United States Lawn Grasses

Published on: April 11, 2012

Choosing a type of grass for your lawn is an important consideration for any homeowner.  There are many variables to take into consideration including what part of the country your home is located, the amount of maintenance necessary, and the aesthetics desired.

Lawn grasses are divided into two basic groups:  cool season and warm season grasses.  Cool season grasses are best suited for northern climates and warm season grasses grow best in the south.  In between is the “transitional zone” were either type of grass can be grown with some success.

Cool season grasses include fescue, bluegrass, and ryegrass.  They grow well in cool conditions so their primary growing season is in the spring and fall.  In addition, they can tolerate some moderate drought conditions in the warm summer months, but a severe drought will cause the lawn to die off.  Cool season grasses can withstand freezing winter temperatures.

Warm season grasses thrive in warm temperatures and grow all summer.   They go dormant in cool winter months, but don’t tolerate extended periods of below freezing temperatures.  Bermudagrass, centipede grass and St. Augustine grass are popular types of warm season grasses.

Each type of grass requires different mowing heights, fertilization and weed control.   For example, Bermuda grass is mowed to around an inch while fescue and St. Augustine are left a little taller.  Tall fescue and Kentucky bluegrass does well when mowed to two or two and half inches.

The type, amount, and timing of fertilization vary as well.  Be sure to only use fertilizer that is right for the type of grass in your yard.  If you are not sure, talk to a lawn care service or landscape contractor.  They are the lawn care experts and will know what types of grasses are best suited for your area and how take care of the lawn.

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