Alabama state outlinePicture of a patch of sod in Alabama

Alabama Sod Guide

In this article we'll explore the optimal sod varieties for Alabama. We'll also delve into their associated costs and the ideal times for laying to ensure growth.

warm season

Overall, Alabama's climate plays a significant role in determining the types of grass that can grow successfully in the state. Understanding the climate and grass zone can help homeowners and landscapers choose the best grass for their lawns and gardens.


Alabama has a humid subtropical climate, which means it has hot summers and mild winters with high humidity throughout the year. This climate affects the types of grass that are best grown in the state.

Grasses that can tolerate high temperatures and humidity, as well as occasional droughts, are ideal for Alabama. The best time to lay grass in Alabama is during the spring and fall when temperatures are cooler and there is more rainfall.

This allows the grass to establish its roots before the hot summer months. Alabama is located in the warm-season grass zone, which means that warm-season grasses are the most suitable for the state.

These grasses thrive in the hot and humid conditions of the state and can withstand droughts. Warm-season grasses are typically planted in the spring or early summer and go dormant during the winter months.

Which grasses grow best in Alabama?

In the world of landscaping, not all grasses are created equal. Each thrives in a specific climate zone: cool, warm, or transition.

A geographical map highlighting Alabama located in the warm season region of the United States
Alabama is a warm season state and falls in the region higlighted above

Alabama, with its warm season climate, prefers a particular set of grasses that relish the higher temperatures. The following grasses are the easiest to grow and maintain in Alabama:

BermudaWarm-season grass, drought-tolerant, dense turf, ideal for lawns, golf courses, and sports fields. The price per square foot for Bermuda generally ranges from $0.35 to $0.65 per square foot.
ZoysiaWarm-season grass, slow-growing, dense turf, good for lawns, golf courses, and sports fields. The price per square foot for Zoysia generally ranges from $0.55 to $0.90 per square foot.
St. AugustineWarm-season grass, shade-tolerant, thick carpet-like turf, ideal for lawns in southern coastal regions. The price per square foot for St. Augustine generally ranges from $0.50 to $0.90 per square foot.
CentipedeLow-maintenance, warm-season grass, slow-growing, low fertility requirements, good for lawns in the southeastern US. The price per square foot for Centipede generally ranges from $0.50 to $0.95 per square foot.
Tall FescueCool-season grass, shade-tolerant, deep-rooted, ideal for lawns, pastures, and sports fields in cooler climates. The price per square foot for Tall Fescue generally ranges from $0.60 to $0.85 per square foot.

While it's possible to grow grasses meant for other regions with proper care, attention and timing, these are the most common grasses in Alabama for residential lawns.

What is the best time to lay sod in Alabama?

In a warm-season location, lay sod in late spring or early summer. This timing is ideal as the warmer temperatures and longer days will promote quick root establishment and growth. Avoid laying sod in the cooler months as the grass will likely enter dormancy, slowing down the root establishment process. So, for success, stick to late spring or early summer when it's 75 to 90 degrees out.

As you can see in the image below, you'll notice the most shoot growth (the grass above ground) and root growth during the summer for warm season grasses:

A graph showing the growth of warm season grasses throughout the year
Plant warm-season grasses in the late Spring, early Summer for best results

Best Grasses for Shade in Alabama

We're diving knee-deep into the world of shaded grasses, folks. They’re the secret superheroes of your lawn and we’re blowing their cover. In sweet home Alabama, not all heroes shine under the blazing, Southern sun. Some prefer the cool vibe of the shade. We're talking about the grass varieties that will give your shaded lawn that lush, velvety-green carpet feel. Let's get straight into it.

Say hello to St. Augustine grass. It's fine textured and has a high shade tolerance. This thick, carpet-like grass absolutely thrives in Alabama's soil. Just remember it needs 4-6 hours of sunlight each day. Don't make it live the life of a vampire. Give it some sun, love and water and you'll have a beautiful lawn that’s sure to be the envy of the neighborhood.

Next up, Centipede Grass. This low maintenance slow grower doesn't crave the spotlight. In fact, it will put your sun-loving sod to shame. It requires fewer cuttings, less fertilization but still delivers a medium-textured, fair quality turf. It plays hard to get by demanding 4 hours of daily sunlight. Keep it cool and you're golden, Alabama!

Don’t forget Zoysia grass. It's the tough guy on the block, putting up a good fight in both sun and shade. This grass is slow to establish but once it has, it’s your trusted companion. Zoysia requires about 6 hours of sunshine daily but still manages to perform well in shaded areas.

Finally, meet the Fescue family. These cool season grasses like Fine Fescue and Tall Fescue bring beauty to those challenging shaded spaces. But don’t be fooled by the ‘cool’ tag. A moderate 4-6 hours of sunlight is ample to help these grass types thrive.

Remember though, grass needs sunlight. Shade tolerant doesn't mean light-proof. Select the one that suits your garden, treat it well, and before you know it, you're sitting on your porch looking at the best sodding lawn this side of Alabama.

A picture of a shade tree over a lawn in Alabama
Shade tree over a lawn in Alabama

What grasses stay green year-round in Alabama?

As with anything agriculture related, there is some nuance to this question. There are many grasses that can stay green year round in but it depends heavily on your location within the state as well as any microclimates that may exist.

The following grasses have the ability to stay green year round in Alabama:

Grass TypeCaveats
BermudaIt typically goes dormant and turns brown after a few hard frosts in the fall and stays that way until temperatures consistently hit the 60s in the spring.
ZoysiaIt can stay green nearly year-round in milder climates without severe winter freezes or overly high summer temperatures.
St. AugustineIt can stay green almost year round, but will go dormant and turn brown during cool-season months in colder regions.
Tall FescueIt typically stays green throughout the year in milder climates, given that it isn't overly stressed by heat or drought in the summer.

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