St. Augustine is the most popular choice for one major reason: shade tolerance. If you have or will have shade, this is the best option for your home. While shade tolerant, St. Augustine still prefers full sun and needs at least four hours of unfiltered sunshine per day to come back year after year. When healthy, St. Augustine is also a weed-resistant grass and generally does not require the annual use of preemergent weed treatments. The two most readily available sod varieties are as follows:
- Raleigh – The most popular St. Augustine found in this area. Proven to be winter hardy (as opposed to the disastrous introduction of Floratam St. Augustine in the 1980s) and more shade tolerant and disease resistant than common St. Augustine.
- Palmetto – An up-and-coming strain that one day may be the mainstay of new St. Augustine sales. Its deeper root system makes this variety slightly more shade and drought resistant as well as cold tolerant. Currently, its higher price keeps Raleigh sales ahead of Palmetto.