Alternatives to St. Augustine Grass


According to, St. Augustine grass, also known as Stenotaphyrum secundatum, is a well-liked warm-season grass that can withstand the harsh conditions of USDA zones 8 to 10. There are several cultivars available of this grass that are adaptable to sun, shade, and saline environments, and it creates a turf that is thick and dense with a bluish-green grass. On the other hand, it is susceptible to a wide variety of parasites and illnesses, which makes it difficult to keep its attractive appearance and excellent health. People who do not want to invest the time and money necessary to maintain St. Augustine grass looking its best have alternative options available to them in warm-season turfgrasses that are not as demanding in terms of maintenance.

Bermudagrass as an Alternative to St. Augustine Grass

The warm-season, fine-textured turfgrass known as bermudagrass (Cynodon spp. ), which is hardy in USDA zones 7 to 10, is most often seen on lawns, pastures, and sports fields. It is also used for the stabilisation of banks in order to avoid erosion. There are several cultivars of this grass, including hybrids, which mostly vary in terms of their texture, colour, and usage. The grass is known for producing a strong and thick turf with light to dark green blades. The propagation of Bermudagrass may be accomplished by means of seeds, sprigs, plugs, or sod. According to the Clemson Cooperative Extension, hybrid varieties, on the other hand, generate seeds that are infertile and so can only be reproduced by vegetative methods.

Bermudagrass is a species of turfgrass that grows quickly and is best suited for rich soils; nevertheless, it can adapt to a wide variety of soil types and may be found throughout its growing area. Because of its rapid growth, it may rapidly cover barren ground and provides strong competition for the development of weeds, so preventing the latter from flourishing. It has a great tolerance for heat, drought, and salt, and it holds up well to wear, but it does not flourish in settings where there is a lot of shade. St. Augustine grass requires much more upkeep. The fact that it becomes brown when it is dormant in the winter is one of its unfavourable characteristics. Additionally, its aggressive spread via above-ground and subterranean runners may be invasive and difficult to manage in places such as flowerbeds.

Centipedegrass as an Alternative to St. Augustine Grass

Centipedegrass, also known as Eremochloa ophiuroides, is a warm-season turfgrass that is native to southeast Asia. It grows best in USDA zones 7 and 8, where the climate is warm and humid. Because of its minimal care requirements, it is most often seen in public spaces like parks, golf courses, and lawns. This makes it the ideal plant to choose for the slacker gardener. Centipedegrass has a rough surface, a colour that is between between yellow and green, and while it spreads via stolons and fills in slowly, it finally generates a turf that is rather thick. According to the Texas Cooperative Extension, the turfgrass may be reproduced via the use of seeds, plugs, sprigs, and sod.

When compared to other types of grass, such as St. Augustine grass, centipedegrass requires less frequent mowing because of its slower pace of development and because the soil in which it grows functions best when it is acidic and has good drainage. Due to the sluggish pace at which it grows, weeds are able to swiftly take over empty patches in the lawn before the centipedegrass has a chance to fill them in. The turfgrass is not as resistant to wear or salt as Bermudagrass or St. Augustine grass, and it also has a lower salt tolerance. The turfgrass has a modest tolerance for shade, despite the fact that a sunny location offers the optimal growth for the grass.

Zoysiagrass as an Alternative to St. Augustine Grass

Zoysiagrass (Zoysia spp.) is a well-liked form of warm-season turfgrass that grows reliably in USDA zones 6 to 9 and has a higher tolerance for cold than the majority of other warm-season varieties. Lawns, golf courses, and athletic fields are the most common applications for this product. According to the University of Florida IFAS Extension, the texture and colour of the grass may vary depending on the cultivar. The colour can range from a light green to a deeper green, and the texture can be fine, medium, or coarse. Even though it is believed to be a turfgrass that requires a lot of attention, it may develop into a thick surface that outcompetes weeds. It may be passed on from generation to generation by means of seeds, sod, plugs, or sprigs.

The fact that the turfgrass thrives in a wide range of soil compositions and can withstand a number of environmental factors, including foot traffic, heat, shade, and salt, makes it an ideal choice for those who live in coastal areas. New cultivars have been developed to have better resilience to insects and to generate quicker growth than their predecessors. Even while zoysiagrass can tolerate some degree of drought, the optimum growth results come from watering it on a consistent basis. In addition, turfgrass has high needs for the amount of fertiliser it receives, has a propensity to build thatch, is not the grass that is easiest to mow, and goes brown in the winter.