Bermuda Grass vs St. Augustine (key differences between)

When it comes to choosing the perfect lawn grass, there are a lot of different kinds of grass. But let’s compare and contrast two of the most popular choices: Bermuda grass vs St. Augustine.

Bermuda grass is durable, drought-tolerant, and requires frequent mowing, but can be invasive. St. Augustine grass, by comparison, is more shade-tolerant, and lower maintenance, but more sensitive to foot traffic, and less cold-tolerant.

Consider climate, sunlight exposure, and desired maintenance level when choosing between the two for your lawn.

Both of these like warmer climates, and have their unique characteristics and advantages, making them popular choices for homeowners seeking a lush green lawn.

In this article, we will delve into various aspects that differentiate Bermuda grass and St Augustine, such as water requirements, ease of establishment, color and hardiness, shade tolerance, texture, weed resistance, and cost.

By comparing their respective needs and performance, we can help you make an informed decision when selecting the ideal turf for your property.

By understanding the specific needs of each type of grass – from soil types and mowing heights to their performance in sandy soils or golf courses – you’ll be better equipped to determine which one best suits your property’s conditions.

So let us explore further into the world of Bermuda grass vs St Augustine!

Table of Contents:

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Comparing Benefits of Bermuda Grass vs Augustine

If you’re looking to improve your lawn, it’s essential to understand the differences between Bermuda grass and Augustine grass. Both types offer unique benefits that can make them suitable for different needs.

  • Bermuda grass: Known for its drought tolerance and ability to thrive in direct sunlight, making it perfect for areas with little shade. A Bermuda grass lawn requires sandy soils and can be mowed at a low height to create a dense turf.
  • St. Augustine grass: Highly tolerant of shaded areas, but requires more water than Bermuda grass, which may be a consideration in regions with water conservation policies or frequent droughts. St. Augustine grass thrives in warm-season climates and can be mixed with other grass types to create a lush green lawn.

To determine which type is best suited for your yard, consider factors such as sunlight exposure, watering requirements, soil types, and mowing heights.

Both grass species can be found on golf courses and are popular choices for creating thick turf.

How Much Water Do Bermuda Grass and Augustine Require?

Both Bermuda grass and St. Augustine grass require a substantial watering regimen, but St. Augustine needs almost twice as much water.

This is important to consider if you live in an area with water conservation policies or frequent drought conditions.

On the other hand, a Bermuda lawn requires very little water during its dormant season and can be drought-tolerant with proper care.

Which Lawn Grass is Easier to Start: Bermuda or St Augustine?

St. Augustine grass comes down to preference and speed.

Bermuda grass can easily be started by seeding an area, making it cheaper than sod but slower-growing. On the other hand, a St. Augustine lawn cannot reliably be started from seed, so laying sod or plugs is your best option for instant gratification.

Which Grass is Greener and Heartier: Augustine or Bermuda?

Different cultivars of St. Augustine and Bermuda grass are bred with the goal of having different and appealing colors, making it difficult to declare a clear winner in terms of color. But generally, both have a deep green color.

However, when it comes to wear tolerance and injury recovery, Bermuda grasses typically rank higher than St. Augustines.

  • Bermuda: is found in golf courses and sports fields for its durability and high recovery rates. Bermuda grass requires less water and fertilizer than St. Augustine grass, making it a more cost-effective option, and better for hot climates.
  • St. Augustine: is considered “good” with wear tolerance but not as durable as Bermuda grass varieties. St. Augustine grass requires more water and fertilizer than Bermuda grass, but it thrives in shade and is a great option for those with a shady lawn.

To decide which one suits your needs best, consider factors such as foot traffic levels on your lawn, soil types, mowing heights, and the amount of sunlight your lawn receives.

Mixing Bermuda and St. Augustine grasses is also a good choice for those who want a lush green lawn with both shade-tolerant and warm-season grasses.

Which Grass is More Shade Tolerant: Bermuda or Augustine?

St. Augustine is, for the most part, the popular choice in the battle for shade tolerance. Most St. Augustines, with the exception of a few varieties like Floratam, are highly shade tolerant.

However, CitraBlue and Palmetto St. Augustine are the best grasses for shade.

Bermuda grass is not a very shade-tolerant grass in comparison to St. Augustine or even Zoysia. Some of the finer-bladed zoysias are, in fact, more shade tolerant than some St. Augustine varieties.

The most shade-tolerant Bermuda grass available is Celebration.

Which Grass has a Softer Texture: Bermuda or Augustine?

St. Augustine and Bermuda grasses have completely different blade widths from one another, making their textures unique.

