Is your grass going to seed?

Grass Seed - 54552c5e-ff9f-4e36-9c0d-c7f5ea25231d

When first-time homeowners or transplants from other states first see their St. Augustine lawns going to seed, they typically have one of three reactions:

  • Excitement, thinking the seeds will help thicken up the lawn. (It won’t.)
  • Wondering if it’s anything to worry about. (It’s not.)
  • Pondering a harvest of the seeds to use elsewhere. (Don’t bother.)

    St. Augustine grass (above) can produce seeds at various times of the year. In Houston, it’s normally June. Some say the phenomenon is related to the calendar, happening during the longest days of the year. I’ve also seen research suggesting it happens in the summer because that’s when lawns are subjected to lots of stress. And some propose that it only happens on St. Augustine lawns that are younger than three years old.  

In any case, there really isn’t anything you can do to stop it. And since the seeds are sterile, they won’t propagate on their own. So, mulch-mowed seeds will not enhance lawn growth.

All this applies to Bermuda grass (right) as well. It goes to seed consistently in May or June. With Bermuda, though, the process produces what look like little inverted umbrella skeletons. All bored little-leaguers seem to pluck taller stalks from the ball field to stick between their gapped teeth.

Photo: Randy Lemmon
If you’re worried that stress might cause your lawn to go to seed, just follow my schedule, mow tall, and make sure there is no drought damage.  If the grass looks otherwise healthy, then just write any seeding off to it being “that time of the season” or having a very young lawn.