Which grass is best for your lawn?

When it comes to grass, everyone wants green, easy-care lawns with less watering. Grass varieties have unique visual appeal, thickness, maintenance, and growth habits. The most common forms of grass include: Centipede, Bermuda, St. Augustine, and Zoysia. Below are the features you should consider before choosing the best grass for your yard.

Bermuda: Bermuda grass is an excellent general grass for landscapes with high traffic. It is normally used for soccer fields and other sports. The grass prefers full sun and has a high tolerance for heat and drought conditions, although constant watering will retain a bright green hue. There are a few pests and diseases to be aware of, including mole crickets, web worms, armyworms, and dollar spot.

Centipede: This grass has a higher shade tolerance than Bermuda grass but a lower tolerance compared to St. Augustine and Zoysia. Salt tolerance is quite low and centipede grass prefers moderately acidic soils. Centipedes grow quite slowly compared to other grasses, but will take up space if not kept under control. Centipedes also require little fertilizer, less mowing, and prefer full sun to moderate shade. This grass does not grow well in areas of high traffic, phosphorous, or compacted soils. TifBlair is a cold tolerant variety that can be used in cooler climates like North Carolina and further west.

San Agustin: This is a warm-weather grass that grows best in humid, coastal areas. St. Augustine can tolerate moderately shaded areas with moist, fertile soil. Grass or plugs are the most available source to install this grass. St. Augustine grass grows moderately fast and requires constant irrigation for optimal establishment. The Bitter-blue and Raleigh varieties have been established to withstand cooler temperatures or clay soils. Grass should be cut to a height of 3.5″-4″.

Zoysia: A transitional grass that will last through the hot and cold seasons of the year. Different varieties have a higher tolerance to cold than others, zoysia japonica is one of these. Drought conditions will not affect this grass as much as other types. It also has similar water requirements to Bermuda grass. Deeper roots allow zoysia to collect water from deeper in the soil. Make sure your yard is properly leveled and soils are well drained before applying zoysia decking. Varieties include: Emerald, Belaire, El Toro and Cashmere zoysia. This grass should not be used in colder climates as it will spread through other gardens and turn brown during the winter.

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