The grass is one of those things that can make your house look beautiful or terrible. I have always had the worst time caring for the grass in front of my house. I found out the hard way that I needed to find out more about the different types of grass.
Different grass needs different things to help it grow. The more I learned about grass, the better able I was to pick the right grass for me. Even better, I was able to make it look lush and green.
Different Types of Grass
Warm Season Grass
Warm-season grass is also known as southern grass. This grass variety prefers hot summer weather and does not tolerate cold weather well. These are the grasses that are best for warm climates.
It grows vigorously from some time in spring all the way until early fall. These types of grasses often are dormant during the cold winter and turn brown. They prefer to be fed from spring through summer. They should not be fertilized before they become active in spring or late in the fall.
Cold Season Grass
Cold season grass is a grass that enjoys cold weather. They are also known as northern lawn grass and is suited best for the North. They can handle and adapt well to colder temperatures.
They grow vigorously in the cooler months of spring and fall. Their growth slows down when the summer heat hits. When the soil freezes, they become dormant and turn brown. If the temperature is not that cold and the soil does not freeze, the grass does not turn brown.
Instead, it stays green. It can also stay green all summer, as long as it is watered properly. This grass should be fertilized in spring and fall before its growth starts. It should not be fertilized in the summer because that will weaken it and encourage disease.
Bermuda grass has the fastest rate of growth of all the warm-season grasses. Bermuda grass has leaves that are pointed and dark green. It has a root system that is vibrant and consists of stolons and rhizomes.
They spread above and below the ground. The result of this is Bermuda grass creates a dense and thick lawn. It needs frequent watering but handles being cut short, which means you have to cut the grass less often.
Centipede grass has leaves that are notched and light green. Stolons are used to grow the grass, which grows horizontally through the soil and creates a turf that is dense.
This grass can grow when cut low and needs less mowing. It does not grow well in regions that are dry. It must be watered consistently and frequently. This grass uses less fertilizer and can handle soil that is acidic.
St. Augustine Grass
St. Augustine grass is one that grows slowly and has leaves that are coarse and wide. The leaves have tips that have a slightly rounded tip. The grass is resistant to heat and can handle most environments.
This grass is popular on the Gulf Coast. It requires constant watering and can withstand the heaviest downpour. St. Augustine grass does not feel like a soft cushion. It can handle the traffic caused by feet and equipment. It grows even in sandy soil.
Zoysia grass is similar in many ways to St. Augustine grass. It grows slowly and enjoys full sunlight. The leaves of the grass are coarse and stiff. It does not require that much watering. When the weather is cold, it becomes dormant, and the grass turns green. No worries, it becomes green again as the weather warms.
Fine Fescue Grass
Fine fescue grass grows quickly and produces leaves that are pointed and thin. It does not like really dry and hot weather. It can tolerate the changing temperatures of a northern climate.
It enjoys full sunlight and shade, so it is perfect under a tree. There are variations of cool weather fine fescue, so you want to make sure you have the right one for your region. It typically comes in a blended seed mix with bluegrass or ryegrass.
Kentucky bluegrass is one of the more popular grasses for cold seasons. Many of the farms in the North grow it because it is reliable and gives homeowners healthy lawns. This grass is dark green with leaves that are in the shape of a V.
They are soft but hold up to a lot of traffic and equipment. It is strong and fast-growing because it has a root system that is robust with rhizomes. It is even called self-repairing because it will grow over any areas that are damaged. It is happiest in sun and partial shade. It will not do well in an area that is shaded heavily.
Perennial ryegrass has leaves that are pointed, thin, and soft. Despite this, it handles foot traffic well. It is another popular variety because it enjoys both the shade and the sun. It grew and established itself quickly, often faster than other cold season options.
Perennial ryegrass is typically found in a grass seed mix that includes Kentucky bluegrass, which makes it more tolerant to shade. This grass may grow better in some areas of your lawn, which creates clumps and makes your lawn look like it has patches.
Tall Fescue Grass
Tall fescue grass is cold season grass, but it tolerates hot, dry weather. It has leaves that are dark green, coarse, and thick. It handles foot traffic and equipment well. You may find that this grass grows better in some areas of your lawn than others. This may cause your lawn to look patchy.
