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Mixing Bermuda and St Augustine Grass: Complete Guide

Learn everything you should know about mixing Bermuda grass and St. Augustine grass with this extensive planting guide.

By
Sean Stratton | Updated January 30, 2023
image of bermuda and saint agustine grass

Are you trying to decide between Bermuda or St Augustine grass? Hint: Enjoy a Bermuda and St Augustine grass mix!

Sounds fantastic, right? To keep the excitement going, in this guide, we will discuss some amazing facts about mixing Bermuda grass with St. Augustine grass.

Can You Mix Bermuda Grass with St. Augustine?

Yes, you can mix Bermuda grass with St. Augustine grass. Bermuda grass spreads in two ways. It can quickly spread both by stolons and rhizomes. While stolons keep themselves busy filling bare spots in your lawn, the rhizomes of Bermuda grass make a good root system underneath the soil.

Bermuda grass flourishes in areas where there are high temperatures and enough sunshine. So, if you are living in a warm area, it’s a great pick for your yard. But that’s where the problem begins because this grass is not shade-tolerant.

So, if you have shade trees or plants around your lawn, don’t be surprised to see revealed soil patches in those shady areas.

On the other hand, St. Augustine Grass can spread easily by stolons. These stolons establish roots in the ground which helps the grass quickly spread over the area.

Unlike Bermuda grass, St. Augustine Grass can grow in shade. That’s why it’s a great match for Bermuda grass. You see, this St. Augustine Grass is literally the solution to those bare spots in shady areas of your lawn.

So, if you mix St. Augustine Grass with Bermuda grass, St. Augustine Grass will easily make those bare spots in shaded areas green again while your Bermuda grass will thrive in the sunny areas.

What Is Bermuda Grass?

While talking about Bermuda grass, first, I would say that it’s an amazing drought and heat-tolerant grass. And the second thing I would say is that it can withstand heavy traffic and can recover fast. Let’s look at some key benefits of Bermuda grass to learn more about it.

Planting:

A good thing about Bermuda grass is that you can start your Bermuda grass lawn from seeds. It may take some time. But if you are comfortable with growing from seeds, you will get more flexibility in growing it on your lawn.

Grows Easily:

Bermuda grass falls under the category of warm-season grass. And this warm-season grass is perennial which means it will appear every year when there is an appropriate climate. It keeps growing well from late spring to the hot months of summer.

If you live in an area where your yard gets full sun and it has a fine drainage system, Bermuda grass can be a top choice for you.

Climate-resistant:

If you manage to ensure proper sunlight, and an adequate drainage system, you can expect thriving Bermuda grass on your lawn. Don’t worry if you live in a hot, coastal area because this grass can withstand humidity, salt, and heat.

High Growth Rate:

The growth rate of Bermuda grass is pretty impressive. It will spread in your yard both below the soil and above the soil because it spreads by rhizomes and stolons.

But its growth can be a fact of concern if you have a garden or flower beds adjacent to your lawn. Keeping Bermuda grass confined in the lawn can be a tough job due to its growth rate.

Wear-resistant:

It’s a great option for you if your yard is a playground for your kids and pets because it rapidly recovers from wear. That’s why it’s an ideal choice for golf courses and athletic fields. So, if you have a dream to get a lush green lawn that is highly resilient, Bermuda grass should be your first choice.

What Is St. Augustine Grass?

The first thing I would say about St. Augustine grass is that it belongs to the Poaceae family so it can be considered a true grass. Its bluish-green leaves make it stand different from many other types of grasses. Let’s learn a little bit more by looking at some key benefits of this grass.

Planting:

Unlike Bermuda grass, starting your St. Augustine lawn from seeds is not quite a good idea. One go-to method would be using grass plugs. You can also start from sod which will grow quicker but St. Augustine sod can be a little bit pricey. So, keep an eye on your wallet.

Shade Tolerance:

St. Augustine grass is shade tolerant. So, shady areas won’t be a problem for St. Augustine grass. It will also do well in an area where it gets direct sunlight for about less than 5 to 6 hours every day.

Fertilization:

You won’t need to use compost on your St. Augustine lawn frequently. Unlike Bermuda grass, this grass doesn’t need frequent compost application.

Soil Condition:

St. Augustine grass can grow well in almost any soil type including sandy soil. Like Bermuda grass, it is also salt-tolerant which makes it an ideal choice for salty coastal areas.

Also Read: Best Food for St Augustine Grass

Will Bermuda Grass Take Over St. Augustine?

It’s a little bit complicated. But Bermuda grass can take over St. Augustine and the opposite can happen as well. If St. Augustine grass gets proper nutrition and watering, it can take over Bermuda grass too!

On the other hand, if proper seeding and mowing are not maintained, Bermuda grass can take over St. Augustine. So, if you maintain proper fertilization, mowing, and watering routines, you can expect a balance in your lawn.

See our 6 best fertilizers for Bermuda grass.

Is Bermuda Grass Crowded Out St. Augustine?

