St. Augistine...HELP!!!!!

We live in So Cal and the wife insists on St Augistine grass. It is spottily established in the yard, but how do I get it to spread? I am not a native so cal'er and know very little about St. A. She says water the hell outta it...that doesnt do wuch except raise the water bill. Cant use weed and feed as it kills it..St. A is a weed (IMOH). Anything I can reseed with that looks like St. A as St A seeds are not available in the US? Ya know, try to fool her with a look alike? Thanks for any help and advise.....Midnite
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Ryder,
St Augustine grass is a warm weather turf. It grows best in the hot humid SE United States; however it should also grow in SoCal. I had an Augustine lawn in my backyard as a youngster in Covina CA. My lawn in Mississippi grew nearly 5 inches per week in the summer. You are correct in that it is a water hog. Mow it long around 4 inches or so. Many lawn weed products will kill or weaken it. You can fertilize with Bonus S or Sams Weed N Feed for SOUTHERN lawns both of which are formulated for St Augustine. The lawn will go dormant and turn brown in winter when temps drop. Seed is not generally available so don't even think about over seeding. Sod and plugs are widely found in the south. I would invest in a plugging tool so you can cut your own 2x2 inche plugs from thick areas and plant them at one foot intervals. It also doesn't tolerate a lot of foot traffic until established. Hope this helps. Bubba
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Its awful grass, weak stuff. If crabgrass did not die in the winter it would be great Anyone like crabgrass ?

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Scott Downey wrote:

I like it better than creeping charlie.
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St. Augustine grass will build up a thatch layer, that will act like a sponge, absorbing much of the water applied so that little will actually get to the roots. It requires regular dethatching to remain healthy. St. A requires a bit of maintenance to keep it in good shape. Might not be a bad idea to get yourself one of those ORTHO books about lawns a the local home and garden supply.
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