While other aspects of landscaping may steal people’s attention (we’re looking at you, flowering shrubs) or create enjoyable outdoor spaces (you can’t have too many shade trees), nothing works quite as hard as your lawn. Not only is it likely to receive heavy foot traffic and a high degree of use, but it also covers a vast portion of your property, making it an absolutely essential element to get right.
In fact, it’s hard for those more glamorous landscaping features to truly shine if the lawn is in disarray. It is the proverbial glue that binds everything else together in a cohesive way. When it falls short, so does the entirety of your curb appeal.
If you want your lawn to live up to the expectations set by the old oaks, swaying palms, and vibrant hibiscus of the Tampa Bay area, you’ve come to the right place. We pride ourselves on our hard-earned knowledge of Tampa Bay landscaping, and with over 20 years of experience perfecting properties in the area, we’re happy to share that knowledge with you!
Why Choosing the Right Lawn Grass for Your Tampa Bay Landscape is Important
Grass should be simple, right? After all, grass is grass!
This may be the mindset adopted by many, but for those who genuinely care about the appearance and quality of their landscaping, it is simply not true. The type of grass you choose can make or break your Tampa Bay property, making the decision anything but cut and dry.
Durability, Resilience, and Foot Traffic
Not all properties experience the same level or type of use. If your lawn doesn’t see much activity or foot traffic, you will probably have more viable grass options than a property that experiences a significant amount of use.
This is because not all grasses respond well to foot traffic. Because some varieties are more durable and resilient, especially when subjected to foot traffic and other such challenges, you must account for the expected type and level of use when choosing a grass for your lawn. Choose correctly, and your lawn will look pristine—even if it gets used to the max.
Different Soils, Different Demands
The Tampa Bay area is home to an eclectic bunch of grasses, giving businesses and homeowners a seemingly wide array of options. However, not all grasses will thrive in all types of soil. Because Florida—and coastal areas, in particular—can have sandy, salty soil, opting for grass that can not only endure these conditions but thrive in them is essential.
It would be wonderful if you could plant any type of grass and see it flourish on your Tampa Bay property, but given the unusual conditions of our coastal paradise, it’s important to be a bit more selective!
Every variety of grass comes with not only a different responsiveness to foot traffic and preference in soil but also visual and textural characteristics. In other words, the type of grass you choose for your lawn will directly impact the curb appeal of your property.
Whether you want a flawless swath of emerald beauty or a sea of turquoise-tinged blades, selecting a grass that complements your landscaping and elevates your property toward the vision you have for it is one of the key aspects of the decision-making process.
The Best Grasses for Your Tampa Bay Lawn
With a handful of compelling grass facts fresh on the brain, it’s time to shift to what we consider to be the best options for your Tampa Bay lawn. While every property is different—even if it’s right next door—the following varieties of lawn grasses are worth considering, no matter what sets your landscape apart.
St. Augustine Grass
It’s impossible to make a list of the top lawn grasses in Florida without including St. Augustine grass. Not only does it share a name with the beautiful and historic city located on the Sunshine State’s east coast, but it is also a phenomenal grass that is perfectly suited for Tampa Bay’s climate.
Drought and salt are hardly challenges for this hardy grass, and it thrives in Florida’s signature humidity. It looks superb thanks to its fast-growing, dense nature, and is sure to catch the eye of passersby.
While St. Augustine grass does thrive in the Tampa Bay area, it is not a plant-and-forget grass variety. It requires frequent maintenance, succumbs to freezing temperatures, and is not suitable for significant foot traffic.
If St. Augustine grass borders on high maintenance, Bahia grass is on the opposite side of the spectrum. In fact, if you’re looking for a low-maintenance lawn grass, Bahia grass is hard to beat.
It is highly adaptable to a variety of soils, making it an easy option for most properties. Better still, it loves sandy areas, thrives without frequent fertilization, and rarely requires watering. It’s budget-friendly and durable, giving Tampa Bay landscapes a tremendous bang for their buck.
Unfortunately, Bahia grass does have one shortcoming—its appearance. If St. Augustine grass is the crown jewel of your property, Bahia grass might be the distant cousin that will never inherit the throne. It’s not very thick, leaving a bit to be desired in terms of aesthetics.
Still, Bahia grass has a high-value proposition and low demand for maintenance, making it a compelling option.
We know what you’re thinking; what if you could take the best traits of both St. Augustine and Bahia grass and put them into one ultimate lawn grass? Well, we have news for you—that grass exists, and it’s known as Bermuda grass.
Bermuda grass grows quickly, is known for its thick growth pattern, and looks unbelievable when cared for properly. Additionally, it is resistant to drought, salt, and heavy foot traffic. It sounds like an unbeatable option for your Tampa Bay lawn, right?
While it may have many of the traits that businesses and homeowners crave, Bermuda grass does have one noteworthy downside—it requires a lot of maintenance. From dethatching to regular fertilization to frequent mowing, the benefits of Bermuda grass require a substantial investment of resources and time.
Seashore Paspalum Grass
For Tampa Bay properties on the coast or with high salt levels for other reasons, Seashore Paspalum grass is a worthy contender for your lawn. It doesn’t just tolerate salty environments; it prefers them. This makes it an ideal candidate for lawns where other grasses simply can’t take the salt.
This grass still requires regular mowing and dethatching, but if salt is a concern, it is one of the best options available!
Elevate Your Lawn with Landcrafters
Choosing a grass for your Tampa Bay lawn is one of the most impactful landscaping decisions you can make. While it may seem straightforward, it can be anything but, making the help of a professional landscaper worth considering.
Landcrafters has been assisting businesses and homeowners in the Tampa Bay area perfect their properties for over 20 years. In that time, it’s fair to say we’ve learned a thing or two about lawn grasses. If you would like to discuss your landscape with us, feel free to contact us. Our team of experts is passionate about everything from grasses to flowering trees to property lighting, and they would love to help you reach the vision you have for your landscape.
Our blog is also a tremendous resource for those interested in expanding their landscaping knowledge and improving their property. It’s updated regularly and is available for free, so be sure to check it out.
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