Different Types of Lawn Grasses

The key to having a lush, green lawn is in choosing the right type of lawn grass for your unique climate and lifestyle. The Grounds Guys® is a team of knowledgeable, experienced landscape professionals that can help you decide which type of grass is best for you, with services to keep your lawn and landscaping looking its best all year round. Read on to learn more about the different types of lawn grass that will best suit your needs, whether you're starting from scratch or you are ready to make a change for the better.

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Location, Location, Location

Lawn grass is typically divided into two categories: warm-season and cool-season grasses. Click here to view a map for determining your correct planting zone.

Warm Season Grasses

Warm season grasses exhibit active growth between the months of April and October and are both heat and drought tolerant. During the winter months and cooler temperatures, most varieties will enter a period of dormancy where they may turn brown and not green up again until the warmer temperatures return. Popular examples include:

Bahia Grass

Soil Type – Tolerates poor soil conditions
Shade Tolerance – Some shade
Foot Traffic – Moderate to high

Bermuda Grass

Soil Type – Tolerates poor soil conditions
Shade Tolerance – Low
Foot Traffic – Moderate to high

Buffalo Grass

Soil Type – Well-drained soil is required
Shade Tolerance – Low
Foot Traffic –High

Centipede Grass

Soil Type – Prefers low pH soils
Shade Tolerance - Low
Foot Traffic - Low

St. Augustine Grass

Soil Type – Well-drained soil is required
Shade Tolerance – High
Foot Traffic - Moderate

Zoysia Grass

Soil Type – Well-drained soil is required
Shade Tolerance – Low to moderate
Foot Traffic - High

Cool Season Grasses

Cool season grasses are the ideal choice in areas with extreme seasonal fluctuations where summers are hot and dry and winter temperatures fall below freezing. They grow most actively during the spring and fall when temperatures range between 60 and 75 degrees and may go dormant during periods of extreme heat. Some of the most common types include:

Annual Ryegrass (requires annual planting)

Soil Type – Well maintained soil is required
Shade Tolerance – Moderate
Foot Traffic - Moderate to high

Perennial Ryegrass

Soil Type – Well maintained soil is required
Shade Tolerance – Moderate
Foot Traffic – Moderate to high

Bentgrass Carefully maintained soil is required
Shade Tolerance – Moderate
Foot Traffic – High

Fine Fescue

Soil Type – Tolerates poor soil conditions
Shade Tolerance – High
Foot Traffic– Low to moderate

Kentucky Bluegrass

Soil Type – Well-drained soil
Shade Tolerance – Moderate
Foot Traffic – High

Tall Fescue

Soil Type – Tolerates poor soil conditions
Shade Tolerance – Medium
Foot Traffic – Medium to high

The Transition Zone

This area of overlap between the two major zones requires a type of grass that can endure a variety of climate types and tolerate cold weather. Lawns may be seeded with a mixture of warm and cool grasses to ensure optimal growth year-round, although the results may vary greatly depending on the exact location, altitude, and quality of lawn care.

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Categories: Garden, Landscape

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