Planning to upgrade the turf on your property? Then you’ll need to know a few things about grass before you can select the best type of turf to meet your landscaping goals. When it comes to selecting a grass type, you have well over a dozen different varieties to choose from. However, not all of them will deliver the look or the barefoot feel that most homeowners are hoping for.
One type of grass that tends to be extremely robust is runner-type grass, which you may already have on your lawn, especially if it’s currently a mix of several different grass varieties. Because runner-type grass propagates quickly and reproduces easily, it’s important to know whether your lawn currently features it, since it can interfere with your new turf if you don’t remove it first.
Runner-type grasses, depending on the kind, may make great turf since they spread quickly and push out weeds. Zoysia Sod’s specialists define runner-type grass and explore lawn-friendly kinds in this blog.
Defining Runner-Type Grass
Runner-type grass includes several grass varieties that spread by runners. These long, tentacle-like growths are also referred to as stolons, and they encourage grass propagation by spreading above the ground’s surface. Grass runners that spread above ground are highly visible, and according to many landscaping enthusiasts, they tend to create an undesirable aesthetic.
Rhizomes, though, may aid. Since their dense pattern and quick development cycle inhibit weed roots, underground runners provide a lush, homogeneous lawn. Since they grow densely, certain aboveground stolon-propagating grasses provide almost weed-free turf.
What Exactly Is a Runner?
A grass stolon, or aboveground runner, develops from the grass plant’s top. It grows horizontally, which landscaping aficionados call creeping.
When it finds good soil, the stolon roots. Stolons propagate all aboveground runner-type grasses, although their lengths vary per species.
Rhizomes are modified grass stems that grow horizontally. These runners develop underneath and generate grass blades as they expand.
Common Varieties of Aboveground Runner-Type Grass
Most seed-planted lawns feature a combination of several different types of grass, and not all of them propagate the same way. If you currently have a seed-planted lawn and would like to replace it with a new variety of turf grass, it’s important that you determine whether you have any runner-type grass in your lawn.
These grasses’ roots may grow through your new turf, ruining its beauty and barefoot feel. Which grasses should you search for? The top five varieties are:
- St. Augustine grass. This broad-blade, medium-green, warm-season grass is water efficient and sun loving, but it also tolerates shade quite well. It’s not the most wear-tolerant grass, which makes it an unsuitable choice for high-traffic areas.
- Centipedegrass. This low-maintenance, slow-growing, course-bladed grass thrives in full sun and mild shade. It cannot endure dryness or traffic.
- Buffalo grass. Grayish-green, fine-textured warm-season grass provides low-quality turf. It’s shade-intolerant and has a lengthy winter hibernation.
- Rough bluegrass. Yellow-green, fine-blade cool-season grass has a shallow root structure. It suffers from illness, heat stress, drought, and traffic in humid places.
- Creeping bentgrass. This cool-season, fine-textured grass is considered a specialty grass, and it’s commonly seen on golf courses, bowling greens, and other high-traffic areas.
Common Varieties of Underground Runner-Type Grass
Underground runner-type grasses propagate by rhizomes, which make them a popular choice among landscaping enthusiasts who don’t prefer the look of aboveground stolons. Common varieties of rhizome-propagating grasses include:
- Kentucky bluegrass. This dark-green, medium-blade cool-season grass grows in many locations. It cannot withstand heat or drought.
- Certain varieties of red fescue grass. This deep-green, fine-bladed grass prefers mild weather and moderate traffic. It thrives in gloomy, dry conditions.
Common Varieties of Stolon- and Rhizome-Propagating Grass
Landscapers love resilient grasses that reproduce by aboveground and subsurface runners. Common types include:
- Zoysia grass. Zoysia grass has fine or medium blades. It grows densely and tolerates traffic.
- Bermudagrass. Most warm-season grasses are drought- and traffic-tolerant. They thrive in full sun on lawns, sporting fields, and golf courses.
- Seashore paspalum. Only southern regions can grow this warm-season grass. It thrives in salty irrigation water because to its strong salinity tolerance. Athletic grounds and golf courses use this type.
What kind of grass sends out runners?
Runners are what make bermuda grass an invasive plant. Runners are lengthy. STOLONS don’t sprint directly to the border.
What grass spreads the fastest?
Perennial Ryegrass, Annual Ryegrass, Fine-leaf Fescues, Kentucky Bluegrass, and Bentgrasses grow rapidly.
What is the grass that spreads like a vine?
Bermuda grass is also called wiregrass, couch grass, and devil’s grass (very appropriate nickname!) It reproduces in three ways—by seed, by above-ground vine-like shoots (stolons), and by below-ground shoots (rhizomes).
What grass has underground runners?
Common Plant Characteristics of Bermudagrass
Rhizomes and stolons propagate Bermudagrass. Bermudagrass stolons (runners) invade the planter. Stolons grow aboveground, whereas rhizomes grow underground.
Which plant grows from runners?
Strawberry, strawberry geranium, and bugleweed (Ajuga) runners spread naturally.
Which plants send out runners?
Most of the commonly cultivated varieties of strawberry plants (Fragaria x ananassa) will produce “runners” as a means of propagating themselves. Anyone who grows strawberries is probably familiar with the term and, at some point, probably experienced at least a twinge of curiosity regarding them.