Lawns are such an important part of any property’s appeal, but not all lawns are created equal. There are dozens of varieties of grass available, each with its own unique qualities that make it different from the others.
St. Augustine grass is one of the most popular types of grass, and you might be wondering if this grass would be the best choice for your lawn!
You’ll want to consider the differences between St. Augustine grass and Crabgrass before deciding which type to plant in your yard!
Crab Grass VS St Augustine Grass
What is Crab Grass?
Crabgrass (Digitaria sanguinalis) is an annual grass that commonly invades lawns in the United States. Crabgrass begins to germinate in late spring and early summer when soil temperatures reach 55-60 degrees Fahrenheit.
The plant produces seeds throughout the summer, which can remain viable in the soil for up to two years. Crab grass dies back in the fall when temperatures cool, but the plant can leave behind a large amount of thatch (dead leaves and stems).
What is St. Augustine Grass?
If you live in the southern United States, you’ve probably seen this grass before. It’s a common choice for home lawns because it’s relatively easy to care for and can withstand moderate foot traffic. However, it does have some drawbacks.
For one, it goes dormant in the winter, meaning your lawn will turn brown until springtime. Additionally, it’s susceptible to disease and pests. If you have small children or pets who play on your lawn, you may want to consider another type of grass.
Cost and Maintenance
Crab grass is an annual grass, which means it only lives for one season. That also means it’s less expensive to seed your lawn with Crabgrass than with St. Augustine grass.
Once Crabgrass dies, it decomposes and returns nutrients to the soil, so you don’t have to fertilize as often. On the other hand, St. Augustine grass is a perennial grass, which means it lives for more than one season.
As a result, it’s more expensive to seed your lawn with St. Augustine grass than with Crabgrass. However, you won’t have to reseed your lawn as often because the grass will last longer.
How to Grow Crab Grass?
Crabgrass is an annual grass that reproduces by seed. The best time to plant crabgrass seed is in late spring or early summer, when the soil temperature reaches 70 degrees Fahrenheit.
To grow Crabgrass, simply rake the soil to loosen it, then spread the seeds and lightly cover them with soil. Water the area regularly until the seeds germinate and the Crab grass begins to grow.
Differences in Appearance
Crabgrass is a light green annual grass that germinates in late spring. It has a low, spreading growth habit and forms a dense mat. St. Augustine grass is a dark green, perennial grass that has a medium to coarse texture. It has a dense, upright growth habit and forms a thick turf.
The two varieties also differ in height and shade tolerance. St. Augustine grows to 6 inches tall, while Crabgrass grows to 3 inches tall at maturity.
Also, St. Augustine can grow in full sun, but Crab grass needs partial shade or dappled sunlight; if you’re looking for a lawn with a deep green color, both types have good options of grass seed varieties available.
Best Time of Year to Plant
Spring is the best time to plant both Crabgrass and St. Augustine grass. Crabgrass germinates when soil temperatures reach 55 degrees Fahrenheit, while St. Augustine grass germinates when soil temperatures reach 60 degrees Fahrenheit.
However, if you live in an area with a short growing season, it’s best to plant Crabgrass in early spring and St. Augustine grass in late spring.
How to Grow St Augustine Grass?
St Augustine grass is a warm-season turfgrass that grows best in temperatures between 80 and 95 degrees Fahrenheit. It can be started from seed, but it’s more commonly grown from plugs or sod. To plant St Augustine grass:
- Prepare your soil by removing any existing vegetation and amending it with compost or other organic matter.
- Mix the new topsoil into the old topsoil to achieve a uniform mixture of 10% new to 90% old.
- Use a spade or shovel to dig trenches about 6 inches deep and 18 inches apart, depending on how large an area you’re trying to cover.
- Fill each trench with amended topsoil and firm the soil down lightly.
- Cover the base of each trench with sand (1/2 inch deep) to help keep weeds at bay. You may need to frequently water these newly planted areas until they become established.
If you’d like a natural way to control weeds, mix equal parts cornmeal and water together until it becomes pasty, and then sprinkle this mixture over the surface of your lawn.
Tips on Maintaining Your Lawn
No matter what type of grass you have on your lawn, you should follow some basic tips to maintain a healthy, green lawn. Water your lawn deeply and less frequently to encourage deep root growth. Mow your grass regularly, but don’t scalp the grass – remove no more than one-third of the blade length.
And fertilize your lawn according to the grass you have – too much fertilizer can harm your lawn. Fertilizing also helps maintain a dark green color on your lawn. Be sure to choose the right fertilizer for your type of grass as well.
If you’re still unsure which type of grass you want in your yard, ask yourself this question: Do I want a cool season or warm season variety? Cool season varieties like fescue or rye will require cutting at least once per month during warmer months when growth is rapid.
Warm season varieties like Bermuda or zoysia may only need cutting once every two months during warmer months because they grow slower. But, be warned that these types of grasses will brown off quicker in colder temperatures.
So if you live in an area where winter temperatures reach freezing or below, you’ll need to make sure that your mower blades are sharp so that the blades cut close enough to prevent frost damage from occurring.
Crab Grass VS St Augustine Grass | Which One is Better in Your Area?
There are many factors to consider when deciding which type of grass to plant on your lawn. One important factor is climate. If you live in an area with a warm climate, then Crabgrass may be a better option for you.
Crabgrass is a warm-season grass that thrives in temperatures above 80 degrees Fahrenheit. On the other hand, if you live in a cooler climate, then St. Augustine grass may be a better option for you.
St. Augustine grass is a cool-season grass that does well in temperatures between 60 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Another factor to consider is soil type. Crabgrass grows best in sandy soils, while St. Augustine grass grows best in clay soils.
If you have a lawn, you probably know that different types of grasses can be used to create it. Two of the most popular options are Crabgrass and St. Augustine grass. So, which one should you choose? The answer depends on your individual needs.
Do you need to maintain a water-efficient landscape? In this case, St. Augustine grass may be the best option for you because it does not require as much water as other types of turfgrass, and it has some shade tolerance.
It will also offer more resistance to drought conditions in the future than other varieties of turfgrasses do.