Why Would You Choose Floratam St. Augustine Grass Sod for Your Houston Area Lawn Project?
Call us at 281-431-7441 for more information about why you might consider using Floratam St. Augustine grass sod for your next project. In this video, Houston Grass South Owner Michael Romine talks about Floratam St. Augustine and the advantages and disadvantages of this variety when compared with other grass varieties used in the Houston area.
Here’s a summary of Michael’s video talk on Floratam St. Augustine grass.
Here we are in our Floratam patch of St. Augustine that we have here. Floratam is certainly the coarsest of the three St. Augustines, if you compare it to the Raleigh and the Palmetto. If you’re looking at the blades of it, it’s got the thickest blade of grass. But if you were looking at a stem, if you pulled up a stem of grass, you would also note that there are not as many blades on it. So it’s not quite as dense as the Raleigh. And the Palmetto, of course, is the most dense of the three. But, that’s how I guess you know what you’re looking at as far as Floratam versus Raleigh, and Palmetto and what not.
One of the greatest attributes, when you’re comparing the three, of the Floratam is that it resists the brown patch, the ugly dead circles that you get in, usually, the Fall. This particular grass resists the brown patch and that’s one less worry, as far as things that can go wrong in your lawn. You don’t get those ugly brown circles. That’s certainly something to keep in mind.
When they came out with it years and years ago, it resisted all types of chinch bugs, which is another problem that St. Augustines have. Chinch bugs, they appear in the summer time, sometimes when it gets real hot. But the Floratam resists most types of chinch bugs. Like I was saying, when they came out with it years ago, it resisted all types. But now years and years have gone by, there are new types of chinch bugs. And they have found that there are certain types of chinch bugs that can attack the Floratam.
I guess the most notable thing that needs to be kept in mind about the Floratam St. Augustine is that we don’t sell it north of Interstate 10, because it lacks real good cold heartiness. It doesn’t have real good cold tolerance. As a matter of fact, the farm that we get ours from, I think most of it goes down to Corpus Christi. And again, we won’t sell it north of Interstate 10 because the lack of cold tolerance can be an issue.
As far as watering requirements, I would say it’s similar to the rest of these grasses. It needs one inch of water per week. If it’s not falling out of the sky, you need to water it twice a week. Two one-half-inch waterings, whether it’s out of a hose or your irrigation system. Two waterings a week is better than one because you don’t get the run-off. If you water four hours straight, you’re going to get water running over your curb and not quite as good of absorption as you are if you do two smaller waterings. So that’s something to keep in mind.
Just like the rest of the grasses out here, this grass has to be mowed at least once a week. It’s another fast grower during the growing season. Minimum, every seven days, it’s got to be mowed. Ideally, you would mow it more like every four or five days. That would be better. The rule of thumb is you never want to cut off more than one-third of the leaf in any one mowing. So again, seven days. That’s kind of the minimum for that. Four or five days is better. You could keep the grass a little bit shorter if you wanted to, if you were mowing every four or five days. Whereas once every seven days, you’re going to have to keep it that three and a half, four inches, or you’re going to be cutting too much off at once.
As far as sunlight requirements, the Floratam does have pretty good shade tolerance. The Bermuda grasses need 100% sunlight. The Palmetto can subsist on about four or five hours of direct sunlight per day. The Floratam is right there between the Raleigh and the Palmetto somewhere, as far as its sunlight requirements. It can survive in a little bit of shade. I wouldn’t go planting it underneath any 50 year old oak trees or you would be disappointed.
The Floratam St. Augustine can be a good option if you like the positive attributes; the fact that the chinch bug resistance and the brown patch resistance, and you live, certainly, south of I-10. The further south, the better I would say, as far as the Floratam goes though.
Again, we don’t sell Floratam St. Augustine grass sod north of I-10 because it’s not as tolerant of the cold as the other St. Augustine grass varieties — Raleigh and Palmetto. If you have any questions about the best variety of grass sod for your project, please call us at 281-431-7441 or send us an email through our contact form.
Houston Grass South is located in Arcola, TX, just off Highway 6 on FM-521. We’re just a few miles east of Sienna Plantation. You can pick up your grass at our office or you can take delivery at your project site. We can also arrange for installation if you like. Give us a call today!