You’ve decided it’s time to lay down some beautiful, luscious grass for your home or business. You may want grass that is a pleasure to walk on, lay on, have a picnic on, or simply look at. But there are usually way too many kinds of sod to choose from! Rest assured, we have you covered.

Tropical Gardens Landscape enjoys serving Sarasota and the surrounding areas. Our team has incredible knowledge about many different varieties of grass, so sod installation with us is easy and painless. Today we’re going to look at the three main families of grass that are common in Florida, and hopefully we’ll be able to narrow down your choice. Give us a call at (941) 993-2442, and we would be happy to answer any additional questions or offer guidance.

The three overarching varieties of grass we will be discussing today are Zoysia, St. Augustine, and Bahia. Today we will help you to discover some subtypes, learn about their care, and see their best applications so that you can make an informed choice on the best kind of grass for you. For all types of grass, we recommend at least 8 to 10 applications of fertilizer per year so your sod can retain its color and lushness year after year.

Empire Zoysia

The first kind of grass we’ll look at today is the Empire Zoysia. This fine bladed turf grows extremely thick, so it shades out weeds and withstands high traffic areas. In comparison to other varieties, Empire Zoysia has a low pest count, and requires less water. In cold temperatures, the turf will go dormant, and return to its full vigor once the ground temperatures rise.

We recommend using a reel or rotary mower for this type of grass to make the most of its luscious feel. Empire Zoysia will need about 1” of rainfall or irrigation per week to thrive at its best.

Geo Zoysia

With its deep root structure, this sod has a high tolerance to shade and wear. It grows slowly, so if there is damage to the turf, it will take time to fully regenerate. As with the Empire variety, Geo Zoysia does not require much pest control.

Once again, a reel mower is suggested to keep this grass vibrant as long as possible, and will require 1” of water per week to continue growing steadily.

If you want the best landscape design available and don’t mind higher maintenance requirements, a type of Zoysia may be right for you. Its soft feel and thick growing blades lend itself very well to beautiful gardens and landscapes.

Palmetto St. Augustine

St. Augustine is the most common overall variety of grass in Florida, and there are a large amount of different types that fall under this category. The Palmetto version has wider blades and offers a deep emerald green color. It is one of the most shade-tolerant varieties of St. Augustine. As with all the varieties of St. Augustine on today’s list, it only requires 1-2” of rainfall or irrigation each week.

Bitter Blue St. Augustine

Bitter Blue is another grass that is very tolerant to shade. Its dark green hue can appear almost blue in the right light, so it is a great option to spice up the ground of your landscaping project. Bitter Blue does not have a high resistance to bugs, so regular treatment for pests is recommended.

Floratam St. Augustine

As the most sun resistant variety of St. Augustine, Floratam has been the most popular sod to use in Florida for many years. Its deep green color works well for walkways and yards that do not have much shade.


Bahia is drought resistant, and it has very few pest issues. This turf is mostly used for industrial purposes, and is known as a pasture grade grass. Bahia needs very little water, so it is a great alternative if you do not have irrigation or watering options readily available. There are very few weed control options, and can be easily overtaken, especially when it is young.

No matter what your grass needs are, Tropical Gardens Landscape has the right variety, as well as the expertise to make your property stand out. Get in touch with our Sarasota team today to start your own landscaping project!