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What is the Difference Between Bermuda Grass vs St Augustine?

You'll hear many people comparing two grass species: Bermuda Grass vs St Augustine grass. If you’re ready to have your own beautiful lawn, you should choose the perfect grass for your property. 

It can be difficult to choose if it’s St Augustine grass vs Bermuda, so we’re going to make it easier for you. With our simple guide, you’ll learn the characteristics of these grasses.


Even better, you’ll know how to maintain them with provided information.

Bermuda Grass vs St Augustine

Before we dig into the difference between Bermuda vs St Augustine grass, let us know each individually first. 

What is Bermuda Grass?

Bermuda grass is known to thrive in various countries around the world such as India, Argentina, and South Africa

Bermuda grass is known to thrive in various countries around the world such as India, Argentina, and South Africa. In the United States, it was documented as a common grass in the southern region of the country two centuries ago.

This is a perennial grass that develops fast during the warm seasons, specifically from the last stage of the spring season until summer. Of course, it cannot tolerate cold temperature that is usually located in the northern section of the United States.

Bermuda grass doesn’t have a wide leaf structure. Furthermore, instead of becoming a sprawling single plant, the Bermuda grass turns dense through the formation of many small plants.

Moreover, this grass species will have seed stalks staying up for the whole duration of the growing season. The roots are typically six inches deep into the soil but can go even deeper.

Read also: What is the difference between Dallisgrass vs Crabgrass?

Bermuda Grass Care Tips

Do not be worried if you’re about to take care of Bermuda grass. At its core, managing this grass just involves mowing, irrigation, and aeration. For mowing this grass, you have to make sure that the lawn mower is capable of working at a low height without scalping the whole lawn.

Ideally, the height of Bermuda grass should be about 1.5 inches after the mowing operation. As for water, Bermuda grass can receive ample irrigation through rainfall and by watering the lawn yourself.

Since this grass has a great resistance to drought, you only have to water Bermuda grass up to two times each week at six-inch watering depth. This encourages root establishment, which helps your garden survive both the cold and the heat.

Lastly, you should punch or poke holes into the soil using a lawn aerator at least once per year during early summer. With aeration, a lawn filled with Bermuda grass will be able to let the nutrients, oxygen, and water seep down the roots. Don’t forget to apply fertilizer and water after aerating the soil.

Are bermuda grass becoming too much for you to handle? Here are ways on how to get rid of bermuda grass naturally

Here’s a video discussing Bermuda grass management:

What is St. Augustine Grass?

St. Augustine Grass is often preferred by lawn owners because it can grow in a variety of soil types

Aside from lawns, St. Augustine grass or Stenotaphrum secundatum can also be found in abundance around swamps, lagoons, sandy beaches, and marshes. This perennial grass is often preferred by lawn owners because it can grow in a variety of soil types.

In fact, only in warmer and tropical regions does this species compete against Bermuda grass. St. Augustine grass does not thrive in areas that are prone to either extreme drought or over-irrigation.

Despite this, the grass has relatively good tolerance to the summer heat. It can maintain its color even when the temperature reaches 10 degrees below the point when Bermuda grass begins to suffer from discoloration.

Different from Bermuda grass, this coarse-textured grass does not have any rhizomes at all. Lastly, both the stems and the leaf sheaths of the St. Augustine grass are compressed. As for its smooth leaf blades, they are typically folded and have a rounded tip.

Read also: The difference between Quackgrass and Crabgrass

St. Augustine Grass Care Tips

This grass has good tolerance to moderately shaded areas, at least compared to other warm-season grass varieties. If the leaf blades start to appear thin and flimsy, the shade might be too much and the grass should be exposed to more sunlight.

In general, St. Augustine does not require heavy maintenance. During its first week of being planted in the lawn, simply water it several times daily. Once you see the roots forming, the watering depth can be just half an inch.

After two weeks, you can mow the St. Augustine grass at a height of one inch to three inches. You can do this either weekly or every two weeks. Finally, remember to apply a pound of nitrogen to your lawn every month from spring to fall.

Also read: Can You Dethatch St Augustine Grass?

Now You Know The Difference Between Bermuda Grass vs St Augustine

We hope you learned a lot from our Bermuda Grass vs St Augustine grass guide. If you have any questions, feel free to give us a comment.

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Bermuda Grass vs St Augustine Grass

About the Author Ann Katelyn

I'm Ann Katelyn, Creator and Chief Author of Sumo Gardener. Since I was a child I've always been fascinated with plants and gardens, and as an adult this has developed into my most loved hobby. I have dedicated most of my life to gardening and started Sumo Gardener as a way to express my knowledge about gardening with the hope of helping other people's gardens thrive.

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Leave a Comment:

Fertilizer Guide says January 6, 2020

Thanks for the post. The article contains some amazing information which helped me to update my post on fertilizer for Bermuda grass.

Michelle says March 10, 2023

I am getting what are called “runners” across the top of my St Augustine grass. I would kid like to know what causes the grass to grow up & out of the lawn and how to remedy this situation.

    Mabel Vasquez says March 28, 2023

    Hi Michelle,

    The runners that are coming up are common in St Augustine grass, and tend to happen as a result of spring fertilisers – but equally, mowing too low can trigger this sort of growth. The runners are a type of root, so are part of a healthy lawn trying to recover from something.

    The best way to fix it would be to cut out any predominant runners, then test the soil using a basic testing kit (there are loads of decent ones from about $5-10 on amazon). If there is a nutrient excess, you can sometimes balance it out with watering more through summer. If there’s a deficiency, feed it more.

    For an easier cure, that isn’t 100% effective, you can just cut the runner out, and leave the grass to grow back out to about 4-5″ long, and then keep it cut to 3″ for the rest of the year.

    Best Regards,

    Mabel Vasquez – Horticulturist

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