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WARM SEASON TURFGRASS

Lawn grasses common to the southern United States

INDEX OF SOUTHERN LAWN GRASSES

Bahiagrass

  • Description
    • Low maintenance grass for infertile soils.
    • Medium to coarse leaf texture.
    • Cultivated varieties: 'Pensacola' is the most popular variety for lawns, with 'Argentine' second.
  • Maintenance
    • Apply a complete fertilizer in the spring (after the last frost) and in the fall.
    • Fertilizers including Iron (Fe) help prevent yellowing. Or supplemental iron apps can be made, usually during the summer.
    • Worst insect problem is mole crickets.
    • Mow at 3 to 4 inch height.
  • Establishment
    • Plant in the spring or early summer months.
    • Best established from sod or scarified seed.
    • Less desirable results from sprigs and plugs.

Bermudagrass

  • Description
    • Medium green, vigorous, dense turf.
    • Not recommended for home lawns, more commonly used on commercial sites and golf courses.
    • Most widely used warm season grass.
  • Maintenance
    • High maintenance grass
    • Higher levels of fertilization are required than with most warm season grasses (3 to 6 applications)
    • Mow at 3/4 to 1-1/2 inch height. Reel type mowers provide the cleanest cut.
    • Nematodes are usually the worst pest.
  • Establishment
    • Plant in the spring or early summer months.
    • Sprigging is most common, but also sod and plugs. Common varieties are planted with seed.
    • Varieties include Cheyenne, Sahara, Sundevil, Jackpot and FloraTex™

 

Carpetgrass

  • Description
    • Low maintenance, medium textured, dense turf
    • Grows on wet, acidic soils, and doesn't tolerate dry or salty conditions.
  • Maintenance
    • Mow at 1-1/2 to 2 inch height.
    • Do not over fertilize, especially with nitrogen.
  • Establishment
    • Plant in the spring or early summer months.
    • Seed or sprigs.

Centipedegrass

  • Description
    • Pale green with medium texture
    • Low maintenance, slow growing
    • Fair shade tolerance
  • Maintenance
    • Low fertility requirements. Subject to centipede grass decline so don't overfertilize, especially with nitrogen and phosphorus.
    • Don't fertilize too early or too late in the year.
    • Nematodes can be a serious problem.
    • Mow at 1-1/2 to 2 inch height.
  • Establishment
    • Plant in the spring or early summer months.
    • Best by sod or seed, also planted with sprigs and plugs.
    • Varieties include Oklawn, Centennial, Tifblair, and TennTurf.
Seashore Paspalum
  • Description
    • Dense, dark green turf with good wear tolerance.
    • Tolerates saline conditions and low light during extended rainy periods.
    • Poor shade tolerance.
  • Maintenance
    • Mow at 1 to 2 inch height.
    • Few insect and disease problems.
  • Establishment
    • Plant in the spring or early summer months.
    • Plant with sod or sprigs.
    • Varieties include Salam, Sea Isle 1 and Seaway.

 

St. Augustinegrass

  • Description
    • Dense, green to blue green turf.
    • Grows best in fertile, well drained soil.
    • Some salt and shade tolerance.
  • Maintenance
    • Mow at 1-1/2 to 4 inches -- use lower cutting heights on high maintenance lawns.
    • Fertilize 2 to 6 times a year, after last spring frost and not too late in the fall. Supplemental iron apps can be made to prevent yellowing, usually during the summer.
    • Chinch bug is the worst insect pest.
    • St. Augustine Decline Virus is a serious problem in some areas.
  • Establishment
    • Plant in the spring or early summer months.
    • Sodding, sprigging or plugging, not usually seeded.
    • Varieties include Bitterblue, Delmar, Floralawn, Floratine, Floratam, Jade, Palmetto, Raleigh and Seville.

Zoysiagrass

  • Description
    • Fine to medium texture.
    • Moderate drought tolerance.
    • Good salt, shade and traffic tolerance.
  • Maintenance
    • Mow at 1 to 2 inch height, best cut with a reel type mower. Height recommendations vary with species.
    • High maintenance turf, 3 to 6 fertilizations per season.
    • Very susceptible to nematodes.
    • Heavy thatch producer that requires periodic verticutting.
  • Establishment
    • Plant in the spring or early summer months.
    • Slow to establish.
    • Sod, plugs and sprigs.
    • Seed needs light to germinate -- cover with erosion cloth, but don't cover with soil.

MORE

soil amendments

starter fertilizer

liming a lawn

soil tests

     


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