Sod vs. Grass vs. Mulch – Which Should You Choose?

Growing sod or grass in Florida can be challenging due to the excessive sun and heat, often less than ideal soil conditions and the large and varied insect population.  

First let’s talk about sod. If you want an instant lawn that is a great combatant against weeds, sod is an excellent choice. Sod can also be planted just about any time of year except during extreme heat. However, sod is more expensive than planting grass; most sod is grown in the sun, so finding sod that accommodates a shady property could be challenging; and the choices of sod grasses are a bit limiting.

When growing grass, you have some great, sturdy options. St. Augustine is one of the most commonly used grasses in Florida because it has adapted to warm, humid conditions and can grow in many types of soils. There are various types of St. Augustine grasses, including Floratam, which grows well in warm weather and requires full sun; Palmetto is also used for aggressive growth, but can be prone to disease in the summer months; Del-Mar is more for shade tolerance, but susceptible to cinch bugs, webworms and brown patch disease; Seville plugs spread quickly, grow well in full sun and have a fair shade tolerance, but can also fall prey to damage from cinch bugs and webworms; Bahia, which requires full sun, is drought tolerant and hardy even in infertile soil. However, it can turn yellow from lack of iron and does not tolerate excessive foot traffic.

If you decide that grass or sod may be too much trouble in certain areas of your yard, you might want to consider mulch. With mulch, you don’t have to worry so much about infestation and disease. Mulch also conserves soil moisture, suppresses weeds, improves the nutrition content of soil, protects roots from changes in temperature, creates barriers around trees, plants and gardens, and offers aesthetic appeal.

There are several types of mulch: organic, made from bark, clippings and trimmings that decompose over time; barks, which come in nuggets or shredded, break down slowly and are less likely to blow away; and synthetics, that are made from recycled rubber or plastic and can contain herbicide to further protect against weeds.

If you have questions, visit the landscaping professionals at Edgewater Yard Shop. Edgewater Yard Shop has been East Central Florida’s trusted landscaping supply source for over 20 years.

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