The Best Grass Types to Consider for Your Tampa Bay Landscape
The flashy things in Florida tend to receive all the attention and hype. Theme parks, stunning beaches, hurricanes, and alligators seem to be atop most people’s lists of quintessential Florida things. We can’t blame them, either—Florida has many exciting claims to fame.
When it comes to the everyday elements of the Sunshine State—the things that truly define the grand commercial properties and charming established neighborhoods—another characteristic catches the eye. The landscapes are memorable, with swaying palms, ancient oak trees, vibrant flowers, and peaceful water features peppering Tampa Bay’s communities.
None of them would be complete without pristine lawns and perfectly manicured grass. It is the grass that ties all the other traits together while simultaneously standing out in its own right. It’s a testament to Florida’s climate, the hard work of professional landscapers, and the standard that many Florida Tampa Bay landscapes (both commercial and residential properties) hold themselves to.
Choosing the Right Grass for Your Tampa Bay Landscape
If you want your Tampa Bay property to reach its full potential, selecting the right grass is imperative. It may sound dramatic, but grass is the glue that binds the other elements of your landscape. Choose wrong, and you could find yourself fighting an uphill battle.
Thankfully, Florida’s climate gives you some flexibility when choosing grass. There are a handful of varieties that thrive in the Tampa Bay area, giving you valuable options to help your property bloom. Better still, Tampa Bay professional landscapers, like Landcrafters, have decades of experience outfitting landscapes for success.
The Top Types of Grass for Florida Lawns
If your lawn is your priority—and it should be given its high visibility and use rate—you’ll want to familiarize yourself with the top types of grass for an aesthetic and long-lasting Florida landscape. There are several to choose from, and the ones listed below are our personal favorites.
St. Augustine Grass
It’s hard to hear of St. Augustine grass and not instantly associate it with the unbelievable historic city on Florida’s east coast. As it turns out, that association makes a lot of sense because this grass excels in Florida’s timeless environment.
With an affinity for humidity and superb resistance to drought and salt, St. Augustine grass (in all its varieties) is practically perfect for Florida lawns. It also happens to grow quickly and create a dense, good-looking turf.
The downsides of St. Augustine grass in Tampa Bay include the need for frequent maintenance (remember, it grows quickly), its susceptibility to rare Florida freezes, and its distaste for high levels of foot traffic.
For the benefits of St. Augustine grass with the addition of impressive durability, look no further than Bermuda grass. This Tampa Bay grass is fast-growing, thick, and capable of standing up to both drought and salt. Throw in its ability to endure heavy foot traffic, and you have a compelling argument for choosing this grass for your Tampa Bay landscape.
Keep in mind that with great grass comes great responsibility. Bermuda grass demands frequent care involving dethatching, fertilizing, and mowing. The investment of time and resources is substantial, but the payoff is a brilliant lawn that keeps giving.
If you’re on the hunt for vibrancy and toughness, Zoysia grass is hard to top. Often used in high-traffic areas, this type of grass withstands use and abuse without batting an eye. This makes it ideal for Tampa Bay landscapes that see a lot of traffic, from community gathering places on HOA properties to golf courses.
Unlike St. Augustine and Bermuda grasses, Zoysia is not quick to grow. In fact, one of the main drawbacks of this grass variety is the time and money needed to properly establish it. Once installed and established, however, Zoysia grass is among the thickest, sturdiest options for Florida lawns.
Seashore Paspalum Grass
In Tampa Bay, salt can be a make-or-break factor in the health of your lawn. For properties that struggle with high levels of salt, grass options can be limited. That’s where Seashore paspalum grass shines.
While it may not be the most impressive grass in the Tampa Bay area, it is built to endure saltwater and the challenges it brings. Keep in mind that its saltwater tolerance does not equate to this grass being a breeze to grow and maintain. Seashore paspalum requires frequent mowing and must be dethatched to remain healthy.
If low maintenance is the goal, Bahia grass is the way to go. It adapts easily to a variety of soil conditions and thrives in sandy areas. It also doesn’t require much in the way of fertilizer and water, making it simple to care for and keep healthy. Bahia grass is budget-friendly and resists thatch better than other Florida grasses, such as St. Augustine and Bermuda grass.
The downside of Bahia grass in Tampa Bay is its appearance. It is not quite as thick or aesthetically pleasing as the alternatives, so there are trade-offs for the benefits of low maintenance and cost savings.
Don’t Forget Decorative Grasses
When picturing grass, it’s natural for the mind to drift to manicured lawns and swaths of emerald green. It’s true that these picturesque scenes of Tampa Bay landscaping tend to steal the show, but they are not the only grasses you should be considering for your Florida property.
Decorative grasses can add meaningful accents and complement the rest of your landscaping, elevating the entire property. Check out our favorite decorative Florida grasses below.
Landscaping in Tampa Bay can do more than add dynamic visual appeal to your property; it can also speak to the other sense, creating an immersive experience for anyone who enjoys the space. Lemongrass is a perfect example of what happens when visual beauty coalesces with a strikingly-beautiful scent.
With a mature height of up to six feet tall, lemongrass can add a pop of vibrancy and texture to your landscape. It also smells phenomenal and can be used in making teas, drinks, and certain food recipes. Talk about a versatile Tampa Bay ornamental grass!
Feathery and colorful, Muhly Grass is a staple of Florida landscaping. It is native to the state and provides Tampa Bay properties with attention-grabbing plumes in shades of pink and purple. While small, this ornamental Florida grass is tolerant of salt, drought, and the occasional Florida cold spell.
Drastic Times Call for Grass-tic Measures
If you’re ready to outfit your property with some stellar Florida grasses, we’ve got great news—Landcrafters has been perfecting Tampa Bay area landscapes for over 20 years. In that time, we’ve learned a thing or two about grasses for your lawn and your decorative landscaping.
For more information about grasses, including additional recommendations for your specific property, be sure to contact us. We’ll gladly work with you to ensure your Tampa Bay reaches its full potential (and stays there).
We also encourage you to visit our blog, where we freely share our decades of landscaping expertise. It’s updated regularly and packed with tips, tricks, and insights that you can use to expand your knowledge and begin upping your landscaping game today.
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