If you’re ready to have your own beautiful lawn, you should choose the perfect grass for your property. In this aspect, you'll hear many people recommending two grass species: Bermuda grass and St. Augustine grass.
It can be difficult to choose if it’s Bermuda grass vs St Augustine, 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.
Identifying Bermuda Grass
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.
Bermuda Grass Management
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.
Read also: 5 The Best Lawn Spreader On The Market
Here’s a video discussing Bermuda grass management:
Identifying St. Augustine Grass
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 Management
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.
We hope you learned a lot from our guide. If you have any questions, feel free to give us a comment.