How to Plant Texas Turf Grass


Turf grass is a common choice for sports fields, parks and lawns. The three most popular types of turf grass in Texas are Bermuda, St. Augustine and centipede. Bermuda grass and St. Augustine grass are both relatively shade-tolerant, but Bermuda is better suited for periods of drought and heavy foot traffic. Centipede grass requires the least amount of regular maintenance and is often referred to as "the lazy man's grass."

Preparing the Site

Step 1

Remove all debris from the planting site, including existing grass, weeds, construction debris or tree stumps. Use a nonselective herbicide to eliminate grass and other plant matter.

Step 2

Remove all rocks and gravel from the top 2 inches of the soil. Use a rake to clear a small area, but large areas may require a rock-picking machine to do the job in a timely fashion.

Step 3

Break up the soil with a rototiller. Loosen the top 4 inches of soil by passing the tiller over the area in multiple directions.

Step 4

Use a soil-testing kit to determine the pH of the soil. Add 2 to 4 tons of limestone per acre to the soil if it is too acidic. Amend alkaline soil with the addition of sulfur or gypsum, as per the product directions.

Step 5

Pass the rototiller over the planting area once more to incorporate the added nutrients into the soil.

Step 6

Level the planting area. Use a shovel to remove larger bumps in the landscape and fill in dips with the extra soil. Pass a lawn roller over the area to further flatten the soil. Use a bulldozer or tractor on large areas.

Planting the Turf Grass

Step 1

Select your desired grass type. Take into consideration each variety of grass' tolerance for shade, water requirements and durability against foot traffic. Choose the one that is best suited to your area.

Step 2

Plant the grass seed, using a broadcast spreader. Sow creeping grass types, such as centipede, at a rate of 1 seed per square inch. Sow Bermuda and St. Augustine grass at a rate of 7 to 10 seeds per square inch.

Step 3

Gently cover the seeds, using a rake, with 1 inch of soil.

Step 4

Roll the planting area with the lawn roller to create optimum contact between seed and soil.

Step 5

Water lightly to moisten the ground. Continue to water lightly and often to keep the soil moist. As the grass begins to grow, reduce watering frequency to let the soil dry out slightly between watering.

Tips and Warnings

  • The first mowing of the turf should not take place until the grass is 1 to 2 inches tall. Mow often to ensure that not more than half of the total height of the grass is removed at a time.

Things You'll Need

  • Herbicide (optional)
  • Rototiller
  • Soil test kit
  • Limestone or sulphur
  • Shovel
  • Grass seed
  • Broadcast seed spreader
  • Lawn roller
  • Rake
  • Water
  • Nitrogen fertilizer


  • Texas A & M University: Bermuda Grass
  • Texas A&M University: St. Augustine Grass
  • Texas A & M University: Planting Turf Grass

Who Can Help

  • Native Plant Society of Texas: Plant Appreciation and Research
Keywords: Texas turf grass, planting turf grass, plant grass seed

About this Author

Sophia Darby is a former professional hairstylist who has spent the last six years writing hair-related articles for both online and print publications. Her work has appeared in Celebrity Hairstyles Magazine, as well as multiple websites.