Which Grass is Best for your Lawn

There are many types of grasses used for green lawns; do you know which grass is best for your lawn? The key to great looking green lawn is lawn fertilizers and weed control as well as using the right type of grass seed. Most lawns are made up of many different types of grass seed and yours might need different seed in different areas. Mowing is an important ingredient to having a great looking lawn as well.

Let's look at the type of grass that is best for your yard. One of the first factors is to decide what zone you are in. There is a difference between the cool season zone and the warm season zone.

Warm season grasses are used best in the southern states in the United States and the cool season grasses are used in the North as well as Canada. You may well be found in the middle of these two zones; in that case, you can contact your local county extension to ask which types of grass are best for your zone.

Warm season grasses are:

These are the most common grasses used in the warm season zone.

Cool season grasses include:

The grasses can be mixed in your lawn to take advantage of the strength of the various types of grasses. One of the items you may need to consider is if your lawn has shady spots. Along with that, spaces in your yard that have at one time been covered by pine tree branches or have heavy foot traffic deserve special attention.

Dry Zones

You may also be in a region that often is affected by drought. For shaded spots, some of the cool season grasses such as bentgrass and bluegrass may be the answer to your problem. In areas of heavy traffic, try the sturdy Kentucky bluegrass. Some new strains of Kentucky bluegrass are also specially designed to be drought tolerant.

Red fescue is used to keep the lawn together and show a tighter appearance. It is fine leaved and can stand close mowing. Especially good for cool zones, it is strong and durable.

Meadowgrass is an excellent choice for regions that are prone to drought conditions. It has a beautiful dark green color and has a good resistance to fungus diseases. Bentgrass provides a good base to a lawn and by over seeding can give you an attractive tight looking lawn. Ryegrass has a newly developed strain that stays green all year and has great wear tolerance.

Regional Recommendations

Here are some recommendations of grasses for different parts of the country. Kentucky bluegrass still seems to be the favorite grass for the Rocky Mountain and Plains states. Bluegrass varieties that need minimal maintenance are; Belmont, Caliber, Cobalt, Monopoly, and Unique. Kentucky bluegrass needs to be watered often, as the roots don't grow deep and is an excellent choice for sports fields and for parks. It likes to be mowed to a height of about two inches.

The grass recommended for the Northeast and Midwest is a good fescue. This grass grows slowly, has wiry blades, and has a height of only six inches. Lots of shade and moisture requires a hardy perennial relative of bluegrass called Poa supine.

The Southeast has a grass called centipede grass. The grass is light colored, grows slowly, and requires less maintenance than other warm season grasses.

Sources say that grass is hard to grow in the Southwest. A popular grass is regular Zoysia. It turns brown in October and stays brown through March. Zoysia loves the warm weather, turns brown if the temperature gets below 55 degrees, and loves to be cut short. This grass is not a good grass to use in areas that get a full-blown winter.

In the great Northwest, bent grasses are well adapted to the climate of that area. They do tend to be high maintenance but there are strains that have been developed for cool areas and are also low maintenance such as Velvet bentgrass. Ryegrass is also a good choice for cooler weather climates. You can use annual ryegrass for a quick fix on a lawn or you can choose perennial ryegrass for keeping your grass year after year.