When it comes to grass, there are plenty of factors that go into choosing the right blades for your backyard. Bermuda and St. Augustine grasses are common choices, but these two types of grass have several distinctive differences, which can make one a better option for your yard than the other.
Here’s a quick guide to help you better understand the differences between Bermuda grass and St. Augustine Grass:
In the turf wars between Bermuda grass and St. Augustine Grass, Bermuda grass takes the trophy. St. Augustine tends to get a little greedy when it comes to water consumption, soaking up as much as twice the amount of moisture it takes to keep its Bermuda Grass counterpart happy.
Since Arizona is such a hot, dry climate, water conservation is often at the top of homeowners’ lists when they’re shopping for new grass. There are many elements you should consider before you decide on the right blades of grass for your new lawn; if water conservation is on your list, it’s important to know which species are the thirstiest.
Both Bermuda grass and St. Augustine grass tend to do well in hot climates. When the temperature drops below 60o, both grasses become a bit temperamental. St. Augustine is a little more volatile than Bermuda grass in chillier weather, which can leave it vulnerable to pests and diseases.
Thankfully, in the Phoenix area, we’re not faced with chilly weather often, so either grass tends to withstand our temperatures quite well.]
Related: Summer Health for Arizona Sod
When it comes to growth, the differences between Bermuda grass and St. Augustine Grass largely lie in personal preference. Bermuda grass will take off aggressively once it’s established. As it expands its territory, it will require frequent trimming (particularly along driveways, sidewalks, and gardens.) Keeping up on trimming tasks will help to prevent this grass from taking over turf beyond its own terrain.
St. Augustine grass tends to be lower maintenance in terms of soil requirements. It requires about the same amount of potassium as other grasses and has low phosphorous needs. Fertilizing with nitrogen every couple months will help St. Augustine grass survive any strange cold spells we may experience in winter here in Arizona and help it bounce back in the spring. Bear in mind that this grass does suffer without sufficient iron in the soil, so it’s imperative that you use the best fertilizer for St. Augustine Grass to ensure that it’s getting its proper nutrients.
Bermuda grass can be a little needier in terms of fertilization requirements. It will have a higher nitrogen requirement that other grasses. Depending on the strain of Bermuda grass you choose, the turf, and the desired appearance, it may also require special attention to other elements, as well.
Sun vs Shade
If you’re lucky enough to have ample shade, you might lean towards St. Augustine Grass, as Bermuda grass doesn’t grow at its best without direct sunlight. Bermuda grass is much happier with constant exposure to the sun.
The traffic element is very much an element dictated by your own personal use. Bermuda grass is resilient and handles being trampled on quite well. It’s a great grass if you’ll have a lot of human activity on your lawn. St. Augustine Grass, on the other hand, isn’t a fan of high traffic; it does much better being left alone.
There are plenty of factors that go into determining the right grass for each person’s needs. If you’re still not sure about the differences between Bermuda Grass and St. Augustine Grass, our team at Evergreen Turf is here and happy to help! Contact us with your questions, and we’ll be glad to give you some answers!