The most common types of grasses in Tampa, Florida are those that tend to do well in warm weather and higher humidity. For homeowners, it’s important to know your grass type in order to care for and maintain your lawn. Additionally, if you are re-sodding or building a new home in the area, it’s best to research both the type of grass and the brand of sod. Many sod brands have tweaked their formulas specifically for the Tampa climate and are competing to create the “picture perfect” lawn. Here are some general guidelines that will help you determine the type of grass you currently have or what will work best for your soil, shade and use conditions.
Bermuda Grass is one of the more low maintenance options. It’s a hardy grass that is durable under wear and withstands heavy play. Dense and fast growing, you may find Bermuda more commonly used on golf courses and athletic fields. It can be a nice option for residential lawns, however, in that it is very drought tolerant. It’s not recommended for heavily shaded areas, as this lawn tends to thrive in full sun.
Mow to 1 to 1 ½ inches.
St. Augustine Grass
St. Augustine is a very common grass to the Tampa area as it performs very well in Florida. This lawn is weed-resistant and the dense nature of the grass can even help choke weeds out. It provides a lush look for lawns, but does not hold up well to extensive foot traffic. It does well in salty soils and is more shade tolerant than most of the warm weather grasses, but don’t mistake this for being a shade-only grower. St. Augustine requires at least 3-4 hours of sunlight per day and coverage can be sparse if there is too much shade, such as near the base of larger trees.
Mow to 2 ½ inches for dwarf varieties; 3 ½ to 4 inches for standard cultivators.
Zoysia is emerging as a favorite for this area, as it is a finer blade texture than St. Augustine, but also performs well in shade. Especially notable for homes nearer the bay is the fact that it’s salt tolerance. It’s a great play lawn as it withstands heavy foot traffic fairly well. The one drawback to Zoysia is that it may require more frequent mowing to keep it looking its best, but overall is becoming a front runner for new lawns in Florida.
Mow to 1 ½ to 2 inches.
Centipede Grass is more common in the panhandle of Florida, but has found its way to the Tampa area for several reasons. Once established, it’s a lower maintenance lawn, as it grows more slowly and may require less fertilization. It does well in acidic or unfertile soils, but has a poor salt tolerance. The downside to Centipede grass is that it has a higher risk of nematodes, which are parasitic worms that live in the soil and feed on the roots. Over-fertilization can also make these lawns more prone to disease and insects.
Mow to 1 ½ - 2 ½ inches.
However your Florida lawn stacks up, knowing your type of grass is only the first step in caring for and creating a beautiful yard. Need help with your lawn care? Trust your affordable home services experts at OneNeighbor. Our service professionals are educated on the various Tampa grasses and will cut your lawn to the proper height based on your grass type. We service Clearwater, St. Petersberg, Westchase and other Tampa, Florida neighborhoods.
Author: Tiffany Harlow