The grass is growing lush, which means you will need to mow more. And, it is historically our driest month.
Bahiagrass is one of the better drought-tolerant grasses and can survive our driest month easily, though it may be a bit brown. Bahiagrass can be started from seed or sod, but it's best to wait until the rainy season to plant or rejuvenate. Seeding can be done until about mid September.
Watch for chinch bugs in St. Augustine grass (above). Straw-colored grass along pavement is usually the first sign. A University of Florida/IFAS Extension publication on chinch bug management says that rapid St. Augustine growth due to frequent applications of water-soluble nitrogen fertilizers may contribute to the problem. Responsible use of slow-release nitrogen fertilizers may help (edis.ifas.ufl.edu/LH036).
Young chinch bugs are red and hidden in sheaths of grass. As adults, they're about 1/5-inch-long, their color changes to black and white and they develop wings. Chinch bugs can kill large areas of St. Augustine. Chemical treatments may be effective if applied correctly. Some choices, broken down by chemical class:
1. Lambda cyhalothrin, permethrin, cyfluthrin
3. Neem oil
If you need to treat the area again, use a product from a different chemical class to avoid developing resistance. Be sure the product you use is labeled for chinch bugs, and follow the label carefully.
Information from Carol Suggs and Theresa Badurek, Pinellas County Extension Service (pinellascountyextension.org); Hillsborough County Extension Gardening Almanac at hillsborough.extension.ufl.edu.