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Success with your lawn depends on many things depending on where you live. Not the least among them is growing the proper type of grass for your area. In general, northern areas grow cool season grasses and southern areas grow warm season varieties. The transition area (see map below) is capable of growing both types with the proper care.
Creeping grasses like bluegrass, Bermuda and most warm season grasses spread by above- or below-ground runners. Creeping varieties are more prone to thatch.
Bunch grasses such as fescue and ryegrass spread from the crown of the plant. Mowing high protects the crown and ensures the survival of the grass.
pH 6.5-7 neutral
|Grass||Mowing Height||Traffic Tolerance||Soil Type||Sun|
|Bahia||2-2 1/2"||moderate||many types||full/moderate|
|Bermuda||1 1/2-2"||high||light textured||full|
|Centipede||1 1/2-2"||light||tolerates acidic||full/partial|
|St. Augustine||2-3"||high||prefers sandy||full/partial|
|Zoysia||1-2"||high||pH 5.5-6.5 slightly acidic||full/partial|
In the transition zone (green on the map), mixtures or blends of warm and cool season grasses are sometimes required. In general, the transition zone has more success with the cool-season grasses over the warm season varieties. Additional factors such as altitude, the amount of sun or shade, the amount of foot traffic and availability of water may affect the success of a turfgrass variety.
Bahiagrass is a tough turfgrass specially suited to the heat and humidity of the South. It has a rougher texture than most turfgrasses, but because of this toughness it can handle heavy foot traffic with ease.
Bluegrass is the turfgrass of choice in cooler northern areas. The color and texture are exceptional when the right growing conditions are provided. Sunlight, good soil and regular water supply is key to a beautiful bluegrass lawn.
Bermuda’s aggressive growth habit gives it excellent weed-resistance. That same trait can be a problem when Bermuda invades flower beds. Bermuda is wear-resistant and drought-tolerant. Overseeding with rye will provide a green lawn during winter.
Centipede is a tough, low-growing, low maintenance turfgrass. It grows best in the acidic soil of the lower South. Centipede has a rougher texture than most turfgrasses but when it’s well cared for, it has excellent weed and pest resistance.
The fescue family includes several members including fine fescue, chewings fescue, creeping red fescue, hard fescue and tall fescue. All varieties can survive cold winters well. Heat-, drought-, shade- and wear-tolerance varies by variety, so check the label for details. All fescue responds well to a regular fertilizing and aerating schedule.
Perennial ryegrass germinates quickly and holds up to foot traffic. Ryegrass is a common addition to cool-season grass mixes and the overseeding “wintergreen” option for warm-season lawns.
St. Augustine is the turfgrass of choice in warm climates where sandy soil is prevalent. The blue-green color lasts into fall, unlike other warm-season grasses.
Zoysia prefers a warm, sunny and well-drained growing site. Zoysia takes more care than most turfgrasses, but when its needs are met, the reward is a lush luxurious lawn.