Alternatives to St. Augustine Grass

Alternatives to St. Augustine Grass

Hernando County and the surrounding areas have unique concerns when it comes to maintaining a lush lawn. Because of our heat, we need to use grass and plants that are drought resistant; because of our torrential summer rains, we need to use grass and plants that are also flood resistant. A grass that (mostly) meets these requirement and is most often used in Florida landscaping is St. Augustine.

Advantages and Disadvantages
To some extent, St. Augustine is both drought resistant and flood resistant, and it is also able to thrive in our sandy Spring Hill soil. While it is already naturally adept to Florida environmental conditions, the University of Florida has developed types of St. Augustine that are also resistant to chinch bugs and other insects that can damage lawns.

St. Augustine is somewhat high-maintenance. In order to thrive, it must be mowed weekly (except during dormant stages) and irrigated regularly. Another drawback to St. Augustine is that it has poor wear tolerance, so if your family is particularly active (playing soccer, practicing a golf swing, etc.), it may not be the best option.

The Alternatives
While no turf is perfect, the following alternatives may better suit your lifestyle:

  • Bermuda Grass – This grass is superior to St. Augustine in drought resistance and may require less frequent mowing, as it is a low-growing species. It can be invasive, so edging around landscaping features is required.
  • Buffalo Grass – This grass has a longer dormancy period than St. Augustine during which the blades turn brown; warmth and water bring back the green in no time, however. Buffalo grass is also idea for heavily shaded lawns, as it does not require direct sunlight for growth.
  • Zoysia Grass – Zoysia is similar in thickness to St. Augustine but is more drought-resistant. It can handle partial shade, and can stand up to the heavy traffic of an active family.

If you’re still not sure what type of grass is best for your lawn and irrigation system, contact Challenger Irrigation. We have over 25 years of experience keeping Hernando County lawns of all varieties looking their best.