Answer: St. Augustine is a favorite warm-season grass for new Texas lawns. It has a high tolerance for shade, and a medium to modest water requirement for success. On the minus side, if you have a lot of barbecue action or child's play on your lawn, St. Augustine grass won't hold up well under heavy wear.
Centipede lawns are just barely tolerant of shade and traffic. Often, Texas homeowners will use a turf blend combining centipede grass with a sturdier fescue. Tall Fescue is a champ. It's reasonably tolerant of wear and tear, has a high tolerance for shade, and doesn't require as much water as most grasses. If you're choosing fescue, you may want to check with a local lawn care service to see which of the more than 120 Texas varieties of fescue works best in your neighborhood.
Zoysiagrasses (japonica and matrella) offer generally good tolerance to footfall and shade. The japonica variety requires less mowing than other zoysiagrass varieties, if ease in maintenance is one of your governing factors.
You might also talk with your neighbors to see what grows best for them. Best wishes with your new lawn!
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