grass, as it thrives on wet sites. Apply 0.5-1 inch of water as a deep soaking every 3-6 days to encourage a deep, healthy root system during dry or hot periods. Avoid frequent, shallow watering resulting in shallow roots, permitting weed germination and growth.
Optimum mowing height for Dwarf St. Augustine grass is 2-3 inches for a high quality lawn. By mowing too low, weeds are likely to gain a foothold. Mow Dwarf St. Augustine regularly with a sharp rotary or reel mower, allowing clippings from frequent mowing to remain on the lawn.
If properly taken care of, weeds are not a problem in Dwarf St. Augustine grass. Raising the mowing height by 1/4 inch in the fall season will help with keeping the weeds out; otherwise you will have to apply weed killers if weed growth becomes too much of a problem. The cinch bug is the primary insect to watch out for in Dwarf St. Augustine grass, although there are others. Brown patch and gray leaf are the two most prevalent diseases found in Dwarf St. Augustine. In drier areas, nematodes may become a problem. Pesticides and fungicides will need to be applied to Dwarf St. Augustine grass when these problems occur.
A starter fertilizer should be used when planting Dwarf St. Augustine grass. Monthly additions of 1lb/100sq of fertilizer will help to achieve rapid growth. If too much fertilizer is added to your grass, the extra growth will cause thatching and is likely to increase insect problems.