Turf, or grass, is the primary component of most yards. Depending on the relative amount of shade in the yard and the yard use, different turf types are appropriate. The two most common types of turf in the metroplex are St. Augustine and Bermuda. Rye is used less commonly and usually in specific situations.
St. Augustine is good for both shady yards and full-sun yards. It needs at least four hours of direct sunlight a day and at least one inch of water per week to thrive. St. Augustine goes dormant in the winter and turns brown. Because it doesn’t hold up well to foot traffic, St. Augustine is not ideal for high-use lawns or sports fields. St. Augustine is installed as sod and cannot be overseeded. However, it gradually expands its area of coverage, season after season, by sending out runners and creeping over the ground. It has flat, wide blades. To avoid skinning the runners, you should never mow St. Augustine too short.
Bermuda is best for lawns that are in direct sunlight most of the day. Sometimes Bermuda will not even grow between tightly spaced adjacent houses. Like St. Augustine, Bermuda needs about an inch of water per week in the growing season and goes dormant in the winter. However, unlike St. Augustine, it holds up well to foot traffic and does not creep. Bermuda can be planted either as sod or as seed. Because Bermuda seeds need warmth to germinate, it should be seeded or reseeded between May and August. Bermuda sod may be installed year-round. Aerating Bermuda is recommended if the ground becomes compacted from use. Compared to St. Augustine, Bermuda has thin blades and a fluffy look. If Bermuda is allowed to grow too high, it will thin out.
Rye is typically used in conjunction with Bermuda or, less commonly, with St. Augustine to create a year-round green lawn. Rye stays green all winter and dies in the summer. To accomplish a year-round green yard with Bermuda and Rye, lawn maintenance companies use Bermuda as the primary turf. Because of the additional work and cost associated, year-round green turf is relatively rare outside of commercial properties and relatively high-end residential properties.