Sod Comparison & Differences
Bahia vs. St. Augustine

Let's dive into a side-by-side comparison of these two grasses. We're looking at everything from cost and looks to how well they stand up to drought, shade, and foot traffic. Stick around to see which one comes out on top!

Close up photo of Bahia sod
Bahia
vs
Close up photo of St. Augustine sod
St. Augustine

Cost

Which grass is typically more expensive, Bahia or St. Augustine?

Between these two, St. Augustine is typically on the pricier side with an average cost per square foot of $0.70. On a per pallet basis, which is usually how sod is sold, this comes out to roughly $350.00 per pallet.

Bahia on the other hand, is a more moderately priced at $0.45 per square foot (on average). This comes out to around $225.00 per pallet.

BahiaBudget Friendly
from$0.30 / sq ft
to$0.60 / sq ft
St. Augustine
from$0.50 / sq ft
to$0.90 / sq ft

Editor's note: It's important to remember that both of these are averages based on data from around the country so cost can vary depending on your location. Keep in mind this doesn't include other fees like delivery or installation.

See our sod calculator to get a comprehensive sod estimate.

Shade Tolerance

Which grass grows better in the shade?

Bahia Grass is a sun-lover and typically needs about 6 to 8 hours of sunlight to perform well, with limited tolerance to shade.

Bahia
Shade Tolerance4 / 10
St. Augustine
Shade Tolerance8 / 10

On the other hand, St. Augustine grass tolerates shade relatively well and can thrive with around 4 to 6 hours of direct sunlight per day, making it a fitting choice for yards with partial shade.

Appearance

Which one looks better? You decide.

When choosing between sods like Bahia (pictured top) and St. Augustine (pictured bottom), personal preference plays a significant role, but understanding the nuances of each type's appearance can guide your decision. Here's what to consider:

Bahia close up imageSt. Augustine close up image

Bahia Grass stands out with its airy, light green blades, providing a durable and somewhat rougher lawn that can handle the hustle without needing much pampering.

St. Augustine grass boasts a lush, deep green hue with broad, coarse blades that create a dense, cushiony turf, ideal for a warm, inviting lawn that's as pleasing to the touch as it is to the eye.

Drought Tolerance

Which one needs more water?

Bahia Grass boasts excellent drought tolerance, with deep roots that help it stay resilient and green even in prolonged dry periods.

Bahia
Drought Tolerance9 / 10
St. Augustine
Drought Tolerance6 / 10

On the other hand, St. Augustine grass has moderate drought tolerance; it may need some extra care and water to stay green during extended dry spells.

Takeaway: If you're located in a somewhat dry and arid geographic region and are looking for a grass that can handle drought-like conditions, Bahia is the better option between Bahia and St. Augustine.

Grow Zones

Cold or warm weather - which do they prefer?

Bahia is well-suited for growth in warmer climates. The ideal temperature range for laying Bahia sod is between 70°F and 90°F.

Bahia
warm zones
St. Augustine
warm zones

St. Augustine is well-suited for growth in warmer climates. When it comes to laying sod, the ideal range for St. Augustine is between 75°F and 90°F. If you choose to lay outside of the ideal range, you can still have success, but it may take a longer time to esablish and require a bit more maintenance.

As you may have noticed, both Bahia and St. Augustine thrive under pretty similar climatic conditions!

Traffic Tolerance

Which sod handles heavy foot traffic better?

Bahia Grass is tough and can handle a fair amount of foot traffic with its deep roots, making it not the worst choice but also not the best choice for backyards and play areas.

Bahia
Traffic Tolerance6 / 10
St. Augustine
Traffic Tolerance5 / 10

Similarly, St. Augustine grass is moderately tolerant to foot traffic, holding up to some back yard play and activity with a recovery that keeps your lawn looking full and lively.

Takeaway: If you're looking for a grass that can handle heavy foot traffic, Bahia is the better option between Bahia and St. Augustine.

Establishment Rate

Which grass grows faster?

Bahia grass, valued for its adaptability and low maintenance, establishes at a moderate rate and offers a durable lawn option especially in sandy and infertile soils.

Bahia
Establishment Rate5 / 10
St. Augustine
Establishment Rate7 / 10

St. Augustine grass, with its robust spreading habit and preference for warm climates, typically establishes quite readily, making it a popular choice for lush, green lawns in milder regions.

Net, net - if you're looking for a grass that establishes quickly, St. Augustine is the way to go.

Pest & Disease Resistance

Which handles pests better?

Bahia Grass boasts robust resistance to many common lawn pests and diseases, making it a hardy choice for less-than-ideal soil conditions.

Bahia
Resistance8 / 10
St. Augustine
Resistance5 / 10

St. Augustine grass can struggle with pests like chinch bugs and diseases such as gray leaf spot, especially in humid, coastal regions, requiring proactive management.

TLDR - if you're looking for a grass that wards off pests and disease, Bahia edges out the competition.

Let's Pick a Winner

Which sod is better, Bahia or St. Augustine?

Alright it's time to count the scores up.

Most blogs or articles are going to give you a wishy washy "it's up to you" speil. That is definitely true. You'll need to choose based on your geographic conditions and what you like most looks-wise.

That being said, if we just compare the scores based on the following measures. Higher is better in this case.

  • Average Cost: 8 for Bahia, 4 for St. Augustine
  • Shade Tolerance: 4 for Bahia, 8 for St. Augustine
  • Drought Tolerance: 9 for Bahia, 6 for St. Augustine
  • Traffic Tolerance: 6 for Bahia, 5 for St. Augustine
  • Establishment Rate: 5 for Bahia, 7 for St. Augustine
  • Pest & Disease Resistance: 8 for Bahia, 5 for St. Augustine

Drumroll please...

All in all, Bahia comes out on top with a score of 40/60 versus 35/60 for St. Augustine.

Thanks for reading! If you have any feedback or corrections for us, please email our editor at editor@sodcalculator.com.