When you own a unique type of grass, it means carefully selecting your garden care tools. St. Augustine grass is more tolerant to salt than other turf types and therefore prevalent in humid, subtropical areas. The grass has a blue-green shade and is grown widely in warm, coastal states like Florida. The grass can grow well on many types of soil as long as they are drained well.
Also called carpet grass, this turf creates a smooth surface that is unique tolerant to low moisture, high salt, and very high temperatures. It keeps its vibrant color for longer than other types of grass when the weather turns cool and doesn’t need to be mowed quite as often.
Although this grass is low maintenance, it still performs better when it has the right care. After planting, the grass should be watered a few times a day for the first 10 days or so. As soon as the roots have grown, watering at ¼ to ½ inch once each day is enough. You can then gradually reduce watering times until your St. Augustine lawn has grown in fully. After 14 days, you can mow the lawn down to between 1 and 3 inches, then mow every week or two.
The following mowers were selected for their ability to effectively mow St. Augustine grass. Each was chosen for its price to value ratio and overall quality based on user reviews.
GreenWorks 27022 Dethatcher
If you’re concerned about your carbon footprint, you probably appreciate products like this GreenWorks 27022 Dethatcher. The entire line of products by this brand doesn’t release any carbon emissions and comes with 4-year warranties.
The mower comes with the needed power to take care of your lawn without the need to visit the gas station in between. This eradicates the extra maintenance that comes with other mowers, along with tune-ups and harmful emissions.
“It’s very easy to maneuver across your lawn so no need to worry if you’ve never used one before. It’s as straightforward as vacuuming your carpet,” said the Chainsaw Journal. “I recommend a 12-gauge 100-foot extension cord so you don’t feel restricted when you use your GreenWorks dethatcher and the gauge number is important so you get the right amount of power to run it efficiently.
When using this mower, you need to use the right extension cord with the right outlet. Not following the included instructions could result in overheating or other problems. This GreenWorks Dethatcher is best for flat ground but can be used on hills, as long as you don’t push it sideways. The mower essentially propels itself, but try not to dig in too deep or long when going on steeper ground.
If you are mowing over masses of grass, the kick plate at the back could come off, so be careful in these areas. Another option is to remove the kick plate which will allow the machine to work just as well. Always wear shoes that cover your feet in this case, however, as the machine could spit out rocks if you take that piece off.
This mower will cut your grass to the spinning tines’ height. When you over-seed your lawn, you should mow it as short as you can to allow for new grass to come in. This machine is great for that because it cuts your grass short while slightly ruffling the soil’s top layer. This removes the chore of manually raking your soil to loosen it up. If your grass is denser, though, this may not work.
When you’re using this product, begin with the tine height at its highest, then lower them as they get worn down. You will find that the machine comes with a whole package of replacement tines. Some users say that the mower’s high level works best for hills while the low level is better for flat ground.
Earthwise 1715-16EW Push Mower
For another environmentally friendly choice, consider this Earthwise 1715-16EW Push Mower. Reel mowers are easy to use and lightweight. They are well-suited for the smaller lawns people have today and busy, hectic schedules.
These mowers are relatively maintenance-free, ready to go when you are and don’t come with engines to clog or spark plugs to mess with. They are also better for the environment.
The Earthwise 1715-16EW offers an economical solution and is good for your lawn, cutting it precisely and cleanly. You’ll no longer have to hire someone to take care of your lawn, saving money and getting some exercise on your days off. If you live down south and have St. Augustine grass or other thick turfs, 7 blade models are ideal.
These products ship fast and are easy to assemble. Although you will get some exercise pushing the mower, it’s still a smooth process. Once your lawn is done being cut, you’ll probably appreciate the fact that no smelly gas or oil was needed and that your lawn looks fresh and great.
Even if you do tend to use a mower for your lawn, this product can be a great supplement to your yard care process. Use it to cut the areas around your windows without getting debris on the walls of your house, for example.
Although this mower does handle St. Augustine grass well, it’s still best if you cut it once a week. If your lawn gets too long, the mower won’t be as efficient and doesn’t handle tall weeds very well.
If you’d like another cordless mowing option that cuts out the hassle of needing to manually sharpen your blades, the the Fiskars StaySharp mower is worth thinking about. This mower doesn’t require any charging, oil, or gas and has twice the cutting power of other mowers. It’s also much easier to push than standard mowers of similar design.
“After mowing with my Fiskars for nearly two months, I can confidently say that it’s given me the best mowing experience I’ve ever had,” said Brett and Kate at the Art of Manliness. “Kate and I even fight over who gets to mow the lawn now (the compromise: I mow the front; she mows the back).”
Not everyone has used a reel mower, so keep in mind that this will only cut when you’re moving forward, not pulling it back. But this type of mower pushes easier than gas-powered varieties, particularly when you use it weekly. You can easily adjust the cutting height between 1 and 4 inches and easily adjust the height of the handle for more control and comfort. The device also comes with inset wheels for super closer edging.
A key feature on this mower that gives it an edge over others is its ability to stay stable and level, even when you’re mowing uneven areas in the yard. Its blades will stay in contact with your grass constantly instead of rocking when it passes thicker grass. This results in a far more even turf when you’re finished.
You can choose to position the grass chute forward, backward and downward, or opposite your feet, which limits messiness while making tough patches easier to get through. While other mowers can’t handle tough turf like St. Augustine grass, this one cuts through it easily. Note that although it produces a fine cut, this mower doesn’t turn in corners as well as others, but that a weed eater can take care of these areas.
