Bermuda Grass Vs. St. Augustine: Key Differences And Deciding Factors

So, you’re aspiring to pull off an exquisite lawn for your home successfully. Great!

We’re sure that you’re restlessly searching highs and lows for the best alternatives and have already read a thing or two about mixing grasses.

Just like any other homemaker, you ought to be perplexed as there are a few “big no’s” and “heck yes!” to these DIYs.

Figuring out the key points between Bermuda grass vs. St. Augustine can solve the big dilemma.

Don’t worry, skim through to know everything about combining grasses, the secrets about the two key grass types, what to explore, and what to dodge.

Difference Between St. Augustine And Bermuda Grass

bermuda grass Vs. St. augustine

In this section, we will leave no stones unturned as we explain the most apparent and not-so-obvious distinctions between Bermuda and St. Augustine grasses.

Even though they bear differences, both blades of grass are exemplary for choking weeds like quack grass, crabgrass, and dandelions.

As both Bermuda and St. Augustine grow in full and thick nature, they leave no sparse room competing with turf grasses or letting weeds flourish.

  • Sunlight Requirements

St. Augustine requires a minimum of five hours of direct sunlight to flourish well. On the other hand, they can also thrive better than Bermuda grass in low-lit conditions.

Bermuda grass, on the contrary, needs an entire day of direct sunlight to thrive proportionately. If they acquire low sunlight, there will be lower photosynthesis functioning which will hamper its growth.

  • Water Requirements

You can water your Bermuda grass lawn thrice a week during the summertime. During winter, you can skip watering them altogether.

However, St. Augustine needs double the amount of water compared to Bermuda. The amount keeps doubling and can rate up to four times during summer.

  • Fertilizers

While St. Augustine is an intensive fertilizer inclined grass, Bermuda isn’t as much needy. With St. Augustine, you will need to fertilize the grass every two months or so.

Moreover, the best compatibility lies with slow-release nitrogen fertilizers for St. Augustine, which works around the clock for about ten weeks.

On the other hand, Bermuda only needs to be fertilized twice a year, once in February and again in December.

  • Best Way To Plant

You can work efficiently with St. Augustine utilizing sods for your lawn. Whereas a Bermuda lawn will thrive in full motion when established with grass seeds.

  • Shade Tolerance

Bermuda can’t withstand shade. They are in constant need of sunlight. But, St. Augustine doesn’t require as much direct sunlight as Bermuda. They can also tolerate shaded regions and carry on flaunting without constant direct sunlight.

  • Uses

Bermuda grass is complimentary to multiple sports fields, lawn grass, hay, and golf courses too. However, St. Augustine is only friendly for indoor lawns.

  • Immunity

St. Augustine can’t tolerate generic foot traffic or any such traffic stress. Bermuda keeps high tolerance for foot stress and traffic; hence, it’s great for daily walks, children to play on, and dog walks.

  • Cost

Needless to say, St. Augustine is extremely expensive to take care of and maintain with the ongoing fertilizer needs, watering, and mowing. Planting Bermuda grass has an overall lower cost point and more accessible to make-do with frequent mowing and occasional fertilizer needs.

  • Look And Appeal

Bermuda grows out and forms spikelets with upright stems. Atop of these stems, you will notice at least five spikes slender. In retrospect, St. Augustine has flat but broader stems and large coarse leaves. Bermuda grass’s leaves are much shorter, albeit flat when compared to St. Augustine.

  • Weed

Fortunately, both Bermuda and St. Augustine have relatively even weed tolerance. Both of them grow faster and spread, completing off in an entirely thick raised lawn.

So much so that they’re able to gather out and kill weeds on their way out; thus, you wouldn’t have to utilize lawn weed killers too.

So, if you need an environment-friendly lawn weed killer, planting St. Augustine or Bermuda is your way to go. It will help you control, compete and overcome the mess in no time.

Pros & Cons of Bermuda Grass and St. Augustine

lawn with St. augustine

In case you want to comprehend even better about these two heavily utilized lawn decorators, take a gander at some of the pros and cons for each.

Pros of Bermuda Grass

  • They can tolerate the cold weather perfectly, and the growth rate doesn’t get hampered, unlike St. Augustine. So, if you live in a colder region, you need to go with Bermuda.
  • Bermuda can also withstand the drought and dry seasons. As it can go days without water, it makes handy gardening greenery if you’re too busy to water your lawn regularly.
  • If you have kids and pets around, Bermuda is the best option to tolerate foot traffic and other stress of that sort.
  • You don’t have to water Bermuda lawns every day. Saves you a ton of time and effort.
  • Bermuda grass can be planted easily with seeds. Moreover, they require a lower amount of fertilizers with high nitrogen inputs.

Cons of Bermuda Grassbermuda grass

  • Bermuda grass requires deep sands and heavy clays, which are richer soil options when compared to St. Augustine grass.
  • Bermuda grass can’t tolerate shade and demands constant direct sunlight.
  • Sure, Bermuda grass is good at killing weeds but, it can’t hide them as well as St. Augustine grass.
  • Bermuda grass can be an invasive option.
  • Bermuda is also responsible for attracting many significant pests and diseases like billbugs, Bermuda grass mites, fall armyworms, sod webworms, grub worms and chinch bugs.

