How to Pull Up St Augustine Grass


How to Pull Up St Augustine Grass

St. Augustine grass grows in the United States and Canada naturally and spreads rapidly in moist spaces such as marshes, lagoons, coastal areas, swamps, and yards. The reason why many people want to pull up St. Augustine grass from their yards is that it leaves no space to grow anything else.

Besides that, it is also a home for many insects and pests that can completely ruin your yard. So, if you also want to get rid of the St Augustine grass taking over your lawn, keep reading the article below.

7 Steps to pull up St Augustine grass:

If you are thinking of renewing your yard by growing some new plants, you will first have to get rid of St. Augustine grass fully.

There are different methods that you can use to pull up St Augustine grass but you have to make sure that you follow the right procedure. Following are the steps that can help you in getting rid of St Augustine grass in your yard.

Step 1: Dry the Grass Out

Before starting to pull up St Augustine grass, it is important to make sure that the patches from which you want to pull up the grass are completely dry. This can be done if you choose a dry and sunny day to pull up St. Augustine grass.

The most preferred time to get rid of it is on a long sunny day of spring, from March to May when the grass is fresh and fully grown. Drying out the grass before pulling it up is important because it grows rapidly in moisture or wet spaces.

So even if you have pulled up the grass when it was wet, it will regrow and you will have to get rid of it again. Natural sunlight is enough to have a dry yard to prepare you for pulling up the grass.

Step 2: Cutting the Grass Out

After you have dried the spaces from where you want to pull up the grass, use a sod-cutting machine to cut the grass. You have to make sure that you cut the grass into strips that can easily be pulled up from the ground.

You can also use a St. Augustine grass lawnmower for this process as it keeps the grass evenly cut and leave no spaces left.

However, for smaller spaces, you can also use a shovel by dividing the area into manageable patches. For this, you have to push the shovel in each of those patches so that you can detach roots of the grass from the soil.

Step 3: Pull Up the Grass Sheets

Once you have cut the grass into strips, next you have to pull up the sheets of St Augustine grass from the ground. Make sure that while doing this, you flip the sheets over so that their roots are exposed.

This method will help in killing the top growth and also detach the smaller roots from the ground. Once you have pulled up all the grass patches, let them stay on the soil as they will create nutrients for the soil when the grass will decompose. This makes your work easy as after you pull up St. Augustine grass completely, your soil will be rich in nutrients and you will not have to replace it.

Step 4: Cover the Lawn with Newspaper

Once you are done with pulling up the grass, cover the lawn with newspaper to prevent the regrowth of grass as it helps in keeping the sunlight from reaching the soil. Besides that, it also helps in decaying grass faster. You can spray some water on the newspaper to keep it in place if the wind blows.

Step 5: Add Compost and Mulch

Next, you have to add at least 6 inches of compost to the newspaper. This strategy will help to decay the grass as it adds beneficial microbes to the soil. After that, you have to add a layer of mulch over the compost layer.

This layer will provide the necessary moisture, keep the compost layer in place and also help in triggering the microbe action for breaking the St. Augustine grass down. These two layers will help in removing St. Augustine grass quickly from your yard.

Step 6: Spray Water to Keep the Layers in Place

You should keep spraying water on the spaces to keep all the layers in place and give mulch enough moisture to encourage microbial activity. Besides that, it also keeps the mulch active so the grass can decay rapidly.

Once the grass has decayed fully, the mulch and compost will dissolve in the soil and add nutrients to the soil too.

Step 7: Keep the Soil Covered

Once you have fully rid your yard of the St Augustine grass, make sure you keep the soil covered until you plant something new into it. It is because the soil degrades very quickly if it is kept uncovered for a long time.

Also, pull up the grass only when you have something ready to replace it so that you do not have to keep the soil waiting for much longer. To prevent your soil from degrading, you can use the plastic tarps after you have pulled up St Augustine grass from your yard.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you detach St. Augustine grass using a lawnmower?

Yes, you can detach St Augustine grass. Make sure to detach it on sunny days of spring when the grass is green and fresh enough so you can use the lawn mower for St. Augustine grass detaching.

Does St. Augustine grass have deep roots?

Similar to the roots of other grasses, can be said that St Augustine’s roots are deep. For the good and healthy St Augustine grass, the roots are at least 6 inches deep which is an average depth of grass roots. Its roots are also highly structures and need a shovel to pull up.

How quickly does St Augustine spread?

St. Augustine grass spreads very rapidly. In the right environment where it finds good moisture and healthy soil, it takes only 4 – 14 days for the St Augustine grass to spread its roots. In a normal size yard, it takes around 1 year for St Augustine grass to grow fully.


To sum up, St. Augustine grass does add some greenery to your garden but it takes over all the space for anything else to grow. So, if you want to get rid of it, you must follow the steps that have been briefed in the article. While you pull up St. Augustine grass, make sure that there are no roots left in the soil that can lead to the chance of regrowth. Also, if you are planning to get rid of St. Augustine grass, you should plan to replace it with something else very soon or your soil will degrade.

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