Department of Soil&Crop Sciences

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Grass Selection

Selecting the right grass for your home is foundational. The choices for most Texas homeowners are limited to St Augustine, Bermuda, Buffalo, Centipede, Tall Fescue, and Zoysiagrasses. Each species has both positive and negative traits. For example, Bermudagrass can provide a beautiful, dense, fine textured lawn with proper care, but it has very low shade tolerance, so it is a poor choice for landscapes with shady areas. Each turfgrass species also has many varieties to choose from. In a recent national turfgrass tall fescue variety evaluation trial, there were more than 125 different varieties entered. For most warm season grasses there are typically less than 10 varieties available to homeowners.

The following tables will help select a grass species that would be best suited for your particular landscape, desired level of care, and location in Texas.


Tif 419 LawnsSt. Augustinegrass Lawns
Zoysiagrass LawnsTall Fescue Lawn
Grass SpeciesShade ToleranceWater RequirementTraffic Tolerance
St. AugustineHighMediumLow
Bermuda Very low Med.-Low High
Buffalo Medium Very Low Medium
Centipede Medium Medium Low
Tall Fescue High Medium Medium
Zoysia japonica* Med.-High Medium High
Zoysia matrella* Med.-High Medium Medium
Grass SpeciesCold ToleranceSalinity ToleranceDisease Potential
St. AugustineLowMedium High
Bermuda Medium Med.-High Med.-Low
Buffalo High Low Low
Centipede Low-Med. Low Med.-Low
Tall Fescue High Low Low
Zoysia japonica* High Med.-High Med.-Low
Zoysia matrella* Medium Medium Med.-Low
Grass SpeciesMowing FrequencyMowing HeightFertility Requirement Leaf Texture
St. Augustine5-7 days2.5-3.5"Medium Coarse
Bermuda 3-7 days 1.0-1.5" High Fine
Buffalo 7-14 days 2.5-3.0" Low Fine
Centipede 7-14 days 1.5-2.5" Low Coarse
Tall Fescue 5-7 days 2.5-3.0" Medium Coarse
Zoysia japonica* 7-10 days 1.0-1.5" Med.-Low Medium
Zoysia matrella* 5-7 days 0.5-1.0" Medium Fine
* There are two species of zoysiagrass available to home owners, Zoysia japonica (a medium leaf grass well adapted for home lawns) and Zoysia matrella (a fine leaf grass that produces a very dense, beautiful turf, but may require more maintenance).