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Can You Mix Zoysia and St Augustine Grass?

Zoysia and St. Augustine are both sun-loving grasses, but do they thrive together? Learn the pros and cons of mixing these two weather-tolerant types of grass.

By
Sean Stratton | Updated January 30, 2023
saint augustine grass in a lawn

Both Zoysia and St. Augustine grasses are popular because of their massive growth and high tolerance to drought. Being warm-seasoned, both types of grasses also do not mind relishing hot weather and warm soil.

Also Read: We Love These Fertilizers for Healthy Grass Growth

Can You Mix Zoysia and St Augustine Grass?

These two grass types do not go well together on the same lawn. Yet, there are some options for mixing Zoysia and St. Augustine grasses together if you follow the right methods.

There are some characteristic differences between Zoysia and St. Augustine. Though both have almost similar habits yet the differences do not let them get along most often. This is why both the grasses are not grown together deliberately. But again, during fall mixing these grasses may be the only solution.

Let’s get to know the characteristic differences for what you should not mix Zoysia and St. Augustine Grass together.

  • Grass Texture and Appearance

Zoysia comes with thin-bladed grasses and they are also highly resistant to weeds. The leaves are soft and grow slowly. On the other hand, St. Augustine is a fast grower and spreader. It has a different blade texture, unlike Zoysia. The grasses are stiffier and have a rough texture.

Moreover, St. Augustine grass literally can outcompete any grass including Zoysia if they come in its way of growing in the yard. Nonetheless, Zoysia comes both in the wider blade and finer blade with the width of 5-7mm and 2mm respectively. St. Augustine has about 8-9mm blade width.

Again, Zoysia grass is way attractive. It has several varieties and might also differ a bit according to grass color, size, and other features. Almost the same goes for St. Augustine as well. This grass works better when they are longer.

Next Read: When You Should Water Your Lawn?

  • Tolerance and Resistance

We have already mentioned that both Zoysia and St. Augustine have tolerance and resistance to drought. That means both can survive drought and retain their good appearance during drought to some extent.

However, Zoysia and Augustine both require the same amount of water to thrive properly. Even though Zoysia grass can survive drought but the grass becomes brown during the period. Hence, it has moderate drought resistance.

On the contrary, Augustine has higher drought resistance but moderate drought tolerance. Therefore, they still look the same during drought.

Regarding tolerance properties, Zoysia has moderate, and St. Augustine has high shade tolerance. Moreover, Zoysia and Augustine have moderate and high salt tolerance respectively. Also, they have different cold and heat tolerances.

  • Growth Habits and Mowing Height

Zoysia and St. Augustine have slight differences in their growth habits. Zoysia spreads through both stolons and rhizomes whereas Augustine spreads only via stolons. However, Augustine grows quicker and longer than Zoysia.

Thus, they differ in mowing height as well. For the best performance, Zoysia requires a mowing height of 0.5 to 2-inch whereas Augustine requires 2 to 4-inch of mowing.

  • Soil and Fertility

Both Zoysia and Augustine require almost the same type of soil to thrive. They require loamy and sandy soil. However, Zoysia grows well in clay soil as well. Again, Zoysia requires 5.8-7.0 soil pH and Augustine requires 5.0-8.5 soil pH.

Nonetheless, according to fertilizer preference, Zoysia requires lower nitrogen inputs whereas Augustine thrives best with higher nitrogen inputs.

So, these are the features that show Zoysia and St. Augustine. All of them indicate that if you want you can mix these grasses together but eventually you will not be benefited that much.

Will Zoysia Overtake St. Augustine Grass?

When Zoysia and St. Augustine both are in the same yard, it is tough to determine which one will be one over the other. It becomes tougher when the environment is ideal for them. In most cases, if one grass comes in the way of another grass, one of them will be desirable whereas the other one will play the role of weeds.

Now that you already know Zoysia grass grows slowly, people prefer them over other types of grasses. Furthermore, the grass is cut to 1-inch short, whereas St. Augustine grows aggressively with longer leaves.

Hence, with the short leaves, Zoysia cannot overtake St. Augustine grass. However, it can be possible if the former one gets targeted by pests or withers and dies eventually.

Moreover, drier soil favors the growth of Zoysia but helps in the withering of St. Augustine. So, it can overtake St. Augustine eventually.

Mixing Zoysia with St Augustine: Tips to Follow

Still, if you want to mix Zoysia with St. Augustine, try to follow the tips given below,

  • To encourage the Zoysia grass growth, you need to mow set at the right level.
  • Mowing should be done with a sharp blade so that both kinds of grasses can have healthy growth.
  • Take more care of St. Augustine since it is way labor-intensive. Zoysia, however, does not require much labor.
  • Use different kinds of fertilizers required for both types of grasses. Augustine requires higher nitrogen input for thriving well.
  • Improving the soil first is the key to ultimate success. Therefore, before you mix Zoysia and St. Augustine together, topdressing of soil after aeration will help you to reduce the overall cost.
  • Do not allow power-raking over St. Augustine. Rather use a hand rake to remove the thatch layer every spring.
  • Since Zoysia and Augustine require the same amount of water to grow, ensure the irrigation.

Mixing Zoysia with St Augustine: Pros and Cons

Mixing Zoysia with St. Augustine has both some pros and cons. Let’s get to know them.

Pros:

  • When it is time to go dormant, Zoysia grass will go much earlier. During that time St. Augustine plays a great role with its bright green and thick-bladed grasses.
  • Since these two grasses are sun-loving, they will thrive best especially in the southern United States.
  • Both Zoysia and St. Augustine are tolerant to drought, salt, and even some shade.
  • Augustine turf grass is way shade tolerant compared to Zoysia. Thus, in weather like this, they can balance with their tolerant properties.

Cons:

  • St. Augustine is high-maintenance and requires intensive labor to grow.
  • Zoysia and Augustine have different shades of green. Zoysia grass appears to be dark green whereas St. Augustine has bright green grass.
  • For proper thriving, both grasses require timely mowing which is a hassle sometimes.
  • St. Augustine shows lower wear tolerance than Zoysia.
  • Once Augustine gets brown, it is quite difficult to revive. But Zoysia can revive when it gets water again.

Watering for Zoysia and St. Augustine Grass:

What You Should Avoid when Mixing St. Augustine and Zoysia?

Avoid overseeding while mixing St. Augustine and Zoysia to prevent an unruly lawn.

Both of them are intolerant to standing water so ensure consistent irrigation and a proper drainage system. Moreover, avoid colder temperatures when mixing Augustine and Zoysia grasses.

Final Thoughts

For being low-maintenance many choose Zoysia but for some climatic conditions, people find St. Augustine more convenient to grow. Thus, to have a beautiful grassy lawn many ask if they can mix Zoysia with St. Augustine grass.

Now that we have cleared the concept, you can surely predict that Zoysia and St. Augustine together can offer green for the fall. Also, now you know that even the grasses have their own different properties yet for some of their similarities they can be mixed to some extent.

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.