Each of the four turf species we recommend for North Texas carries several varieties. In this section we will review turf variety characteristics, care needs and resilience to a range of conditions.
Bermudagrass is one of the most commonly planted warm season turfgrasses in North Texas landscapes. It is a very durable, medium to fine-textured grass with extreme drought tolerance. Bermuda is typically quick to establish spreading by both horizontal above ground shoots called stolons as well as underground rhizomes. It requires full sunlight and generally handles high foot traffic when healthy. There are many varieties available in sod, plugs or seed. The named varieties tend to have a finer leaf blade and form a more dense turf than common bermudagrass types.
|Fertilization||Up to 2 to 4 lbs. Nitrogen per 1,000 ft2/ year|
|Strengths||High or excellent drought tolerance, High or excellent heat tolerance, Deep rooting potential, High tolerance to foot traffic, Easy to establish in North Texas, Low disease potential|
|Weaknesses||Low shade tolerance, Frequent mowing requirements, Possible moderate to high fertilizer requirements|
Variation in color and texture, More seed heads than improved varieties, Economical for lower maintenance areas. Many varieties are available in both seed and sod
Deep green, Medium fine- texture, High traffic tolerance, Resilient in cooler weather
Dark blue-green, Fine-texture, Drought and heat tolerant, Can tolerate part-sun conditions, Excellent wear resistance and recovery
Dark green, Medium fine-texture, Drought and heat tolerant, Nematode resistant, Resilient in cooler weather, Higher maintenance, Best mowed with reel mower
Dark green color, Medium- texture, More wear resistant than common Bermuda, Drought and heat tolerant
Dark blue-green, Medium- texture, Excellent drought and heat tolerance, Reduced mowing requirements
Dark green, Fine-texture, Very tolerant to foot traffic, Excellent injury recovery, Higher fertilizer requirements, Higher maintenance, Best mowed with reel mower
Buffalograss is a native warm season turfgrass adaptable for North Texas landscapes. It is a fine-texture, curly-leafed grass with extremely deep-rooting potential and the ability to spread readily by runners. It is recommended only for low maintenance, low use (traffic) areas and not only requires, but prefers minimum maintenance practices. Excessive watering, fertilization or use of herbicides can be detrimental. Buffalograss is not adapted to areas receiving heavy traffic or to shady areas. It is available in sod, plugs or seed and is sometimes included in native turf seed mixes with curly mesquite and blue grama.
|Fertilization||Up to 0 to 2lbs Nitrogen per 1,000 ft2/ year|
|Strengths||High or excellent drought tolerance (ability to go dormant in drought conditions) High or excellent heat tolerance, Deep rooting potential, Low disease potential, Low mowing requirement, Easy to establish in North Texas, Lower fertilizer requirements|
|Weaknesses||Low or poor shade tolerance, Susceptible to weed pressure, Low or poor traffic tolerance, Other turfgrass species can and may encroach|
Dark blue-green color, Fine- texture, Very dense growth habit with slower vertical growth rate, Drought and heat tolerant, Reaches a mature height of 4”-6”
Blue-green color, Fine-texture, Very dense growth habit, Drought and heat tolerant, Resistant to humid conditions, Reaches a mature height of 3”-5”
Lighter green, Fine-texture, Slow vertical growth rate but spreads and forms thick uniform turf, Drought and heat tolerant, Reaches a mature height of 4”-6”
Bright green color, Soft fine- texture, Tolerates humid climates, Drought and heat tolerant, Mature height of 4”-6”, Resistant to weed encroachment
St. Augustinegrass is the most commonly planted warm season turfgrass in North Texas landscapes. It is a coarse-texture grass with deep-rooting potential and spreads readily by stolons. It tends to be the most shade tolerant of the warm season turfgrasses adaptable to North Texas, however like the other warm season grasses, it does not thrive in dense shade. Although it is less drought tolerant than some of the other warm season grasses on this list, with proper management, it can be grown in North Texas with minimal supplemental irrigation. A number of varieties are adapted to North Texas and are most often sold as sod.
|Fertilization||Up to 2 to 4 lbs Nitrogen per 1,000 ft2/ year|
|Strengths||Good drought tolerance (with proper irrigation management) Good shade tolerance (down to 5 hours), Deep rooting potential, Relatively easy to establish in North Texas|
|Weaknesses||Increased disease potential (under wet conditions), Moderate traffic tolerance, Potential for chinch bug pests|
St. Augustinegrass Varieties
Medium green color, Shade tolerance, Moderately susceptible to chinch bugs and gray leafspot
Green with medium-texture, Moderate shade tolerance, Moderate disease resistance
Dark green color with medium- texture, Excellent shade tolerance, reduced mowing frequency
Dark green color, Fine-texture, Very good shade tolerance, Susceptible to chinch bugs and gray leaf spot
Dark green color, Medium-texture, Very good shade tolerance, Resistant to St. Augustine decline
Medium green color, Coarse- texture, Excellent heat and drought tolerance, good shade tolerance, Low susceptibility to chinch bug and gray leaf spot.
Zoysiagrass is one of the most versatile warm season turfgrasses in North Texas landscapes with both coarse and fine textures varieties available. The coarse-texture varieties tend to perform better at higher mowing heights and require less maintenance, while the finer-bladed varieties can be mowed at a lower setting, but require more upkeep. Crosses between the two varieties are also available, varying in appearance and management practices. Improved varieties are available in sod and plugs, but are best established from sod.
|Fertilization||Up to 1 to 3lbs Nitrogen per 1,000 ft2/ year|
|Strengths||Good shade tolerance, High or excellent drought tolerance, High or excellent heat tolerance, Deep rooting potential, Foot traffic tolerance, Easy to establish in North Texas, Lower fertilizer requirements|
|Weaknesses||Slower recovery and shallower root systems in finer-textured varieties, Mower blades require more frequent sharpening for optimum performance|
Zoysiagrass Varieties - Course Texture
Dark green, Coarse-texture, Excellent drought tolerance, Excellent shade tolerance
Dark-green color, Medium-texture, Excellent shade and drought tolerance, susceptible to large patch.
Dark green color, Coarse-texture, Moderate to good shade tolerance, Good drought tolerance
Dark green color, Medium-coarse-texture, Excellent drought and heat tolerance, Excellent shade tolerance
Zoysiagrass Varieties - Fine Texture
Sport turf typically requires more maintenance
Dark green color, Fine-texture, Excellent shade tolerance, Moderate to low water use, Best if mowed with a reel mower
Dark emerald green color, Fine-texture, Excellent shade tolerance, Best if mowed with a reel mower
Dark green color, Very fine-texture, Good shade tolerance, Best if mowed with a reel mower
Dark green color, Fine-texture, Good to excellent shade tolerance, Drought and heat tolerant, Best if mowed with a reel mower
Dark green color, Fine-texture, Moderate to low water requirements, Moderate drought tolerance, Best if mowed with a reel mower
Deep green color, Fine-texture, Medium shade tolerance, Disease and pest resistance, Best if mowed with a reel mower
Fine-texture, Drought tolerant, Shade tolerance, Rapid recovery, Disease and pest resistant, Best if mowed with a reel mower