What are these grass runners on top of my grass? St. Augustine Grass Looping.

St. Augustine grass spreads through the growth of stolons or "runners".  There is a situation that can occur where the growth of the stolon will appear on top of your lawn. When this happens, it will cause an unsightly appearance to the lawn. Mowing may remove these stolons, or the mowing may only remove the blades of grass leaving an ugly bare stolon.

There are several cultural problems that can cause looping in St. Augustine grass. There are solutions to some of the cultural problems that will reduce the occurrence of looping:

  • Excessive thatch.
  • Dense grass coverage.
  • Compacted soil with thin grass coverage. (the most common cause)

We DO NOT recommend dethatching St. Augustine grass!  This method, if performed on St. Augustine, will destroy your lawn and will take months to recover.

Solution = Aeration:  Compacted soil causes thin turf coverage. The new stolon's young roots cannot attach to the compacted soil thereby causing the looping effect. An aeration that is properly performed on the compacted soil will allow the stolons to attach to the soil eliminating the looping effect.

Can you mow? Yes!  Mowing will help remove the unsightly runners.

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