Miami homeowners have special challenges when it comes to the care and maintenance of their lawns. First, Miami is close to the sea and gets salt-filled sea breezes that most grasses dislike. Second, there’s the blasting heat of the sun in the summer. The third thing to consider with lawn maintenance in Miami is the soil, which tends to be sandy, clayey, or marly. How do homeowners keep their lawn healthy and lush despite heat, sea breezes, and difficult soil? It all comes down to the type of grass to choose for your lawn.
Grasses that thrive in the hot and humid south Florida climate are warm season grasses such as St. Augustine grass, centipede grass, zoysiagrass, and seashore paspalum. Here are some details:
St. Augustine Grass
St. Augustine grass is Florida’s most popular lawn grass. It can thrive in most kinds of soil and have moderate tolerance for salt and shade. It’s easy to establish, but can only be propagated through sprigs, plugs, or mats of sod. Frequent watering is needed for the first week or 10 days after the grass is first planted. Watering can then taper off until the grass is established. This should take about a month. After that, water the grass as needed.
This grass is slow growing and does not need to be fertilized as often as other grasses grown in Miami. Indeed, over-fertilizing weakens the plant and makes it less tolerant of cold snaps. It is an excellent choice for acidic and poor soils. During times of drought, it goes dormant and turns brown, and a homeowner needs to know if that’s acceptable before planting this grass. Centipede grass can be grown from seed, plugs, or sod.
This tough grass can be grown not only in Miami but in much of the United States. It is salt and shade tolerant, bears up well under traffic, and can thrive in different types of soil. The turf is dense enough to keep down weeds. It’s mowing height is generally less than other warm season grasses, and it does best when treated with a rotary mower. Zoysia can tolerate more types of herbicides than some other grasses. Like centipede grass, zoysia goes dormant and brown if it lacks water.
As its name suggests, seashore paspalum is highly salt tolerant. It can also tolerate heat, some shade, and some traffic. This grass needs moderate watering and fertilizer and can be a bit difficult to mow. Still, it needs to be mowed with care because it recovers slowly if it’s damaged.
These are a few of the grasses that can determine how much maintenance your Miami home will require to have a healthy and thriving lawn.
Choosing a Lawngrass, solutionsforyourlife.ufl.edu
How to Choose the Best Type of Grass for Your Lawn, bhg.com
Warm-Season Grasses for Warm-Season Climates, learn2grow.com