4 Best Grass Types in Hialeah, Florida

Hialeah, Florida, is known of course for the historic Hialeah Park racing and casino, and for its endless summer weather. Homeowners choosing a grass type for their lawn will want to opt for a warm-season turf. 

Other factors to consider when selecting a grass type that best fits your family’s routines and thrives in Hialeah’s climate: 

Lawn use: Will you need a turf that can withstand the foot traffic of outdoor BBQs and volleyball games, or will it be for curb appeal only? Some grass types have higher foot traffic tolerances than others. 

Lawn care: How much time and energy you can spend maintaining your yard? Turfs vary in maintenance, drought, and fertilizing needs. 

So, which type of grass is best for your Hialeah lawn?

The University of Florida recommends four grass types for the best-looking and easiest lawn to maintain in South Florida. Keep in mind, each of these turfs requires a different level of care.

1. Bermudagrass

This grass grows best in full sun and will thrive in Hialeah’s warm climate. Despite its low tolerance for cool temperatures, it does well against drought conditions. Bermudagrass creates a densely compacted ground cover and has a high salt tolerance. 

Classification: Warm-season grass.

Spreads by: Bermudagrass spreads rapidly through stolons (above-ground stems) and rhizomes (underground stems) and will invade any nearby flowerbeds.

Shade tolerance: Poor. Thrives in full sun.

Drought tolerance: High. Will persist during drought conditions.

Foot traffic tolerance: High foot and vehicle tolerance. 

Maintenance needs: Because of its rapid growth, this grass builds up thatch that will need to be removed. This turf can stand up to drought conditions, but not to diseases and pests. You will need to spend some time maintaining Bermudagrass. 

Recommended mowing height: Bermudagrass should be cut to a height of 1 to 2-inches and requires mowing one to two times per week.  

2. Zoysiagrass

Zoysiagrass has a high salt tolerance and can be used in a variety of soil types. It varies in texture and works great in residential and commercial landscapes as well as athletic fields. This grass also has a higher tolerance for cooler temperatures than most warm-season grasses. 

Classification: Warm-season grass.

Spreads by: Stolons and rhizomes.

Shade tolerance: High.

Drought tolerance: Will go dormant within a week of typical drought conditions. Will require more irrigation than most warm-season grasses.

Foot traffic tolerance:  High foot traffic tolerance.

Maintenance needs: Zoysia requires fertilizer to thrive and responds best to small amounts of fertilizer at frequent intervals rather than a heavy application once a year. This turf does need frequent watering in drought conditions. 

Zoysia will begin to develop heavy thatch buildup and will need core aeration every one or two years. Due to its thick growth pattern, the grass can defend itself against invading weeds, but it is vulnerable to harmful insects that feed on its roots. 

Zoysia also is susceptible to large patch disease. The disease becomes active when soil temperatures are between 65°F and 75°F.

Recommended mowing height: Mow Zoysia grass once a week or when the height has reached 3 to 4 inches. The grass should be mowed to an optimal height of 2 to 2.5 inches.

3. Bahiagrass

Bahiagrass is a great option for sandy soils, pastures, large lawns, or areas receiving little water. If you’re looking for a low-maintenance grass, Bahiagrass thrives in Florida’s warm climate.

Bahiagrass does well with limited water and fertilizer, and it forms low levels of thatch. It also resists pests and diseases, and it is less likely to invade your flowerbed. 

Classification: Warm-season grass.

Spreads by: Stolons and rhizomes. Its deep roots make it easy for it to spread underground as well as above. 

Shade tolerance: Prefers full sun but can endure limited shade.

Drought tolerance: This grass can handle long periods without water. In long-term drought conditions, the grass will eventually go dormant and turn brown. 

Foot traffic tolerance: High tolerance to foot traffic, so it’s great for kids and pets.

Maintenance needs: Low. Although this turf is not vulnerable to pests, it is susceptible to mole cricket. These insects will burrow through the soil causing root damage that leads to rapid wilting.

Recommended mowing height: Needs mowing every 7 to 14 days to a height of 3 to 4 inches during late spring and summer.  

4. St. Augustine grass 

St. Augustine grass, which originated from the coastal regions of the Gulf of Mexico and the Mediterranean Sea, is a popular lawn choice for many Florida homeowners.

St. Augustine grass has a good tolerance for salt and shade, but it does need a lot of water to remain healthy and will need extra irrigation during periods of drought. With its coarse, wide leaves and stems, the grass does not grow quite as dense as some other types.

Classification: Warm-season grass.

Spreads by: Stolons. This grass spreads aggressively and can invade your flowerbeds. 

Shade tolerance: Good. 

Drought tolerance: Low to Moderate. Needs additional irrigation during times of drought.

Foot traffic tolerance: Low foot traffic tolerance.

Maintenance needs: St. Augustine grass produces thatch when over-fertilized or over-watered. The grass is vulnerable to weeds and disease. A major insect threat is the southern chinch bug. The pest causes wilting and brownish patches to appear in the grass. Diseases to watch out for: Large patch and gray leaf spot. 

Recommended mowing height: Mow St. Augustine grass to a height of 3.5 to 4-inches. Mowing the grass at lower heights will stress the lawn and limit any deep root development.

So, what’s the best grass type for your Hialeah lawn? That’s really up to you — how you plan to use your lawn and how much time you plan to spend caring for it. 

The reborn Hialeah Park still bills itself as “the world’s most beautiful horse race course,” but maintaining that beauty takes a lot of effort on the part of its ground crews. Chances are you’d rather spend your time relaxing in your backyard more than keeping it manicured.

Need help caring for your lawn? Find advice and tips in our Seasonal Guide to Lawn Care and Maintenance.

Main Photo Credit: Hialeah Park Race Track / Phillip Pessar / CC.20

About Wikilawn

Wikilawn’s mission is to provide the best resources and information to help you enjoy your outdoor spaces the way you want. Whether you are a DIY, lawn-loving, gardening guru, or someone who wants help in picking a local lawn care professional, we can smooth your path to a beautiful backyard!

About Wikilawn

Wikilawn’s mission is to provide the best resources and information to help you enjoy your outdoor spaces the way you want. Whether you are a DIY, lawn-loving, gardening guru, or someone who wants help in picking a local lawn care professional, we can smooth your path to a beautiful backyard!