The Fiskars StaySharp is less expensive to use over the years, easy to assemble, requires minimal upkeep and is nice and quiet. Now mowing your lawn can be a nice experience instead of loud and frustrating. Even though you may not expect this for a manual mower, it’s not difficult to push.
When you are through, your grass will look shorter instead of too “mowed,” meaning that you don’t have to follow a specific pattern to make it look nice. Not only is it easier to push than other mowers but is easier to pull backward and pack up at the end of the day. It’s safer to use around your children since you can hear what’s going on around you and it won’t shoot rocks or sticks out and produce fumes like gas-powered mowers.
Some older reel mowers could be turned 180 degrees, but this one takes a little more work to turn in that way. Unlike electric or gas mowers, which are rough on your grass, this mower works more like a pair of scissors and leaves behind a clean cut.
Make sure your yard is free from debris since momentum keeps this mower going and constant starting and stopping can cause you to lose power. Try to turn the mower on concrete instead of wet or thick grass so you can keep the device moving smoothly. Mowing frequently is always advised with reel mowers. Waiting longer makes the task become more difficult.
Troy-Bilt 382cc Riding Lawn Mower
Quite different from the other options on our list, this Troy-Bilt 382cc Riding Mower is a better option for landowners with medium to large yards of St. Augustine grass.
Best suited for even terrain, this mower has a manual power startup which allows easy and fast blade engagement. It has a turning radius of 18 inches, 16 by 6.5-inch wheels in the back, and 13 by 5-inch wheels at the front.
“You can use the riding lawn mower on all types of course, thick grass varieties,” said Household Me. “This simple, yet powerful mower is also great for beginners, and you can even use it to teach your older children how to ride one. The mulching quality of the Troy-Bilt will pulverize grass so well that you will never feel like bagging it.”
The machine has a 6-speed transmission, a top speed of 4.25 miles per hour, and an auto choke engine. There is a cutting deck spanning 30 inches on the mower which comes with five adjustable settings to choose from. These features give you the advantages of a riding mower coupled with the width of a push mower.
Make sure that you always double check the Troy Bilt 382cc’s deck height. When you are mowing St. Augustine grass, you will probably want to use the highest setting possible. Before deciding on this mower, you may want to measure your lawn and make sure that the deck heights offered by this machine are compatible with the length you like to keep it.
The 30-inch, single blade creates an even, smooth cut while the mulch cover prevents any debris getting left behind. Although powerful and effective, this power is compact enough to fit into small areas in your yard without a problem. It makes tight turns and can cut around trees and beds. Even though the engine is powerful, you can get a few cuttings from just one tank of fuel.
The seat is comfortable and the machine comes with a drink holder for hot gardening days out in the sun. It also comes with a lot of safety features that new users will appreciate. Note that the machine has a lot of plastic parts which some users may not like. In addition, it has a light front end that may not be well-suited for ditches and hills.
Tips for Keeping Your St. Augustine Grass in Great Shape
Any proud landowner knows that in order to keep your lawn in order, certain guidelines should be followed. Choosing the right mower to handle this unique turf is only the beginning. Let’s look at some tips you can use to keep your lawn looking great and healthy over time.
- Fertilizing Guidelines: Augustine grass requires a high-quality fertilization program year round to stay in tiptop shape. Without taking these extra steps, you could end up with a lackluster turf that’s lost its vitality, health, and color. Fertilize your lawn every few months (minimum) with quality product and follow the recommended rates of application from the manufacturer. Never apply more than instructed since this can leave your lawn damaged. This regimen of fertilization should start the month before Winter begins for the best results. Learn more about proper fertilization here.
- Mowing your St. Augustine Grass: It’s no secret that mowing your lawn regularly keeps it looking better, but staying consistent in this habit is even more important for St. Augustine turf than ordinary grass. Mowing each week will keep your grass from getting too much thatch, reduces the risk of damaging and scalping the lawn, and helps growth overall. This weekly mowing schedule should be kept during your lawn’s active growing months. Keeping your lawn between 1 and 3 inches will keep it at its nicest. While these recommended heights are ideal for newer varieties of the grass which are softer, it may not work in older lawns.
- Lawn Disease Prevention: Augustine turf is at risk for diseases like Brown Patch and other ailments. Most infections will lead to patches of unattractive brown foliage on your lawn. You can help prevent and control these diseases by cutting your grass higher, aerating your lawn, not fertilizing when there’s an outbreak, and making sure you only water at the start of the day. Wetting agents should only be used when absolutely necessary. Lawn and garden fungicides may be used, also, but they don’t always work. What matters most is addressing whatever conditions lead to the outbreak in the first place. This will prevent more from popping up in the future.
- Lawn Watering Guidelines: Watering should be done during the early hours of the day. This will give your grass water for the warmest part of the day and at the time when the grass is growing most actively. It also ensures that your grass is getting the most out of the water as watering at night causes more of it to drain away. In addition, leaving water to sit on your lawn overnight can lead to risk of fungal diseases. Try to get in a consistent habit of watering only at the start of the day.
- Wetting Agents for your Lawn: Wetting agents are an important part of lawn care and can be applied up to two times a year. Wetting agents work with the soil, dispersing it more evenly, allowing it to flow more freely, and keeping it in the water longer with some soil types. You can apply these a single time before Summer, and again once Summer is over for maximum results. If you need to apply a wetting agent at a different time of year, however, it won’t do any harm.
You work hard to keep your lawn looking great, so observe these simple rules and prevent any harm from happening to it. You will be glad you did.