This will depend on how you mow your grass. If you don’t mow your grass properly, chances are your Bermuda grass will always get crowded out by your St. Augustine grass. Mowing shorter can protect your Bermuda grass from getting crowded out by St. Augustine grass.

When you mix Bermuda grass with St. Augustine, there will be a battle of growth between the grasses. So, if you want to make your Bermuda grass win the battle, mow your lawn properly.

Prevent Bermuda Grass from Taking Over St. Augustine

Again, you need proper mowing techniques to keep your Bermuda grass from taking over your St. Augustine. Set the mower at the level of 4 inches. The height of Bermuda grass should be lower than St. Augustine. So, you should mow it to a height of roughly 1 to 2 inches.

And don’t forget to mow twice every week. If you can ensure proper mowing techniques and maintain a healthy mowing routine, you can save your St. Augustine from getting dominated by Bermuda grass.

Considerations When Mixing Bermuda with St Augustine

Speaking about mixing Bermuda Grass with St. Augustine Grass is easy but mixing them in the lawn practically is not that easy! If you don’t take your time to check everything properly, you may not get satisfactory results. So, before you mix Bermuda with St. Augustine, here are the things you need to consider.

Climate and Soil:

Bermuda grass shows better growth in summer and St. Augustine grass will flourish in humid areas. St. Augustine grass doesn’t even care about sandy soil, so it’s a great choice for coastal soils. Bermuda grass can tolerate a wide range of surface soils from sandy soils to clays.

Planting New Grass:

Planting new grass can be done in many ways. For example, you can start your Bermuda grass lawn from seeds, sod, or turf. And St. Augustine grass will spread better on your lawn if you start from sods or plugs.

So, this not only depends on your preferences but will surely impact your expenses and the rate of efficiency. That’s why you need to choose the right planting techniques that will reduce your expenses and bring better results.

Grass Spreading:

Like I said earlier, Bermuda grass will be spread by both rhizomes and stolons while St. Augustine grass spread by stolons. So, to make a better lawn, plant Bermuda grass on the lawn before St. Augustine grass because it will take a while for Bermuda grass to develop a better root system.

Watering the Lawn:

Bermuda grass is drought-tolerant grass. It will not need a lot of water. On normal days it will require just a little amount of water. Like in summer, you need to water it 3 times a week only, not more than that. In the cold season, you can relax and feel cozy inside your house because you can totally skip watering for weeks.

On the other hand, St. Augustine grass requires more water. You need to water your lawn quite often if you have St. Augustine grass. On summer days, you may need to water your lawn up to 4 times a week. On colder days, you will still need to water your lawn roughly once every week in general.

Fertilizing the Lawn:

When we are talking about fertilizing grass, Nitrogen fertilizer should come to mind first. St. Augustine grass will need a little bit more Nitrogen fertilizer compared to Bermuda grass.

In a season, you will need to feed your Bermuda grass with roughly one to two pounds of nitrogen. And it is usually done once. On the other hand, you need to feed a 1000 square feet area of St. Augustine grass with about three to five lbs of nitrogen. In a season, you need to feed it at least 3 times.

Traffic Tolerance:

Bermuda grass can recuperate fast and is resistant to heavy foot traffic which makes it ideal for golf courses and athletic fields. On the other hand, St. Augustine grass is not quite resistant to heavy foot traffic. So, it’s an ideal choice for areas with less foot traffic.

So, considering these facts before planting grass on your lawn will increase the chance of getting a successful combination of Bermuda Grass and St. Augustine.

Pros and Cons of Mixing Bermuda with St Augustine

Bermuda and St. Augustine grass comes with many benefits to beautify your lawn. Mixing them will also provide advantages and disadvantages.

Pros:

  • You can get a lush green lawn in both shady and sunny areas.
  • You can grow these grasses in different soil types.
  • Your shady corners or sandy sidewalks will no longer remain bald.
  • This amazing combination of Bermuda Grass and St Augustine will help you overcome the weak areas of each grass.

Cons:

  • You cannot use herbicides or weed killers; they will ruin your lawn.
  • You will lose the balance if you focus on one grass only and leave the other.

Final Thoughts

If your lawn has both shady areas and areas where it gets full sunshine, mixing Bermuda with St. Augustine grass can be an effective option. The same thing applies if you have a lawn where there are different types of soil. You will be able to enjoy soft, lush green grass all over your lawn; there will be no bare spots remaining.

However, this will require you to have proper knowledge of both types of grass and use proper techniques to maintain them. In this article, I talked about various facts about mixing Bermuda with St. Augustine. So, follow this guide and make your lawn look lush green all the way.

Written by Sean Stratton

Sean Stratton

Hi, I'm Sean, the senior editor here at Fertilizer Pick. I grew up on a farm in North Carolina and have grown fruits, vegetables, and trees since childhood. While I no longer live on a farm today, I still enjoy spending time on my garden and sharing my knowledge with friends and fellow garden enthusiasts.