If you live in a warm area, you have two excellent choices for a beautiful lawn. Both Bermuda and St. Augustine grasses are dense and effective in choking out weeds. But which should you pick? We’ll clear up some common misconceptions regarding the two so you can get the most out of your grass.
Knowing what USDA zone you reside in is the first step in selecting any kind of turfgrass. You may find out by going to the USDA hardiness zone map and entering your ZIP code. Bermuda grass grows well in zones 7, 8, 9, and 10, but St. Augustine grass grows well exclusively in zones 8 through 10. St. Augustine grass is thus a preferable option if you reside in the Gulf Coast or in other warm coastal sections of the nation. If you live in Tennessee, North Carolina, Central California, Oklahoma, or Arkansas, Bermuda grass is a better option since it is more tolerant of cold spells.
Both St. Augustine and Bermuda grasses need regular watering, while St. Augustine requires almost twice as much as the competitors. If you reside in a region with water conservation rules or often endures droughts, this is something to consider. Bermuda grass, on the other hand, needs extremely little water throughout its dormant season and, when properly cared for, may be drought resilient.
Sun and Shade Requirements
St. Augustine grass is hardy when grown in a proper environment and is particularly tolerant of the shaded regions surrounding your house. Bermuda grass, on the other hand, is best suited to full-sun applications. While it thrives in full sun, it will not grow strongly in partial shade.
When it comes to creating a new lawn, the decision between the two grasses boils down to personal taste and time constraints. Bermuda grass may be simply sown by planting a large area. If you don’t need a lawn right now and prefer watching the grass grow, this will be far less expensive than sod. Because St. Augustine grass cannot be consistently established from seed, the best alternative is to put sod or plugs, but the satisfaction is instant. Overall, St. Augustine grass will need more frequent care in terms of mowing and pruning. One of St. Augustine’s biggest drawbacks is that it develops thatch more quickly than other grasses. While most lawns need de-thatching only in severe instances, St. Augustine will require it virtually annually in certain regions. Bermuda grass requires somewhat less upkeep, but don’t be deceived. The more regularly you mow, the thicker it will grow, and if left alone, it may rapidly get out of control.
St. Augustine grass takes three to six pounds of nitrogen per 1,000 square feet of lawn each year, but Bermuda grass only need one to four pounds. Bermuda grass, in general, demands a much richer soil condition and will require a more regular top dressing of compost than St. Augustine. St. Augustine grass is particularly resistant to saline environments and sandy soils, making it perfect for coastal homes with poor topsoil conditions.