St. Augustine grass spreads by way of above-ground runners called stolon. Stolon run parallel to the ground surface, forming roots that grow into the soil beneath them to form new grass plants (daughter plant).
St. Augustine grass should be cut at the height of 3.5″ to 4″. The root system grows at least 6 inches deep, so it is imperative to water your lawn for at least 45 minutes per zone twice a week during the warmer months to ensure water saturation deep enough into the soil to benefit the roots. Watering in the early morning hours prior to 10am will ensure less water lost to evaporation.
St. Augustine grass grows best in sandy soil so if you find you have areas of your lawn that aren’t growing as thick as others or the runners are hovering over the ground not allowing the roots to reach the soil, play sand can help. You can purchase play sand (sometimes referred to as builders’ sand) at your local hardware, commonly located in the aisles where they sell the stone pavers. Just spread the sand about 1-2 inches deep over the area to lightly cover the grass so it lays down to the ground to encourage the grass to trail in the sand.