ST. Augustine Cultivars
There are several cultivars of St. Augustinegrass available for use in Florida. The different cultivars vary in their tolerances to environmental stresses and susceptibility to pests. St. Augustine grass cultivars can be grouped by their mowing height requirement and leaf texture. Standard cultivars should be mowed at 3.5–4 inches and dwarf cultivars should be mowed at 2.5 inches.
is a proprietary cultivar released in the early 2000s by Woerner Turf. It has good cold tolerance and is used throughout Florida and other states. Shade tolerance has not yet been verified by university research, and there is no evidence that it is superior to other cultivars. It should be mowed to a height of 3.5–4 inches. It has a dark green color.
is an improved St. Augustinegrass that was released jointly in 1973 by the University of Florida and Texas A & M University. 'Floratam' is the most widely produced and used St. Augustinegrass in Florida. It is a coarse-textured cultivar that has poor cold and shade tolerance relative to other St. Augustine grass cultivars. It does not persist well in environments that receive less than 6 hours of sunlight daily. It grows vigorously in the spring and summer. When first released, it had UF-documented chinch bug resistance, although that has largely been lost over time and chinch bugs are now a major pest of 'Floratam'. It also is susceptible to gray leaf spot and other diseases. 'Floratam' is not tolerant of herbicides that contain atrazine when applied at temperatures above 85°F. It should be mowed to a height of 3.5–4 inches.
It is the most commonly used lawn grass in Florida.
Types of SOD
was a selection found by a Florida sod grower in 1988 and released in the mid-1990s. It is sometimes referred to as a "semidwarf cultivar" with a shorter growth habit and internodes than many other cultivars, but it is slightly larger than the dwarf St. Augustinegrass cultivars. It does well in full sun or partial shade, but not in dense shade. It is sometimes referred to as drought tolerant, but research has not shown that it has any greater degree of drought tolerance than other St. Augustinegrass cultivars. It is not resistant to insects and sometimes has problems with disease, particularly in Florida's humid environment. It tends to have a lighter green color than many other cultivars. It should be mowed to a height of 3–4 inches.
is a fine-leaved variety with a dark green color and a low growth habit. It is susceptible to chinch bug and webworm damage. Like the other dwarf cultivars, ‘Seville’ tends to be prone to thatch. ‘Seville’ performs well in both shade and full sun, but is cold sensitive‘Seville’ should be mowed to a height of 2–2.5 inches.
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Zoysia is a great choice for warmer climates. Zoysia grass is a soft, dense, attractive home turfgrass option. When established and properly cared for, zoysia is heat- and drought-resistant and can stand heavy foot traffic.
*Daily Sunlight Required: Adaptable to full sun to partial shade (six to eight hours of sunlight)
*Sun Tolerance: Excellent
*Shade Tolerance: Moderate
*Grass Color: Dark green in season, tan/brown when dormant
*Grass Texture: Medium
*Drought Tolerance: Good
*Disease Resistance: Good
*Traffic Tolerance: Exceptional
*Mowing Height: 1.0 to 2.5 Inches
An area of grass measuring 5000 sq. ft. in size produces as much oxygen as two 100 ft trees. That is roughly the size of an average front yard. An area of grass 650 sq. ft. in size can provide the daily oxygen needs for one adult. In the process of gas exchange, lawn grasses absorb large quantities of carbon dioxide from the air each day.
Grass has an air conditioning effect on the environment. Roadways and sidewalks can heat up in excess of 100 degrees while the adjacent grass will be cooler by at least 25 to 50 percent.
Performing good turf maintenance practices benefits us in many ways. A good covering of grass helps protect soil from erosion by holding it together through a complex network of roots. A good stand of grass slows the flow of water, giving it time to be absorbed and helping to recharge the water table. It also shades the soil and slows evaporation.
Lawn grass is a big part of nature’s air and water filtration system. Every year, enormous quantities of dust, pollution and harmful gases are trapped and filtered out by grass blades and roots.
A well cared for lawn can greatly increase a home’s value. This is a well documented observation. A healthy, manicured lawn always adds a sense of increased value to the property.
Thick lawns and thick pastures are less conducive to weed growth. Poor grass care leads to problems. Many weeds are considered invasive, can attract problem insects, and are hard to control once established.
This warm season grass is ideal for full sun but is able to tolerate some shade. It is also a popular choice because it is known for requiring low maintenance. Not only that but bahiagrass does well in some of the more challenging soil conditions such as slightly acidic, sandy or infertile soil conditions. This grass is PASTURE grass and not subject to fertilization on a regular basis such as other types of grass.
Another reason this style of grass is popular and considered low maintenance is that it adapts well to regular watering, including the possibility of drought tolerant qualities.
This type of grass is a rough and coarse textured grass that is perfect for a majority of warm climates. This makes it ideal for areas that are prone to the potential for high amounts of annual rainfall yet can still survive drought conditions.
Yet another reason that this type of grass is a popular selection is because it forms a thick turf that has the ability to keep the weed count low by crowding them out. Not to mention it has some tolerance to shade.
However, keep in mind that bahia grass requires regular mowing in order to look its best.