They say the grass is greener on the other side. Do you relate to this? It can be indeed tricky to identify types of lawn grass suitable for the area you are living it. Yet, it doesn’t even matter whether you are familiar with lawns or not, as we are here to tell you everything about turf grass.
There is a whole list of factors to consider if you want grass in your garden to be fairytale-like. We will identify lawn grasses suitable from Northern, Southern, and the Transition zone, and then give you a couple of hints when is the best time to plant grass seed in your area.
Are you ready to step up the game and breed the greenest lawn in the neighborhood?
What is Turf Grass?
Did you know turf grass covers millions of acres of recreational parks, country fields, farms, and private properties? Turf grass represents the most adequate alternative to grass all across the world.
Not only turf grass stands for an artificial grass substitute in places where grass doesn’t grow for any reason, but it has a strong environment-friendly impact. It reduces solar reflection, protects soil from water absorption and wind, and absorbs pollutants.
If you want to establish or re-establish your lawn, turf grass may be the best option because it makes your lawn look stunning all year-round. After all, choosing turf grass offers unlimited landscaping options, so you can experiment as long as you identify lawn grasses suitable for your region.
Well, that is when we jump in.
Types of Grass – How to Choose the Right One?
Where are you located? Phil Dwyer and Ashton Ritchie, lawn and garden turf grass experts claim the climate you are living in and the average temperatures in your area are the most important factors to have in mind when choosing the best type of lawn grass.
Yet, lawn grass identification is not that complicated at all. Either you need a cool-season grass or a cold season grass type.
Cold Season Grass Types
Cold season types of grass prefer growing in more moderate to cool temperatures, as the heat of the summer may actually harm them. Some of the most popular cool-season grasses are:
• Kentucky bluegrass,
• Perennial ryegrass,
• Tall fescue,
• Annual ryegrass,
• Creeping red fescue,
• Creeping bentgrass.
Cool-season grass enjoys moderate temperatures. Kentucky grass is durable and very resistant. It doesn’t mind heavy foot traffic at all. No matter what, this type of grass retains a beautiful, soft texture and gorgeous, deep green color. It repairs itself, which means your bluegrass lawn and garden will always look neat and fresh.
Northern sod farms are crazy over Kentucky bluegrass! It grows via rhizomes. The only thing you should pay attention to if you are living in the Northern regions is not to plant Kentucky bluegrass in deep shade. It would work either way, but the grass itself wouldn’t offer the full, HD effect you would probably expect.
Golf courses in the north of the U.S. always go for bent grass as it is fine-textured, yet creates a dense turf on the other hand. This is highly-demanding turf grass. Its maintenance costs are pricey, as it requires mowing with expensive equipment, frequent (even daily) watering, use of fertilizer, insecticides, and fungicides. It stands out from other Northern types by the way it grows, as it grows from stolons.
Just in case you are not familiar with lawn grass maintenance, you can ask professionals for help. Blades of green offer top-notch lawn grass service to cut tall grass.
Another popular northern grass type is perennial ryegrass. You wouldn’t believe how fast it germinates! You can plant it individually or mix it with some other types (Kentucky grass for example) – either way it will look gorgeous.
Tall fescue is highly-resistant to droughts and hot conditions, which makes it a perfect grass type for places where it rains once in a month or two. Yet, this is why it requires frequent watering. It grows from clumps and forms bunches. Tall fescue is suitable for regions around the transition zone.
Also, tall fescue is the most suitable marathon grass and you can get your tall fescue seeds from Scott’s grass seed.
Warm Season Grass Types
Somewhere between the North and the South lays the Transition Zone.
Even though we mentioned tall fescue as a cold-season grass, it can adapt to the Transition Zone as well. On the other hand, some warm-season types such as zoysia grass and bermuda grass can be grown in cold-tolerant areas too.
As you can suppose yourself, most of the warm season types prefer warm weather and sun. The most popular species of this category are:
• Zoysia grass,
• St. Augustine grass,
• Carpet grass,
• Bermuda grass,
• Bahia grass,
• Buffalo grass,
• Centipede grass.
Zoysia grass makes one of the thickest types of lawn grass. You will see it across numerous golf courses, as zoysia makes a perfect carpet grass type.
Even though Zoysia grass prefers hot areas, people sew it in the North as well. Yet, as soon as the weather turns cold, Zoysia turns brown-ish.
Zoysia takes patience, as it grows slowly. You would probably have to wait about one year to enjoy Zoysia field of grass. Yet, once established – Zoysia will produce thousands of seeds if you don’t mow it.
Similarly to zoysia grass, bermuda grass is found on many golf courses. Because of the fact it germinates by rhizomes and stolons, Bermuda grass forms a gorgeous deep green, dense rug in your garden. It requires proper maintenance – watering, mowing and fertilizing, but it is all worth it! Bermuda grass grows in the down south and California, but you can find it in the north as well (Kansas city).
Centipede grass is spread all over the warm-humid regions in the South. It requires relatively low maintenance – less mowing, average watering, less fertilizer, and it is easy to edge around your sidewalks and garden beds.
However, if you still decide to grow it in a hot and dry area, make sure to give it the right amount of moisture. If you take proper care of it, you will enjoy a light green, soft and dense field of grass in your garden or your backyard.
St. Augustine Grass
Florida and the Gulf Coast region prefer St. Augustine grass, even though some people from California love it as well. This is clearly the best grass for lawns in warm areas, as it is not tolerant to low temperatures. Yet, St. Augustine grass still needs a lot of moisture to survive and to shine brightest.
It grows slowly, via stolons, and is a very coarse-textured lawn grass type. There is a variety of St. Augustine grass, called Floratam.
When Is The Best Time to Plant Grass Seed?
When it comes to cool-season grasses, fall is the best time to plant grass seed. Cool-season grass seed germinates quickly under the influence of moderate daily temperatures, warm soil, and cool evenings. Even though the summer is over, the soil still keeps warmth until the end of fall.
The best temperatures for planting cool-season grass seed vary between 50 and 65 degrees Fahrenheit. In case you are not sure about the temperature, a soil thermometer would come as a handy tool.
On the other hand, warm-season grasses require planting in the late spring and early summer. A combination of warm soil and seasonal rains encourage fast germination of the seed, as warm-season grasses prefer moisture.
Don’t you just sigh over your neighbor’s fresh lawn grass - breed one by yourself? In this article, we spoke about different types of grass and maintenance of each type individually. Even though picking the right type is the most important factor, don’t forget to water, mow, and fertilize your lawn grass if you want it to beat the competition from the block.
Hi guys! My name is Don and I have been taking care of many lawns across the country for more than 5 years now. Before I hit the road myself, I worked at a lawn care service company where I mastered handling different lawn tools as well. Now, don’t fall back right away even if you are not a lawn guru or a pro. I will be right here – at your service 24/7 to teach you everything about lawn care. Stay tuned for the updates if your goal is to enjoy luscious, deep green grass in your backyard almost all year round. Oh, you can find me on Twitter as well! Happy reading!