Orlando homeowners have several options for grass types. Before making a selection, a few considerations ensure you’re doing the correct grass cutting and making the right choice for your home. These considerations include the type of irrigation you use, the among of shade on your lawn, and the pH level of your soil.
The homeowner should consider their lifestyle and how much time they want to invest in their lawn, especially if they’re taking care of it instead of a lawn service professional. Do you prefer a low-maintenance lawn, or do you love yard work? Everyone has a different preference! Here are the best grasses for Orlando lawns.
1) St. Augustine
Without a doubt, St. Augustine is the beloved grass choice for Orlando homeowners! This grass thrives in the heat, is drought-resistant, and tolerates high levels of salt. The grass blades are broad and flat with a blue-green color.
St. Augustine grass grows well in nearly any type of soil, and it produces above-ground runners. You will discover it spreads and grows well with little help. However, the aggressive growth also means you must mow more often.
St. Augustine grass is established by planting sod, and the establishment is quick and easy. You can use plugs to replace bare areas.
To properly maintain St. Augustine grass, make sure you water well. It doesn’t like persistent shady conditions or cold temperatures. Watch for pests like chinch bugs. The soil pH level should be between 5.0 and 8.5, which is easy to maintain. Mow to a height of 3.5 to 4 inches. Plan to mow at least every seven days during the spring and summer, and every 14 days during the winter.
- Remember that St. Augustine grass needs proper watering, mowing, and fertilization to obtain a healthy, lush lawn.
2) Bermuda Grass
Bermudagrass has a bad reputation, referred to as “the devil’s grass” by many homeowners. It has an aggressive, invasive nature that makes it need frequent grass cutting, generally an unlikely choice for homeowners. But this grass does have positive features!
Bermuda grass appears to have a green-grey coloring, and the blades are short with rough edges. This type of grass has incredibly deep roots, which means it is resistant to drought, weeds, and high traffic. For that reason, golf courses and parks tend to pick Bermuda grass.
If you decide to plant Bermuda grass, it grows well in all types of soils. It produces seeds, runners, and rhizomes. However, it is sensitive to cold temperatures, pests, and shade. To maintain the proper appearance, you will need to water weekly and mow frequently. Bermuda grass does best if cut short, typically between 0.5 and 2 inches tall.
For areas that are dry with sandy soil, Bahiagrass is a great choice because it is fairly low maintenance. You don’t need to spend much time fertilizing or irrigating, so those with large lots or acreages often pick Bahiagrass. Also, if you have no intentions of setting up irrigation, this grass type is for you.
Bahiagrass is established by planting sod or from seed. It does establish well in most cases, so long as the lawn contains sufficient levels of iron. Weed control needs to be applied when air temperatures are between 60 and 85 degrees. Before applying anything, read the label because many are not used on Bahiagrasses.
During drought conditions, Bahiagrass tends to go dormant until the preferred conditions return. Remember that this grass is sensitive to overwatering and grows poorly in shaded areas. Plan to mow weekly to a height of 3 to 4 inches.
4) Centipede Grass
Low-maintenance homeowners love centipede grass because it is a low-growing grass. That means you won’t need to spend hours each week mowing it. All you need to do is mow when necessary and apply fertilizer once or twice a year. That’s simple!
Unlike other choices, centipede grass prefers shady locations and doesn’t thrive with ample sunlight. Centipede grass handles cooler temperatures.
Before you think centipede grass is perfect, realize that heavy traffic can cause major issues. It also doesn’t handle too much salt well. The soil pH should be between 5 and 6, and you only can obtain centipede grass by planting seeds. Mow to a height of 1.5 to 2 inches.
- Centipede is the most common grass type in the panhandle of Florida because it is well-adapted to the climate and soil conditions in the northern part of the state. If you live in the north-central part of the state, you may be able to use centipede grass.
5) Buffalo Grass
Buffalo grass loves high temperatures and grows well in all types of soil. When fully grown, it has a lovely, blue-green color with curling leaves.
Unfortunately, Buffalo grass doesn’t enjoy shady locations and will die in high-traffic areas. Weeds are common with this type of grass, so you will need to apply pre-emergent weed control. Buffalo grass is sensitive to overwatering, leaving the grass weak and prone to disease.
Caring for this type of grass requires mowing to a height of 1.5 to 3 inches. You will want to apply fertilizer, but don’t overwater unless in drought-like conditions.
6) Zoysia Grass
The last grass type for Orlando homeowners is Zoysia grass. Zoysia has dark green, turf-like grass that loves sunlight and handles high-traffic. Coastal areas and golf courses typically pick Zoysia grass.
There are several reasons you might want to pick Zoysia grass. It tolerates droughts and isn’t disease prone. Zoysia can grow well in partial shade, and it doesn’t require frequent watering or application of fertilizers. Overall, Zoysia is great for those who want a low-maintenance lawn.
Zoysia doesn’t love frost at all. It will go dormant with a frost but will resume growth when the soil temperatures are around 70 degrees. While it does grow in many soil conditions, Zoysia prefers lawns with low potassium. Make sure you mow to a height of 1 to 2 inches.
- Zoysia grass is great for homeowners, but a professional lawn care service may need to help you provide the right care.
Picking the Right Type of Grass in Orlando
Consider where you live in Florida first to determine the type of grass. If you live in Orlando, well you’re in luck! These grass types will be perfect for setting yourself up for a healthy Orlando lawn, without the hassle of keeping a cool-season grass type alive. Southern areas need a different type because of the higher temperatures. Luckily, all Florida residents have several options available to them. Each type of grass has its characteristics and adaptability, so take a serious look before making a choice!