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Quick Guide on Bermuda Grass vs St. Augustine Grass

Last Updated: 15 December 2020

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A green lawn is a gardener’s dream. But what ensues is a greater confusion about Bermuda grass vs St Augustine. Lawn maintenance is a regular and rigorous affair. This guide throws light on both types of grasses.

What is Bermuda grass?

What is Bermuda grass

Typically a tropical, subtropical, and transition variety, Bermuda grass can be grown from the seeds. It shows remarkably fast growth. Other than the extremely cold regions, it can adapt easily to all soil and weather types.

Another advantage of Bermuda grass is its high drought resistance. You can leave the lawn without water for a few days and yet return to a green carpet!

You will get a medium green turf. It needs regular mowing and is shade-resistant.

Scotts EZ Seed Patch and Repair Bermudagrass, 20 lb. - Combination Mulch, Seed, and Fertilizer - Tackifier Reduces Seed Wash-Away - Even Grows in Scorching Heat - Covers up to 445 sq. ft.
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Scotts EZ Seed Patch and Repair Bermudagrass, 20 lb. - Combination Mulch, Seed, and Fertilizer - Tackifier Reduces Seed Wash-Away - Even Grows in Scorching Heat - Covers up to 445 sq. ft.
  • Grass seed: Scotts best high performance grass seed
  • Mulch: absorbs 6X its weight in water and expands to surround the seed in a moist protective layer
  • Fertilizer: Exclusive controlled release technology feeds seedlings to jumpstart growth
  • Tackifier: helps keep seed from washing away; protectant: helps keep seedlings safe from harmful diseases that can attack newly planted areas
  • Grows in scorching heat, dry areas, high traffic areas and on slopes

What is St. Augustine grass?

Typically a warm-season plant is shade, weed, and salt-resistant. Unlike Bermuda grass, it will not wilt in the shade. However, it fares lower in terms of drought-resistance. You need to regularly water it and also fertilize it.

St. Augustine 'Floratam' 3 Inch Sod Plugs - 9 Extra Large Live Plugs - Drought, Salt and Shade Tolerant Turf Grass
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St. Augustine 'Floratam' 3 Inch Sod Plugs - 9 Extra Large Live Plugs - Drought, Salt and Shade Tolerant Turf Grass
  • Packaged and shipped exclusively by Florida Foliage. Floratam is a vigorous, coarse textured St. Augustine grass variety. Stolons of Floratam are large, purplish-red in color (demand this characteristic when purchasing sod) with internodes averaging 3" in length. Leaf blades are wider and longer than common St. Augustine grass.
  • St. Augustine Floratam is a coarser textured grass when viewed upclose. However, when viewed as a lawn, the coarseness of the blades are reduced. Mowing height should not be over 1 1/2". However, if you do not water in dry weather, increase the mowing to 2" or higher if possible.
  • Floratam is one of the most cost effective St. Augustine grasses to satisfy your residential or commercial needs. It is believed to be native to the coastal regions of both the Gulf of Mexico and the Mediterranean.
  • St. Augustinegrass is established by vegetative propagation only, which includes sod, plugs, or sprigs. Vegetative propagation means that plant parts with growing points are used for planting rather than seeds.
  • It is important to provide irrigation on the correct schedule when grass is newly planted. Multiple, short (5–10 minutes) irrigations throughout the course of the day for 7–10 days following planting helps the grass establish without drying out. For the next 7–10 days, irrigate once a day to apply ¼–½ inch of water. After this, frequency should be reduced to 2–3 times weekly, again applying ¼–½ inch of water.

What sets Bermuda grass and St. Augustine grass apart?

What sets Bermuda grass and St. Augustine grass apart

The Bermuda grass Vs st Augustine grass confusion is what leaves some with a brown and unattractive lawn. Bermuda grass Vs st Augustine difference is a must to know if you plan to own a beautiful lawn.

Let us see how they differ:

Water Requirement

Bermuda grass is a drought-resistant variety. It needs an inch of water every 7-10 ways. You can opt for it if you lack proper irrigation supply and time.

St. Augustine grass is a water-intensive type. It needs to be watered about ¾ inch twice per week. Go for this type only if you have proper irrigation arrangements and time.

If you are unsure about the right water amount, you should invest in a moisture meter.

Temperature Tolerance

Both the grass types are typically suited to tropical and subtropical climate. They need around 65-75 degrees F temperature throughout. Because of their constant temperature demand, they are also called Texas grass types.

After all, Texas is one place that provides both grass types with the perfect climate to thrive.

Growth Patterns

Bermuda grass grows from seeds. You get your lawn seeded, supply it with fertilizers, and water it regularly.

St. Augustine grass grows from sods. You need to get sods planted at regular intervals. Then supply it with fertilizers and water.

In both cases, keep in mind that you need to get a soil test.

How much sunshine do they need?

How much sunshine do they need

Bermuda grass is the sun-loving type. If you have an open lawn with ample sunlight, this should be your pick. Bermuda grass hates shade.

St. Augustine grass prefers to stay in the shade. It will brown upon long exposure to the sun. So, if you have a shaded lawn, St. Augustine grass is the best.

Soil requirements

Bermuda grass needs

  • pH 6-7;
  • soil temperature above 65 degrees F;
  • well-drained moist soil;
  • nitrogen-rich soil.

St. Augustine grass needs

  • pH 5-8.5;
  • soil temperature above 80 degrees F;
  • Well-drained soil;
  • Iron-rich & minimum nitrogen content in the soil.

Traffic & Weed Tolerance

As for traffic tolerance, Bermuda grass can handle more footfall than the St. Augustine grass.

Weeds like crabgrass and dandelions can overshadow Bermuda grass due to its slow growth in reduced sunlight. You will notice thin grass patches. In contrast, St. Augustine grass usually outgrows weeds.

Wrapping Up: Overview of Differences

Feature Bermuda grass St. Augustine grass
Water requirement It needs minimal watering, just 1 inch every 10 days. It needs frequent watering, ¾ inch twice each week
Resistance It is drought-resistant and salt resistant. It can grow well in coastal areas. It is shade resistant and weed resistant.
Growth Bermuda grass grows by seeds. It takes time to germinate and then makes a turf. St. Augustine grass grows by stolons. The growth is faster.
Appearance Grey-green blades with a short blade. Dark-green with broad flat leaves.
Maintenance Low maintenance, needs only mowing. Fertilizers are added twice a year. High maintenance because of frequent irrigation, mowing, and fertilizers.
Traffic tolerance Handles heavy foot traffic. SHandles very less foot-fall.
Sunlight requirement Needs bright sunshine all day long Grows best in shade.

Which grass is best for me?

Choose the variety of grass depending on your local

  • Climate;
  • Soil type;
  • Soil pH;
  • Irrigation arrangements;
  • Purpose;
  • Available time and resources for good maintenance.


A green lawn demands complete dedication and effort. No matter if you choose Bermuda or st Augustine grass, give me the best growth medium. It is important to get the best weed and feed for southern lawns for a pleasant lawn.

You can get more gardening related expert articles like best weed and feed for st Augustine grass on HandyHomeMaster.com.

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