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Best Winter Fertilizer for St. Augustine Grass in 2023

If you wait too long, your grass may die from mold or ice exposure. If you apply it too early, your lawn won’t grow.

Jake Perry | Updated April 23, 2023

Winter can be brutal for grass. You won’t want your summer maintenance efforts going to waste.

So in this guide, I’ll show you how I keep my St Augustine grass in top-notch condition all year round.

I’ll explain winter fertilizer for St Augustine grass, from the best winter fertilizer to use during this time and how to care for your lawn during the hardy times winter brings. 

Read on if you want a greener, healthier lawn, not just in summer but all year round.

Best Fertilizer for St Augustine Grass in Winter

The best winter fertilizer for St Augustine grass is The Andersons PGF Complete 16-4-8. The 16-4-8 formula enables grass to produce more chlorophyll, which is vital for photosynthesis. It contains nitrogen which is essential for grass growth and deep green colors.

Good winter fertilizers contain other essential nutrients such as phosphorus and potassium. Phosphorus helps the roots to grow strong and healthy, while potassium aids in water retention and disease resistance. 

Many brands of winter fertilizers (otherwise known as winterizer) are available on the market. We recommend the following products for your St Augustine grass in the winter:

What Is Winter Fertilizer and Why Do You Need It for St Augustine Grass

st. augustine grass in the winter

Winter fertilizer is a type of lawn care that helps your grass get through the winter months. You need to fertilize your St Augustine grass during winter to help it maintain its color. 

  • When the cold weather hits, grass will enter a state of dormancy to preserve energy.
  • This means that the growth of your grass will slow down considerably, and it can often look pale and yellow. 

The Best Time to Fertilize St Augustine Grass in the Winter

Applying winter fertilizer to your lawn is typically done after the last mow of fall when growth has ceased, and it’s preparing for dormancy. 

  • At this point, nitrogen from the fertilizer can be taken in and stored by your lawn for later use, and this is the same for St Augustine grass.
  • If you live in a state with colder weather, it’s best to apply winter fertilizer early.
  • If you wait too long, your grass may die from mold or ice exposure. If you apply it too early, your lawn won’t grow.

Benefits of Using a Winter Fertilizer on Your Lawn

There are many benefits to using a winter fertilizer on your St Augustine grass lawn. The main advantage is that it helps to keep the grass healthy and robust, especially during the cold winter months when growth is at a standstill. 

Other benefits include:

  • A deeper, green color – Nitrogen in the fertilizer helps the grass to produce more chlorophyll, giving it a deep green hue.
  • Stronger roots – Phosphorus in the fertilizer helps to create strong and healthy roots. This is important as they are responsible for taking in nutrients from the soil. 
  • Better water retention – Potassium in the fertilizer aids in water retention, meaning that your lawn will be less likely to suffer from drought conditions during the summer.

How to Tell if St Augustine Grass Needs More Nitrogen During Winter

There are some telltale signs that your St Augustine grass may need more nitrogen during winter. 

The first is if the grass is starting to turn yellow or brown. This is a sign that it’s not getting enough nutrients and is struggling to produce chlorophyll. 

Another sign is if the grass isn’t growing as well as it should be and seems thin or patchy, this could be due to a lack of nitrogen. 

If you’re unsure whether your lawn needs more nitrogen, you can get a soil test done. This will help you determine precisely what nutrients your lawn lacks and how much of them need to be added. 

Common Problems With St Augustine Grass During Winter & Solutions

A few common problems can occur with St Augustine grass during the winter months. 

  • One of the most common is brown patches, usually caused by a lack of nitrogen. 
  • Another problem is that the grass may start to die off if it’s not getting enough sunlight or if it’s being exposed to too much cold weather. 

The best way to prevent these problems is to ensure that your lawn gets enough fertilization. 

  • You should try to keep the grass as healthy as possible by mowing it regularly and watering it when necessary throughout the year. 
  • Good care during the rest of the year will ensure that the grass will see winter months out in good shape.

If you start to see any problems, such as brown patches, try to address them as quickly as possible so that they don’t spread and cause further damage beyond repair. 

Essential Tips for Using Winter Fertilizer

Here are some key points to remember when you use winter fertilizer on your lawn so that you can get the best results possible:

Do a Soil Test Before Application – This will help you determine precisely what nutrients your lawn lacks and how much of them need to be added.

Inspect the fertilizer’s ratio – The three primary nutrients found in fertilizer are nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K). The key to look for in a good winter fertilizer is the first number being high, which is the nitrogen composition.

Don’t apply winterizer too late – Applying winter fertilizer too late in the season can do more harm than good. This is because the fertilizer breaks down and releases nutrients when the grass is dormant. 

Pro-Tip: Use less fertilizer than the recommended amount. It’s always better to err on caution when it comes to fertilizer. Applying too much can burn the grass, especially during winter. 


How do you revive St. Augustine grass after winter?

The best way to revive St. Augustine grass after winter is to fertilize it in low quantities during winter if necessary. If the grass is still struggling, you can try overseeding it with a new type of grass that is more resistant to winter damage. 

How do you take care of St Augustine in the winter?

The best way to take care of St Augustine in the winter is to start fertilizing it with winterizer around November. If the grass is struggling, try doing a soil test to see what nutrients it’s lacking.

Should you mow St. Augustine in the winter?

No, you should not mow St. Augustine in the winter. The grass will be dormant during the cold months, so if you mow, it will only grow back in the later months and may not be able to regenerate the cut tips.

Does St. Augustine turn brown in winter?

St. Augustine can turn brown in winter if it is not getting enough nitrogen. If you see brown patches, try applying a winter fertilizer in low quantities. And the following year, prepare by using winter fertilizer around November time.

Will St. Augustine grass survive a freeze?

St. Augustine grass is relatively resistant to cold weather and can survive temperatures down to 20 degrees Fahrenheit. However, if the temperature drops below 20 degrees for an extended period, the grass may start to die off. If you live in an area that gets freezing winters, it’s a good idea to cover your St. Augustine grass with a tarp or change the grass type you have.

Written by Jake Perry

Jake Perry

Jake Perry is a writer from the United Kingdom. He travels the world while working from his laptop, learning about new gardening and agriculture trends from gardeners around the world.