St. Augustine is known for its thick, tropical grass blades, while Bermuda grass features fine, hair-like blades that are soft to the touch.

  • St. Augustine: Coarse texture with blade widths of 1/3 inch. Augustine grass requires a lot of water and thrives in warm, humid climates. It is a shade-tolerant grass and is often used in lawns, parks, and golf courses.
  • Bermuda: Fine texture with blade widths of about .06 inches. Bermuda grass requires less water than St. Augustine and thrives in warm, sunny climates. It is often mixed with other grass types to create a lush green lawn. Bermuda grass is commonly used on sports fields and golf courses due to its ability to create a dense turf.

The preference between these two textures depends on individual taste and desired lawn appearance. Both grass species can grow well in a variety of soil types and mowing heights, but Bermuda grass requires well-draining, sandy soil.

Which Grass Crowds Out Weeds More: Bermuda or Augustine?

Both St. Augustine and Bermuda grass has great weed tolerance.

They grow and spread fast, forming a thick, full lawn. As such, they are able to crowd out and kill weeds on their own, reducing the need for lawn weed killers.

To determine which one is better for your specific needs, consider factors such as shade tolerance, foot traffic resistance, water requirements, and maintenance levels.

Is St. Augustine Grass More Expensive than Bermuda?

When comparing the cost of these two popular grass types, St. Augustine grass is slightly less expensive, ranging from $0.30 to $0.80 per square foot.

On the other hand, Bermuda grass costs between $0.35 and $0.85 per square foot. Keep in mind that the final price may vary depending on where you purchase your sod or plugs and any additional factors such as delivery fees or installation costs.

To learn more about each type of grass and its respective maintenance requirements, check out our guides on Augustine Grass Care and Bermuda Grass Care.

How to Decide Whether Bermuda or Augustine Grass is Best for You

When choosing between Bermuda grass and St. Augustine grass, consider the amount of sunlight your yard receives, foot traffic, and climate.

If your yard has a lot of shady areas, opt for St Augustine grass as it thrives in low-light conditions, and a St. Augustine lawn will look great! By using Bermuda in a shady yard, you could easily end up with a dead spot in the shadiest spots.

For areas with heavy foot traffic, Bermuda grass is more suitable due to its durability and high recovery rate. Both types are warm-season grasses that perform well in hot weather.

FAQs

How to tell the difference between Augustine and Bermuda grass?

St. Augustine grass has broad, flat blades with a coarse texture, while Bermuda grass features fine-textured, narrow blades that form a dense turf.

Additionally, St. Augustine grows via above-ground stolons (stems), whereas Bermuda spreads through both stolons and rhizomes (underground stems). The color of St. Augustine is typically darker green compared to the lighter shade of green in Bermuda.

Will Bermuda grass overtake Augustine?

Bermuda grass can potentially overtake St. Augustine if it receives more sunlight and favorable growing conditions than its counterpart.

That’s due to being an aggressive grower with faster-spreading rates due to its rhizome growth habit.

However, proper maintenance practices like mowing at appropriate heights and watering correctly can help maintain a balance between these two types of lawn grasses.

What are the cons of Bermuda grass?

  • Poor shade tolerance: Requires full sun for optimal growth
  • Invasive nature: Can spread into unwanted areas or neighboring lawns
  • Dormancy period: Turns brown during winter months in cooler climates
  • Frequent maintenance required: Mowing, dethatching, and fertilizing needed regularly

What kills Bermuda grass but not St. Augustine?

To effectively kill Bermuda grass without harming St. Augustine, selective herbicides containing active ingredients like glyphosate or glufosinate-ammonium can be used.

These herbicides specifically target Bermuda grass while sparing St. Augustine. Apply the herbicide during active growth and follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully.

It’s important to protect nearby desirable plants and avoid overspray.

For a more natural approach, manually removing Bermuda grass by digging it out, including the roots, can be effective. Regular mowing and proper lawn maintenance also help suppress Bermuda grass growth and allow St. Augustine to thrive.

Bermudagrass vs St. Augustinegrass | Warm Season Turf

Conclusion

When it comes to choosing between Bermuda grass and St. Augustine for a new lawn, there are several factors to consider. Both require different levels of maintenance, water, sunlight, and soil conditions.

While Bermuda is more drought-tolerant and better suited for high-traffic areas, St. Augustine grasses are a better choice for shaded lawns or even ones with partial shade, and with higher moisture needs. That’s one of the key differences. Bermuda is also a good choice for attracting wildlife such as deer.

Both like warm climates.

Ultimately, the decision between these two types of grass depends on your specific lawn care needs and preferences. Do your due diligence prior to settling on a definitive choice.


Image by StockSnap from Pixabay

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