Pros of St. Augustine

  • Augustine grasses bloom the best in coastal regions. Whereas Bermuda would not be able to tackle such weather and humidity, St. Augustine can prosper seamlessly.
  • Augustine grass has exemplary shade tolerance, making them less potent of continuous, direct sunlight. They don’t demand sunlight every day and can thrive in that manner.
  • You don’t need to acquire top-tier and rich soil quality to plant St. Augustine, as they can grow immensely in sandy soils. Even with proper fertilizer needs, they can emit high nitrogen inputs.
  • Most definitely, St. Augustine can choke out weeds too. Better yet, they are great for camouflaging and obscuring weeds with their broader and dark-green blade-like leaves.

Cons of St. Augustine

  • Augustine might have the same essence when fertilized. However, they need a more regular basis of fertilization than Bermuda grass. This mode of fertilization needs more attention, time, and cost.
  • This kind of grass consumes more water too. In contrast, Bermuda can go days in the drought but, St. Augustine needs to be watered coherently to grow and survive.
  • Similarly they come off as a weak link for foot traffic too. They can’t withstand much stress and traffic and will wither if kids and pets play or walk around daily.
  • It would be somewhat risky to plant St. Augustine with seeds. Unlike Bermuda, this isn’t the best or most reliable mode of growing for St. Augustine.
  • Augustine can’t tolerate the drought or cold weather. Hence, if you live in a colder region, this would not be the best option for you.
  • They often come off with higher dethatched needs than other forms of grasses, let alone Bermuda.
  • This grass is a huge attracter of vital diseases and pests such as grey leaf spot, brown patch, pythium, brown patch, leaf spot, spring dead spot, and dollar spot.

Mixing Bermuda Grass With St. Augustine – Is It Possible?

bermuda grass
Bermuda Grass

Hold on tight because you can mix these two grass types to revamp your lawn. However, you need to study how to keep them flourishing for a lifelong greenery scene.

Grasses have specific do’s and don’ts, hence comprehending and practicing these are a must, especially while taking care of mixed grasses.

Let’s talk a bit about the significant differences between St. Augustine and Bermuda grasses are.

St. Augustine is known for being the usual shade-tolerant grass. Usually, these grow and flourish best in the warmest seasons.

The best grass zones for St. Augustine have to be the vital portion of Arizona and New Mexico, such as Florida, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas.

On the other hand, Bermuda grasses are not shade-tolerant. While taking care of Bermuda grasses, you will have to mow them very short.

They also develop turfs by spreading with stolons and rhizomes. Stolons grow by filling out the bare soil patches whereas; rhizomes grow out from beneath the soil. Indeed, rhizomes develop roots too.

While distinctively dividing between Bermuda and St. Augustine, enthusiasts will notice that Bermuda tends to be more aggressive in nature rather than St. Augustine.

Thus, Bermuda is adaptable to sports fields rather than indoor lawns. Moreover, Bermuda also has a broader growth range. Besides, due to being transition zone friendly, Bermuda thrives better in the U.S. than St. Augustine grasses.

Planting Bermuda Grass Over St. Augustine

greeny grass

If you live in a St. Augustine friendly region, the Bermuda grass might also come in handy for you. It’s relatively expensive to work with St. Augustine alone as it strictly requires sod, plugs, and sprigs to be planted.

In contrast, with Bermuda grass, all you have to do is sow the seeds, and it will quickly cover your entire lawn due to its aggressive behavior.

Hence, often homeowners come up with a quicker way out and plant the Bermuda seed first to lay the thick base of greenery. This forms a sturdy base in the soil and allows the lawn to absorb a more tremendous amount of water without producing puddles.

Along with planting the Bermuda seeds, homeowners choose to produce the St. Augustine sprigs. Eventually, with a tad longer period, these sprigs will grow out and form roots.

However, once they grasp onto this base, they will quickly outgrow and shade over Bermuda.

Keep in mind that this method will only work in the hotter and humid regions.

The farther in the north you reside, the more plausible that the Bermuda grasses will take over as St. Augustine grasses prefer warm-season grass zones and intolerable to cold temperatures.

How To Take Care Of Them?

No matter which grass you opt for globally, it will all boil down to how you maintain them according to their specific needs. For starters, you can commit to the following:

  • Always keep your mower’s blades sharp. Sharpen them once every season to maintain consistency.
  • Try mowing at the correct height and research which grass prefers which height measurement.
  • Create your turf irrigation schedule to maintain and control thoroughly.
  • Evaluate the nutrient and pH values for the grass that you’re eyeing.
  • Determine your lawn’s soil texture and correspond it with your chosen grass.

We hope that our article has cleared the air that often erupts between Bermuda grass Vs. St. Augustine. Indeed, now you know which team you want to stick with.

However, don’t hop on any of the most accessible bandwagons for this course. Make a wise decision based on zoning, drought factors, foot traffic, and of course, the coastal area where you reside.

Now, get to work and get your hands dirty!

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