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Choose the Right Grass for your Yard

Brought to you by Lowe's Creative Ideas

Creating and sustaining a lush, weed-free lawn begins by selecting the best turf for your amount of sun, shade, and traffic. Try these tips for choosing and installing the right grass for your needs.

grass
kentucky bluegrass

 

Kentucky Bluegrass
Easily established by seed or sod, it displays fine texture and a deep green color when fertilized for a picture-perfect lawn; shallow-roots require frequent irrigation.
Region: Cool-season and transition-zone grass
Mowing Height: 2 to 3 inches
Growth Rate: Slow to moderate

St Augustine grass

 

St. Augustine Grass
Large, flat stems and broad, coarse leaves form dense turf; blue-green color; thrives in humid climates with plenty of moisture; somewhat shade tolerant.
Region: Warm-season grass
Mowing Height: 2 to 4 inches
Growth Rate: Moderate

centipede grass

 

Centipede
Low-maintenance, medium-textured grass that spreads by surface runners, or stolons; suited to sandy soils with low fertility; best where winters are mild.
Region: Warm-season grass
Mowing Height: 1 to 2 inches
Growth Rate: Slow

perennial ryegrass

 

Perennial Ryegrass
A tough, wiry, fine-texture bunching grass that germinates quickly from seed and withstands heavy traffic; struggles in severely cold areas; often mixed with Kentucky bluegrass to produce a wear-resistant turf.
Region: Cool-season grass
Mowing Height: ¾ to 1½ inches
Growth Rate: Rapid

tall fescue

 

Tall Fescue
A rich green grass that tolerates hot, dry conditions better than most cool-season grasses so it's appropriate for transition zones; good wear resistance and shade tolerance.
Region: Cool-season and transition-zone grass
Mowing Height: 2 to 3 inches
Growth Rate: Rapid

Raking soil

 

Seed or Sod?

Seed: Grass seed is less expensive, comes in a greater selection of varieties, and requires some weeding.

Rake: After tilling to a depth of 4-6 inches, use a garden rake to smooth out any lumps or holes. Rake plant debris, weeds, rocks, and roots into piles and shovel them into a wheelbarrow for removal.

Seeding soil

 

Seed: Select seed and use a push spreader to apply at the rate recommended on the bag. Use a small handheld (organ grinder) spreader for tight spots.

Water soil

 

Fertilize: Apply a starter fertilizer to provide nutrients for the seedlings. Select a slow-release product that will be less likely to burn tender shoots.

Compact: Apply straw to help hold in moisture and prevent erosion, then use a drum roller to press seed into contact with soil.

Water: Water lightly every day to keep soil moist (twice per day during hot summer months). As seedlings grow, water less frequently­--every other day at first, then twice a week, and finally weekly. Use a rain gauge to ensure you're delivering at least 1 inch of water per week.

Till soil

 

Sod: For an instant, no-weed lawn, go with sod. It costs more than seed, however, and limits selection.

Till: Till to a depth of 4-6 inches to remove weeds, aerate soil, and smooth out lumps and depressions. Rake smooth and apply a starter fertilizer (typically high in phosphorus for good root development).

Use a drum roller to compact sod

 

Sod: Start with a straight edge such as a driveway and lay sod in a staggered brickwork pattern with joints butted tightly. Trim edges and curves with a sharp, half-moon edger. Use wire landscape pins to hold sod on slopes.

Compact: Use a drum roller to remove air pockets, give sod better contact with soil, and seal seams. Hand tamp sod in tight spots.

Pull up sod to ensure water is soaking into soil

 

Water: Irrigate the turf immediately after installation. Pull up a corner of sod in several areas to ensure water is soaking into the soil below. Water every other day the first week, then twice the following week, and finally once a week after that. Use a rain gauge to ensure you're delivering at least 1 inch of water per week.