Pros and Cons of Different Sod Varieties

  • Bermuda vs. Zorro Zoysia. Bermuda lacks drought tolerance and winter hardiness
  • Golf Course Sodding
    Empire Zoysia
  • Raleigh Saint Augustine
    Raleigh Saint Augustine
  • Zorro Zoysia
    Zorro Zoysia
  • Empire Zoysia
    Empire Zoysia
  • Centipede Lawn
    Certified Tifblair Centipede Lawn

Bermuda (Tifway 419):
Pros: Best Feature – Recuperates quickly from damage
Dark Green, can achieve that “fine, manicured” appearance

Cons: High maintenance required with mowing every 4 days to avoid scalping into the crown area. Will creep into flower beds, curbs and sidewalks
Does not tolerate shade

Bermuda (Tifsport):
Pros: Same “Pros” and “Cons” as Tifway 419. 
However, this variety is more dense, has stronger leaf blades,
Greens up earlier and is more winter hardy

Cons: High maintenance required with mowing every 4 days to avoid scalping into the crown area. Will creep into flower beds, curbs and sidewalks
Does not tolerate shade

Bermuda (Celebration):
Pros: Celebration is a hybrid cultivar of Bermudagrass that has an exceptional wide range of applications. It has been rated #1 by NC State for wear and overall turf quality.
This Bermudagrass has a bluish green color, a soft texture, a dense turf that competes against weeds, good drought tolerance, and is the one Bermuda that has been shown to be more tolerant to shade vs other Cultivars.

Cons: High maintenance as are all Bermudagrases requiring more frequent mowing, weed eating garden edges and driveways etc.

Centipede (Certified Tifblair):
Pros: Best Feature – Easiest to maintain
Requires little fertilization
Mow every 7 – 10 days – is very forgiving is a mowing is missed
Fairly drought tolerant – recuperates quickly after a period of no water

Cons: Apple-Green color -not dark green
Recuperates from damage slowly
Damages readily from Ground Pearls, Mole Crickets
Susceptible to Brown Patch
Not very traffic tolerant

St. Augustine (Raleigh):
Pros: Best Feature – The most shade tolerant of all turf grasses
Dark Green and Drought Tolerant
Salt Tolerance is the high
Recuperates quickly from stresses and damage
“Stays above the problem” with thick, heavy surface stolens
Moderate fertilization – mow every 7 days
A good “plugging” grass

Cons: Susceptible to Chinch Bugs and Brown Patch
Wide grass blade
Large seed heads

Zoysias (Empire, & Zorro):
Pros: Best Feature – Overall the best turf grasses available
Dark Green and slow to damage
Most traffic tolerant of all
Most winter hardy with deep rhizomes
Most salt tolerant of all
Not as susceptible to diseases relative to the other turf grasses
Can achieve that fine, manicured look especially with Zorro
Does not spread laterally like the other turf grasses
Leaf blade width for Empire: moderate
Leaf blade width for Zorro – narrow or thin
2nd to Raleigh St. Augustine for shade tolerance
Recuperates fairly well and much better than other Zoysias

Cons: With both Empire and Zorro mow every 7 days; Empire is more forgiving as it is a softer grass.
Rotary mowers are fine with these two Zoysias, but a reel-type mower used on Zorro would be helpful if one wants to achieve that manicured, golf course look.