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Aspects of 'St Augustine grass Vs Bermuda grass' in USA, comparison, and their lawn performances

For lawn grass-loving people, sometimes it is hard to distinguish between Bermuda grass and St Augustine grass. 

St Augustine grass has bigger wide leaves that get folded in lack of water. These leaves sometimes look dark green in ideal conditions and look light green in lack of moisture. 

Let's compare St Augustine grass with Bermuda grass and understand their performance on the lawn.

St Augustine grass Vs Bermuda grass in USA

St Augustine grass and Bermuda  grass have some differences as well as some similarities. Let's understand them one by one.

Differences between St Augustine grass and Bermuda grass

Following are some major differences between St Augustine grass and Bermuda grass-

  • Performance in summer

In even summer(warm climate throughout the year), St Augustine is quite ideal grass for lawns. It can handle shady conditions with 30% sunlight for 5 hours a day. 

St Augustine grass Vs Bermuda grass in USA

Bermuda grass is good summer season lawn grass but can't handle shady conditions as much as St Augustine grass.

St Augustine grass requires more irrigation than Bermuda grass. Because of bigger leaves and configuration, St Augustine grass asks for extra water comparatively Bermuda grass. 

  • Performance in winter

St Augustine grass is more sensitive in the winter season. In odd climate conditions(too cold in winters and too hot in summer), St Augustine grass turns into brown and dry grass faster. St Augustine grass gets dead in too cold or in snowfall temperatures.

Also read Bermuda grass vs Zoysia grass  

Bermuda grass is sensitive in odd climates but not as much as St Augustine. 

Once your St Augustine grass gets brown, it takes a longer period than Bermuda grass to get recover from it till the next summer. 

  • Foot traffic handling

St Augustine grass foot traffic or animal walking handling capacity is moderate. It is not good to run on the St Augustine grass turf with high foot traffic. 

Bermuda grass is spongy during walking. Comparatively, Bermuda grass can handle more foot traffic and animal walking. Even if some of the grass gets crushed by foot, it recovers fast. 

  • Aeration

It is important to aerate St Augustine grass before winter. It is not good to aerate your St Augustine lawn in winter. It may cause your lawn grass dead. 

With Bermuda grass, you don't need too much aeration because of the thin leaves. If you find empty or dead spots then it is good to aerate in spring and summer but not in winter. Winter aeration doesn't cause dead Bermuda grass but it completely stops the growth of grass. 

  • Mowing 

St Augustine grass doesn't ask for quick mowing on the lawn but is regular for a certain period. You can mow St Augustine's lawn every 10 to 15 days. The best height for mowing is 3 to 3.5 inches above.

On the other hand, you have to mow your Bermuda grass lawn every 7 days. It is quite regular and early because of the fast growth of Bermuda grass and its rhizomes of it. The normal height of mowing Bermuda grass is 1 to 1.5 inches above.

  • Maintenance cost

Bermuda grass maintenance cost includes regular mowing, fertilizers, and treatment of dead grass. The rest of the cost is similar to st Augustine grass but the cost of the fertilizers is higher. You have to spend on fertilizers every month on your lawn. 

St Augustine grass maintenance cost is less than Bermuda grass. You don't need fertilizers as much as Bermuda grass needs. 

  • Nature of grass

St Augustine grass is invading in nature but not aggressive as Bermuda grass. Bermuda grass is more dominating than St Augustine. 

If you grow both types of grasses on the same lawn, then soon your Bermuda grass will invade the St Augustine section easily. 

  • Anti diseases capability

Bermuda grass lawn is less sensitive and almost neutral towards the general lawn grass diseases. 

St Augustine grass gets in grip of diseases easily. It needs proper treatment to recover from any lawn grass diseases.  

Similarities between St Augustine grass and Bermuda grass

Following are some similarities between St Augustine grass and Bermuda grass- 

  • Season of growing

Both St Augustine and Bermuda grass plantations start from the first month of spring. Bermuda and St Augustine like the summer season and are ideal for even summer conditions. 

Both types of grasses hesitate snowfall region and too cold climate for plantation.

  • Invading nature

On separate lands, St Augustine grass and Bermuda grass are dominating and invading nature. They cover the entire area they get moist and are ideal for growing. These grasses overshadow the other small or less dominating spontaneous plants easily. 

But these grass can't grow together because Bermuda invades the St Augustine grass. 

Lawn performance of St Augustine grass and Bermuda grass in the USA

So hopefully, now you can differentiate St Augustine grass and Bermuda grass. 

Let's accept that a few questions are raised in your mind from this. One can ask why we need to be so selective with these similar lawn grasses? Their season is the same, don't have any major challenges during the summer season, and even have a similar process of plantation then why?

The meaning is simple. You have to consider this in the big picture. There is indeed no major concern with any of these grasses in summer. But you can't stick with random grass throughout the year with random climate conditions. 

In too cold winter, if you stick with St Augustine grass, then maybe it disappoints you if you have only other options of Bermuda grass. 

If you think that it doesn't matter then you may be wrong. It is good to plant either St Augustine grass or Bermuda grass in an even climate(warm weather throughout the year) but in odd weather, you can't go with an odd grass type. 

So the conclusion is, that it depends on your climate and location. Things also depend on you. If you can care for your lawn by yourself, then you can go to according to least challenging grass. But if you can manage professionals or caretakers, you can go with any of them for sure. But still, keep your climate conditions in mind. 

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