Brevard Lawns is the ONLY Preferred Empire Zoysia installer (from the patent holder) in Brevard County, FL!
Using a professional to help you decide what type of sod is right for your application will save you lots of trouble and money down the road. There are 8 types of sod to choose from here in Melbourne Florida and choosing the right type of sod needs to be done by someone who is experienced with the different types of sod. Throughout the year certain types of sod are not available. Having a professional with knowledge of current stock availability will allow us to determine the next best fit for your application without making you pay inflated prices during the peak season.
The most common type of sod here in Melbourne FL is Floratam St. Augustine. Floratam is a beautiful dark green color with thick blades that give a lush tropical look. Floratam is the second best looking grass behind Zoysia in my humble opinion. With Floratam you are getting the most for your money as it is heavily produced and the prices are much lower than other specialty varieties. With proper care Floratam will thrive here in Melbourne Florida.
Zoysia sod has recently exploded with popularity here in Florida in the past few years. The high demand has created a supply nightmare for all the local sod growers. The ones that do have Zoysia from March-September have it because they are charging double the price. Zoysia can be a bit tricky to get to the right height. Most people we install it for who do not use our lawn services let it get too high because they think it is a “lower maintenance” sod as the suppliers advartise. This is not the case Zoysia needs to be cut 1 time per week here in Florida during the growing season just like Floratam. If you let Empire Zoysia get over 5″ it can potentially fall over and be very hard to get back up. Most people are afraid to cut it down to 1″ as the supplier recommends. If Zoysia is cut down to 1″ it will grow back in much thicker and greener. As always it is never recommened to cut more than 30% off the leaves per cutting so you may have to “work” it back down towards 1″. The only reason it is a little less maintenace is that it can survive with less water than Floratam and uses much less nitrogen than Floratam. Zoysia is supeior to St. Augustine grass in most every way imaginable- it looks better, it is 100% cinch bug tolerant, it is more weed resistant, more cold tolerant, more shade tolerant, more wear/traffic resistant, more green retention in the winter and more drought tolerant. Zoysia was origanlly cultivated in Japan and Korea and brought to the U.S. in 1895 so it is really not all that new. There are over 10 varieties of Zoysia to choose from. We usually install “Empire Zoysia” which is arguably the best cultivar of Zoysia. Empire Zoysia is from South America and has better quality in higher heat and humidity.
Palmetto sod is also a highly desireable alternative to Floratam St. Augustine. Palmetto is less expensive than Floratam however Palmetto sod also has limited availability. Palmetto is more cold and shade tolerant then Floratam however less shade tolerant than Seville. Released in the 1990’s it has been tested long enough to ensure it’s quality. Palmetto is considered a “semi dwarf” cultivar which would be in between Floratam-(full size) and Seville-(dwarf.) Although it may be marketed for it’s drought tolerance the University of Florida states that it is not more drought tolerant than Floratam. Most of the other qualities are similar to Floratam as far as insect resistance, cold tolerance weed tolerance etc. It is also a lighter shade of green than Floratam St. Augustine.
The fourth most common / popular sod here in Melbourne Florida is Seville. Seville is the most shade tolerant variety of the St. Augustines. Having a sod installer with knowledge of where the Seville is being installed will help limit some of the inherent problems with this variety. Seville has the same characteristics as Floratam except it is more cold tolerant, and has a softer less coarse texture with more rounded blade tips. It is very nice to walk on barefoot as it is less coarse than Floratam. Seville sod is considered a dwarf St. Augustine and can be cut at a height of 2.5″ compared to 4″ with Floratam. One main problem I have seen with Seville is when it is installed in full sun it is especially susceptable to cinch bugs and web worms. This is why we make sure we use a 90 day insecticide immediately after we install Seville for no additional charge to help maintain our excellent reputation.
Please visit the our sod page for more general information on sod installation