10 Grasses for Your Yard


St. Augustine Grass

St. Augustine grass needs more watering than most.
St. Augustine grass needs more watering than most.

A robust, warm season grass, St. Augustine grass (Stenotaphrum secundatum) forms a thick, dark green carpet that can stand up to wear. It's a coarse grass with broad blades that establishes itself quickly. The coarse texture of the grass makes it a compromise choice, but St. Augustine grass has some powerful advantages in the yard. Because it's robust and grows fast, St. Augustine grass naturally discourages weed growth. It will flourish in shady spots better than almost any other warm season grass and survive hot temperatures, too. It's also salt-tolerant.

St. Augustine grass isn't an ideal choice, though. It requires regular watering to retain its vivid, deep green color, and it's a heavy feeder, which means it will need to be fertilized frequently and mowed at least weekly during the summer months. It also tends to build up thatch that will have to be thinned out periodically. Older varieties of St. Augustine grass have been plagued with disease problems, including St. Augustine grass decline (SAD), but newer cultivars are much more disease-resistant than older strains.