The Differences Between Bermuda, Zoysia and St. Augustine Grasses

May 6, 2015

One of the easiest ways to cultivate good quality turf is to choose the best type of turf grass for the environment. Three common types of turf grass found in Florida are Bermuda grass, zoysia grass and St. Augustine. Our team at Trigon Turf Sciences wants you to keep in mind that each type has different advantages and disadvantages worth considering when deciding which one you should plant and cultivate.

Bermuda Grass

Bermuda grass produces a vigorous, medium-green, dense turf that can adapt to most soils and climates in Florida. It has excellent wear, drought and salt tolerance. In addition, it establishes rapidly and can outcompete most weed species. However, there are challenges to grow Bermuda grass because it requires high levels of maintenance, and that is the reason it is recommended for use on sports fields, such as baseball, football, lacrosse and soccer fields and golf courses.

The high maintenance includes frequently mowing, verticutting, topdressing and aerification. It also needs to be regularly fertilized and sprayed to control insect, disease and nematode pests. One of the disadvantages of Bermuda grass for sports fields and golf courses is its poor shade tolerance.

Zoysia Grass

Zoysia grass is adapted to a variety of soil types and has a good tolerance to shade, drought, salt and traffic. In recent years, it has been developed to have more insect resistance and better performance. It’s extremely dense, so it has good resistance to weed invasion, yet creates excessive thatch. Balanced fertilization is important to maintain good coverage and healthy growth patterns, and the low nitrogen requirement is an advantage during the summer because there are blackouts of application of nitrogen in several counties in Florida.

Because of its nice appearance, medium to fine leaf blades, density, moderate growth, good shade and drought tolerance, the best application is for home or commercial lawns. Pesticide use can be minimized if cultural practices such as mowing, irrigation and fertilization and carried out correctly.

St. Augustine Grass

St. Augustine is a coarse, textured grass used primary for home and commercial lawns. St Augustine is very shade tolerant and produces a quality turf where other turf grasses will not grow. It grows well in a wide range of soil types and generally prefers a soil with a neutral pH.

The focus on research nowadays for St. Augustine is to develop new varieties resistant to billbugs, which is its main problem on Florida lawns. St Augustine requires more fertilization than zoysia but less than Bermuda grass. With proper fertilization and weekly mowing, it will produce a dense and medium green surface.

At Trigon Turf Sciences, we want to do what we can to help your turf thrive. If you want your turf attracting the right kind of attention, start by choosing the right kind of turf grass for your needs. Do you have questions about turf maintenance or keeping your grass green? Feel free to contact us or reach out via social media.

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