Tampa is often characterized by a humid subtropical climate for most parts of the year. It borders the tropical monsoon climate. The two primary seasons in the Tampa Bay area can be a hot and wet season, from May to October, and the little bit of dry season that follows into November through April.
With this information in mind, you can know the kind of weather to expect. Rain is a luxury, and that should help you search for the best grass for your lawn. If you have been here a while and are still struggling to identify what sod to go for, then this read is certainly meant for you.
This article will give solid and proven facts on some of the best grasses that would not just do well but are great in Tampa.
Before diving right into it, let us first look at the major factors to consider while shopping for new sod, especially in Tampa Bay. In a nutshell, here are some of the things you should keep in mind the next time you are looking:
Factors to Consider When Choosing Sod
The Age of the Sod
The longer the sod has been out in the market, the closer it is to the end of its lifespan. At times sellers may sell you old grass heading for the end, but with the hope that it will eventually regain its ‘youth’ with the proper TLC (Tender Love and Care). However, the fact remains that you cannot revive dying sod; thus, you might have to look elsewhere.
The amount of care needed
If you are going to buy grass, it is best to keep in mind the work that goes into it. Some types need more attention than others; therefore, the type of grass you land on may also rely on that. Otherwise, without the commitment, it would all be for nothing.
The type of soil in your Yard
Sod, like any other plant, thrives in the presence of certain minerals than others. Knowing which nutrients the grass needs most and what your Yard has to offer is crucial in determining how well the sod will adjust after installation and the type of fertilizers you may need to supplement any deficiencies and generally the health of the final product.
With all these factors considered, here are some of our top picks in the list of best grasses to grow in Tampa:
Best Grass/Sod Types for the Tampa FL Area
Best Grass and Sod Types for Tampa Florida: Bermuda grass
If you so desire the deep green color of grass, Bermuda is the way to go. It is naturally a warm-season variant and mostly preferred for massive open fields like Athletic or golf courses or even commercial landscaping. It is ideal for its ability to withstand wear and tear and its high-level ability to withstand drought conditions. This makes it right for the Tampa environment.
However, there is a catch. The Bermuda grass is the demanding type. Most often than not, It has a lot of commitment and high maintenance, as is the case for residential lawns. Thus regular fertilizing and chemical treatment is almost mandatory. Additionally, this grass has a relatively low tolerance for cooler weather and shade.
Bermuda grass can be planted through sodding, seeding, springing, and plugging. Sodding may be the best way to go if you want the instant turf surface, but sprigging is also a popular planting method for Bermuda grass growers.
Best Grass and Sod Types for Tampa Florida: Centipede grass
The centipede grass is a very condition-specific variety; thus, the aspect of care for conditions like pH levels and soil fertility must be consistent. The centipede grass has its survival tactics, making it great for Tampa’s dry climate. During drought, it goes dormant and turns brown, making it back just in time when it gets a bit wetter.
The best time for planting would be from April to July, right before the winter months. This timing is ideal for giving the grass a chance to live through an entire season before it gets cold. Naturally, the grass may not have the rich green color with its Bermuda counterpart; thus, it is easy to be tempted to over-fertilize, hoping to boost its color. However, this does more harm than good. Additionally, Centipede grass is highly susceptible to fungal diseases, nematodes, and insects that may pose a challenge.
St. Augustine grass
Last but certainly not least is the St. Augustine grass. This grass is relatively low maintenance and may only need a little water boost through irrigation when it gets too dry. This grass can be categorized into standard or dwarf depending on the mowing height. The dwarfs have mowed well below the 2 5 inches height, whereas the standard height could go a little higher to about 3.4 -4 inches.
The best part about the St. Augustine grass is that it can be planted all year round and is easy to install through sodding, sprigging, or plugging. Out of these three, sodding is the quickest way to get it done, whereas sprigging is the cheapest option. The result is a beautiful finish that is aesthetically attractive. However, not quite a good choice for the backyard as this grass does not entertain regular traffic.
Best Grass and Sod Types for Tampa Florida: Conclusion
It is not difficult to pick from these three, depending on what you are looking for. It is crucial to also do soil tests before planting to prepare your lawn for the new sod’s demands.
Related article: St Augustine grass vs. Centipede grass