Cool Season Grass Types
Kentucky bluegrass is a prominent variety in the North. It has a rich green hue and a smooth texture. It grows well from seed and is a common option for northern sod farms. It develops from a vast network of rhizomes, which are subterranean stems that create new plants. It does not, however, grow well in severe shade.
Blade: V-shaped, pointed, 1/8″ wide
Color/Texture: Darker green, soft
Growth: Aggresive, via rhizomes
Popularity: Northern favorite, sod farms
Tall fescue is a cool-season plant that may also be found in hotter climates because to its heat tolerance. It is a bunchgrass that is often used in sporting fields due to its ability to endure extensive usage and foot activity. Patches of tall fescue may emerge as a grassy weed in certain lawns. Because it grows in bunches, it is seldom utilized in seed mixes.
Blade: Pointed, visible veins, 3/16” wide
Color/Texture: Dark green, coarse, stiff
Popularity: All regions
The sheen of ryegrass makes it simple to identify in a lawn. When mowed, it also leaves a “whitish” appearance. It is a bunchgrass that germinates fast and is often seen in seed mixes with Kentucky bluegrass. It is typically found in northern cool-season locations, however it may not survive as far north as Minnesota, Wisconsin, or Canada.
Blade: Pointed, visible veins, 1/8” wide
Color/Texture: Dark green, soft
Growth: Quick, bunch type
Popularity: Mid- to North U.S.
The phrase “fine fescue” refers to a group of grasses that includes the following species: red, chewings, hard, and sheep. They are finely grained, as the name indicates, with needle-like blades. Because of its shade tolerance, fine fescues are preferred. They do not, however, endure hot or dry circumstances.
Blade: Hair-like, fine tip, 1/16” or less
Color/Texture: Dull or gray-green, soft
Water: Above average
Popular throughout the Northeast and North Central United States. (depending on species)
Most golf courses in the Northern United States have bentgrass. It may be mowed as short as 1/10″ and is great for putting greens and fairways. It generates a thick grass with a fine-textured feel even when mowed extremely low. The expenditures of maintaining a bentgrass lawn at home may be quite high due to the fungicides, insecticides, fertilizer, and expensive mowing equipment required. It also requires practically daily irrigation. Unlike other Northern kinds, it develops via a large number of stolons. (above ground).
Blade: Narrow, flat
Color/Texture: Soft, dense
Growth: Low, 1/10″
Popularity: Northern golf courses
Warm Season Grass Types
Bermudagrass produces an attractive residential lawn because it can withstand low mowing heights, which is also why it is often used on golf courses in the South. It grows by stolons (above ground) and rhizomes (below ground), resulting in a thick, dense grass. It is mostly prevalent in the South, although it may be found as far north as Kansas City. It has significant care needs (fertilizing, watering, and mowing).
Blade: Sharp, pointed, 1/8” wide
Color/Texture: Deep green, dense
Growth: Close cut, high quality
Popularity: Central U.S.
St. Augustine grass grows best in hot, dry climates like Florida and the Gulf Coast. It is sometimes discovered in California. It is quite sensitive to cold temperatures and needs a lot of moisture to survive. It has an extremely gritty texture and grows by above-ground stolons that may reach several feet in length. In comparison to other grasses, it has unusually wide blades with a rounded tip. It is also known as “Floratam,” which is a kind of St. Augustine grass.
Blade: Broad with rounded tip, 1/4” wide
Color/Texture: Dark green, coarse, spongy
Growth: Slow, from sod or plugs
Popularity: Southern favorite
Zoysiagrass grows into a thick, spiky carpet of a lawn. Zoysia is generally found in and around the midsection of the United States, stretching eastward into the Carolinas. It may also be found in the north, however it turns brown as it gets cold. It grows slowly, and it might take more than a year to develop a zoysia grass lawn. It has strong leaf blades and will produce a large number of seed heads if not mowed.
Blade: Narrow, needle-like
Color/Texture: Prickly, stiff, carpet-like
Popularity: Mid U.S., East to the Carolinas
Centipedegrass develops a thick lawn by spreading above the ground through stolons. It takes less mowing and is simple to edge around garden beds and walkways since it grows horizontally. It may be found across the South’s warm, humid climate. It does not grow well in hot, dry climates and will perish if not given enough moisture. It does, however, need less fertilizer than other warm-season varieties.
Carpet grass, although a distinct species, requires the same maintenance and appears very similar to centipede on a lawn, except that it develops a crabgrass-like seed head and lacks hairs around the margins of the leaves.
Blade: Pointed with notch
Color/Texture: Light green, dense, soft
Growth: Grows low, almost horizontal to the ground
Water: less than normal; during a drought, it will become dormant soon.
Popularity: Southeast U.S.
Kentucky bluegrass, ryegrass, and fescues make up the bulk of Northern lawns. Kentucky bluegrass makes the best lawn, although it has a limited tolerance for shade. Ryegrass can withstand significant foot activity but not severe cold or drought conditions. Because of its tolerance of shade, foot traffic, cold, and drought, fescues (both tall and fine) are often seen in mixtures. When properly blended, these kinds will provide a thick grass suitable for most Northern lawns in the United States.
Blade: Thin, tall
Color/Texture: Soft with coarse mix, dense
Growth: Average to tall, via rhizomes
Popularity: Most Northern lawns
Dichondra, which is mostly found in California and Arizona, is often used for residential lawns since it can be mowed like grass and makes a pleasant, thick turf. The leaves grow in opposing directions along creeping stalks. It needs a steady supply of fertilizer and is often attacked by insects and illnesses.
Blade: Round leaves
Color/Texture: Pale to bright green, dense
Growth: Broadleaf species; mow like grass
Popularity: Arizona & California
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