Introducing Dorado™ Variegated St. Augustine

Bethel Innovations Introduces DORADO

Bethel Farms, a private, family-owned leading agriculture company located in Florida that produces cattle, premium sod and grass plugs on over 4,500 acres, has announced a new research-driven venture: Bethel Innovations.

Will Nugent, President & Owner of Bethel Farms explained that, “Since the establishment of Bethel Farms in 1958, innovation has been at the heart of our strategic goals and vision. Bethel Innovations was founded to continue to put this key core value into action and drive agricultural innovation. Its mission is to develop innovative, sustainable agricultural products for the consumer and the planet through collaborations with universities and breeders.”

As an environmental steward and a proud recipient of the This Farm CARES designation, Bethel Farms believes that while products are important, so are the methods used to care and grow them!  Bethel Innovations will also develop and refine new and improved practices for the sustainable care and growth of various lawn products using innovative farming methods. The Bethel Innovations initiative will be led by Nick Greene, a University of Florida graduate with a Bachelors in Turfgrass Science, a Masters in Turfgrass Breeding, and several years of turf breeding experience.

Introducing DORADO

As it relates to sod, Bethel’s focus remains on cultivars like Zoysia, Bermuda, and St Augustine. For years, St.Augustine grass has been the preferred cultivar in the South, especially in Florida and Texas.  Over time, there have been many great cultivars developed with different attributes such as slow growth or improved color.  But Bethel wanted to develop a brand that would be visibly different for consumers. Dorado St Augustine is the first commercially available variegated grass. From a distance, Dorado sports a light green hue but reveals an intricate dark-green striping when observed up close. Greene noted, “Dorado  is truly unique. The color from a distance draws your attention, but it’s truly impressive up close. The green and white stripes get a lot of attentionduring tours of our research greenhouse. Some people don’t move past it! The first production field of Doradowas planted in November and is almost ready for harvest.” Greene said that Dorado receives the same mowing, watering, chemistry, and fertility as the company’s Floratam fields, so there should be no “learning curve” needed when Dorado™ it enters the market.

Where will Dorado St Augustine be used?

Dorado’s distinctive appearance makes it a perfect choice for those looking to make a statement in their lawn.  Bethel recognizes that a world of consumers prefer individuality and options in all areas of design, including their lawn. Dorado can be planted either as full lawn or used to create feature areas.  It fills the void in color options and allow consumers to design a space that reflects their own unique style. “I can’t wait to see the creative ways this grass will be used!” said Greene.

How will consumers care for Dorado™ St Augustine?

Dorado is a St Augustine cultivar, making care easy for homeowners accustomed to a St. Augustine lawn. Consumers who decide to move to Dorado will follow the same care practices recommended for any traditional St Augustine lawn.  More specific care instructions can be found at, along with other helpful tips and expert advice on growing a great lawn.

I want in!  Where can I find it? 

Dorado is set to soft launch in 2022 with continued expansion in 2023 and beyond. It can be found online at most major retailers and will be launching in retail garden centers by year’s end.  Contact Bethel Farms for more information.