Different kinds of grass for lawns

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Do your homework before you select grass for your lawn

When you are selecting the perfect grass for your lawn, take into consideration how much time you are willing to spend on its maintenance because some varieties require a good bit of care. Furthermore, consider the area in which you live. What is the average temperature? Do you have hatefully cold winters and brutally hot summers?  Different kinds of grass for lawns have their weather preferences, just as we do. Most are geared toward specific climates, such as dry or cool, humid or coastal.


The average temperature of the area in which you live will have a bearing on how well or poorly your grass performs during the growing season. Some grass is quite resilient and will recover quickly after going dormant during a drought but other varieties do not spring back so quickly and may not recover at all.

You also need to think about how much wear and tear your grass can handle. If you have football games and huge gatherings on a regular basis and everyone is tromping on your lawn, you need to purchase wear resistance grass.

Is your lawn primarily in the shade or exposed to the sun? Take this into consideration when you select the grass for your lawn because the health and vigor of the grass may be dependent on how much or how little sunlight it receives.

Most of the different kinds of grass for lawns, specifally "turf" grasses, are not native to the United States, with the exception of Buffalograss, which has been tinkered with so it can be grown as a lawn. Selective breeding and cross-breeding changed the turf grasses that were brought to the United States into the grasses that we now see routinely used on lawns.

When you are choosing kinds of grass for your lawn, good soil is important - particularly when growing a low maintenance grass. In the South, some individuals seed their lawns with ryegrass every fall to maintain the green color of the lawn, which is called winter over-seeding. Lawns often turn brown when the cool weather sets in.

If the area around your home is primarily shaded, purchase one of the following kinds of grass: tall fescue, bahia grass, fine leaf fescue or St. Augustine grass. Fine leaf fescue likes cool weather, is drought resistant and shade tolerant, does not like foot traffic. Some of the varieties, including Aurora, are quite disease resistant.

Bahia grass likes warm weather, does not require a whole lot of maintenance, results in a thick turf that wards off weeds, is low growing and has a coarse texture.

Tall fescue tolerates some traffic, is resistant to drought and is a low maintenance grass whereas St. Augustine likes warm weather, is a vigorous grower, blocks weeds because it is thick, will tolerate some shade but requires frequent mowing, fertilizing and watering.

If you live in a hot climate, Bermuda grass is a good choice. It tolerates salt and drought, is fine textured but tolerates traffic well. It does not do well in the shade and will grow up into a thatch.

Bahia grass is also a good choice because of its coarse texture, thick turf and low growth. Bahia does not require much maintenance.

If you live in an area that is wet, salty and features sandy oil, use seashore paspalum grass. It is one of the few kinds of grass that tolerates both foot traffic and drought.

Zoysiagrass tolerates drought but likes being watered frequently. It is dense grass and is slow growing.

Kentucky bluegrass is the most common cool season grass and is hardy in cold weather. You will not have to mow it much; it does well in shady areas but it will not tolerate salt. Kentucky bluegrass fills bare spots quickly and has a fine texture.

In a high traffic area, consider using perennial ryegrass, which handles foot traffic, drought and is medium textured. However, it does not like the shade but it will mix easily with other grass types.


A low maintenance grass is Buffalograss, which is one the native North American grasses. It does not like traffic but it is drought tolerate. When it gets too hot or too cold, it will turn brown. Buffalograss is a slow grower

Centipedegrass is fast spreading, requires very little fertilizer, is coarse and low growing but it will turn brown in high heat. Centipedegrass is among the kinds of grass that does not like drought conditions.

Put some thought and consideration into the kinds of grass that you select for your lawn because it will make the world of difference.

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