Whether you’re replanting an existing lawn or choosing grass for a newly constructed landscape, you might be wondering: What type of grass is best for my Florida property? You’ve probably seen fine, thin, dark-green grass that feels like soft carpet to the touch. This is Zoysia grass, and there are several different varieties.
St. Augustine grass is a hardy turf with a thick blade that grows readily in Florida. Sometimes it can be joked that it will grow on concrete. That’s how tough and resilient this grass is. While it’s not a grass that beckons a barefoot walk, we love that St. Augustine grass is reliable and low maintenance. And when well maintained, this grass can also look great on a property. For most homeowners, St. Augustine grass is the go-to.
Zoysia & St. Augustine Growth Habits
The growth habits of Zoysia grass and St. Augustine grass are quite different. And grass growth even depends on the type of Zoysia or St. Augustine grass you choose. Using the popular Zoysia Empire as an example, this grass establishes more quickly than some other Zoysia cultivars, is robust and creates a tight carpet of soft, green grass. Zoysia grass enjoys full exposure to the sun and good amounts of rain. Zoysia does not typically perform as well in shaded areas, so growth will be limited by the factor of shade.
Zoysia grass has more general maintenance requirements; given that it’s more vulnerable to diseases but requires less frequent mowing and fertilization than St. Augustine grass. A St. Augustine lawn should typically be mowed at least once a week, whereas a Zoysia lawn can be left for up to two weeks without mowing.
When to choose St. Augustine
St. Augustine is a good turf grass for hot, humid, coastal climates with sandy soil. It will tolerate a wider range of temperature than zoysia, but it must have good drainage and consistent irrigation in order to thrive.
St. Augustine needs more frequent mowing, irrigation, and fertilization than zoysia. It does not hold up to foot traffic as well as zoysia, and it does not fill in as fast after aeration or damage.
If you see a St. Augustine lawn, it is most likely to be Floratam St. Augustine. Easy to maintain, and with a wide blade, it does lack some disease resistance and shade tolerance found in other types. Also, because it is maintained at a height of 4 inches, it requires less mowing than other varieties.
You should think about planting St. Augustine if your lawn drains well, receives consistent rainfall or irrigation, and has shaded areas.
When to choose Zoysia
Zoysia is a more versatile turf grass than St. Augustine, and it is fairly low maintenance in the right climate. It is slightly more salt tolerant than St. Augustine, which makes it a better choice in drier climates that may have salt buildup and less annual rainfall.
Zoysia doesn’t need to be mowed as often as St. Augustine, and it is tolerant of a wide range of poor soils. It handles dethatching and aeration well, so if you top-dress each year with compost, you may be able to skip fertilizing and irrigation.
One other perk of Zoysia, is that certain types are chinch bug resistant. One such strain is Empire Zoysia. With dark green, medium blades, it is very durable and requires significantly less maintenance.
When to Choose Taylor Anthony
When it comes to installing any type of grass or turf to your Florida lawn, our team at Taylor Anthony has you covered. Commercial or residential, Taylor Anthony is prepared with the landscaping solution that is ideal for your situation. Call us today at (904) 230-3386.