Bahiagrass is a warm-season grass. This means it has active growth between the months of April through October. It handles drought and heat well. It will enter a dormant state during the winter and when the temperatures get consistently colder.
The grass may become brown but will be green again once the temperature warms. Bahiagrass will grow in poor soil. It enjoys some shade, but not too much. It can handle a high amount of foot traffic.
Carpet grass is a low growing grass that is coarse and has adapted well to wet and acidic soil. This grass survives really well when the soil is wet. It does not need much fertilizer. It does need to be mowed on a frequent basis.
This helps to reduce the growth of the seed head. It has a light green color and has an average density. The best mowing height for carpet grass is 3/4 inches to 2 inches.
Dichondra is one of the warm weather grasses that are found mostly in Arizona and California. The leaves spread out opposite each other on creeping stems. It is mowed just as you would any grass.
It creates dense turfgrass. It needs constant fertilization and tends to suffer from insect and disease attacks. The blades of the dichondra are round leaves. It has a bright to pale green color. It must be watered frequently as it does not like to be dry.
Buffalo grass is one of the more low maintenance types of grass. It produces a tough turf sod. It is found from Mexico to Montana, across the Great Plains. It has a low need to be watered regularly, and therefore it has a high drought tolerance. It does need full sunlight. It has a fine texture and has a high tolerance for foot traffic.
Creeping bentgrass is a dense and soft lawn that feels like a carpet and creates a dense mat. It is most often found on the putting green of a golf course. Creeping bentgrass has shallow roots that grow vigorously. It needs a substantial amount of maintenance.
It has a low resistance to drought as it needs to be water frequently and completely. Its fine texture is created by leaves that are smooth on top and ridged on the bottom. They are about 1/8 inch wide and have a blue-green color. It is happiest in full sunlight to some shade. It does not like full shade. Creeping bentgrass can withstand a high amount of foot traffic.
Rough bluegrass prefers cool and moist weather. It requires a lot of careful maintenance. This grass has a fine texture, and it can handle full shade as long as there is sufficient moisture for it. It is one of the hardest grasses to be able to survive the winter months. It can handle a significant drop in temperature. It responds well to proper fertilization and irrigation.
If it gets too much water, it begins to become aggressive and smother Kentucky bluegrass. Most often, rough bluegrass is sold in a grass seed mix that includes Kentucky bluegrass. This blend is considered because Kentucky bluegrass also enjoys shade, but the bright yellow color of the rough bluegrass does not always blend well.
During the month of July and August, you are going to see your grass wilt and become brown unless it is irrigated properly. It requires fertilization at specific times of the year.
Red fescue is a cold season grass that like shady, cool mountain areas. This is the ideal grass for camps and cabins because it does not require much mowing, irrigation, or fertilization. It is really low maintenance.
The leaves are narrow and file with a color of deep green. It establishes itself quickly, and it not particularly aggressive. You may see it along the roadway in a patch of unkempt grass. It is often sold as a grass seed mix with bluegrass. It does not have a high tolerance for heat but can withstand a marginal amount of drought.
Thermal blue is a cool-season grass type. It can, however, withstand moderate temperature increases in a moderate summer heat environment.
It does not mean a substantial amount of shade. It resists patches of brown and disease. It has leaves that are fine and textured. It holds its color throughout all four seasons.
Annual ryegrass grows and establishes quickly. It will bring color to your lawn faster than you can imagine. It is great to give your true lawn support or to give your grass some color during the winter.
It has a dark, deep green color. It has a texture that is fine and erosion control in the short term. It is stable for your permanent grass as it tries to establish itself. It enjoys full sunlight and a little bit of shade.
This grass is partial to mild climates. It is considered a week by some. it is referred to as quack grass by some. It has been used in the northern climate to control erosion. It has many other names. Some of them include dog grass and scutch grass. It has leaves that are flat and hairy.
Couch grass has flower spikes that are upright. If it makes its way into your garden, it is persistent and will be challenging to remove. The rhizomes entangle themselves within the roots of perennials and shrubs. Each time the rhizome is severed, it becomes an entirely new plant. It does respond well to herbicides if you want to get rid of them.