Sod Comparison & Differences
Buffalo 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 Buffalo sod
Buffalo
vs
Close up photo of St. Augustine sod
St. Augustine

Cost

Which grass is typically more expensive, Buffalo 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.

Buffalo on the other hand, is a more moderately priced at $0.68 per square foot (on average). This comes out to around $337.50 per pallet.

BuffaloBudget Friendly
from$0.55 / sq ft
to$0.80 / 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?

Buffalo Grass, adapted to open plains, prefers full sun and requires at least 6 to 8 hours daily, underperforming in shady spaces.

Buffalo
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 Buffalo (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:

Buffalo close up imageSt. Augustine close up image

Buffalo Grass rolls out a soft, blue-green carpet with thin blades, giving you a lawn that feels soft to walk on and adds a touch of the prairie to your backyard.

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?

Buffalo Grass is naturally adapted to arid conditions, requiring minimal watering to maintain its health and appearance.

Buffalo
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, Buffalo is the better option between Buffalo and St. Augustine.

Grow Zones

Cold or warm weather - which do they prefer?

Buffalo is well-suited for growth in warmer climates. The ideal temperature range for laying Buffalo sod is between 70°F and 85°F.

Buffalo
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 Buffalo and St. Augustine thrive under pretty similar climatic conditions!

Traffic Tolerance

Which sod handles heavy foot traffic better?

Buffalo Grass has low to moderate traffic tolerance and is best for less-trodden areas, but it can endure gentle play and relaxation time.

Buffalo
Traffic Tolerance4 / 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, St. Augustine is the better option between Buffalo and St. Augustine.

Establishment Rate

Which grass grows faster?

Buffalograss, a true prairie grass, is slow to establish but eventually forms a low-maintenance turf that's ideal for the Great Plains and similar regions.

Buffalo
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?

Buffalo Grass generally resists pests well, though it can attract mealybugs and mites; it's also notably resistant to many diseases, thriving in varied environments.

Buffalo
Resistance6 / 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, Buffalo edges out the competition.

Let's Pick a Winner

Which sod is better, Buffalo 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: 5 for Buffalo, 4 for St. Augustine
  • Shade Tolerance: 4 for Buffalo, 8 for St. Augustine
  • Drought Tolerance: 9 for Buffalo, 6 for St. Augustine
  • Traffic Tolerance: 4 for Buffalo, 5 for St. Augustine
  • Establishment Rate: 5 for Buffalo, 7 for St. Augustine
  • Pest & Disease Resistance: 6 for Buffalo, 5 for St. Augustine

Drumroll please...

All in all, St. Augustine comes out on top with a score of 35/60 versus 33/60 for Buffalo.

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