Warm season lawns thrive in Hampton Roads’ hot, sultry summers. The warm season grasses tend to grow hardiest and look their best when temperatures exceed 80 degrees F; making them ideal for the summer. During the winter months, warm season grasses will usually turn brown and go dormant. One of the best features of warm season lawns is their drought tolerance. They have the ability to survive on little water during peak growing times.
Before deciding on the ideal warm season lawn, you should familiarize yourself with the characteristics of the different grasses. Depending on your situation, they each have traits that will determine your best choice. You might have more shade or no shade; or want low maintenance or love to work in the yard. You might even want a lighter green or darker green. No matter your preference, there's a warm season grass to fit your fancy.
St. Augustine is a fast growing grass with a green to blue-ish color. It flourishes in sunny and humid conditions but can perform in the shade. It is used extensively in areas of high salt content (beaches). It spreads quickly and forms a dense turf and once established will act as a natural weed barrier.
Zoysia offers good drought and heat tolerances, along with insect and disease resistance. It wears really well in high traffic areas. The fine, wiry leaf blades will act as natural weed barrier once established. It doesn't grow quickly, so that means a lot less time mowing the grass.
Bermuda is good warm season grass that likes heat and is extremely drought resistant. It has fine leaves and grows with little maintenance and is a good lawn grass with normal care. It is a medium green, a vigorous grower, and provides a dense turf.
Centipede is a good low maintenance lawn grass for homeowners who want a general purpose lawn they can forget about. It has very low growth, therefore requiring less mowing than most other grasses. Once established it will act as a natural weed barrier as it crowds out weeds. It is the lightest green of the warm season grasses with a medium texture.