Grass is not one size fits all – there are many different types of grass that come in a variety of textures and colors. Depending on the location, a certain type of grass may be used in favor of another. For example, you may have noticed that grass used for a lawn differs from grass in a park. Not only that, but you may have also noticed that lawns can vary among each other as well.
The environment can have a huge impact on the growth and appearance of grass. That is why it is an important factor to consider when you are deciding which one to use.
Most lawn grasses fall into one of the two categories – warm-season or cool-season grasses. Much like it sounds, warm-season grasses flourish in hotter temperatures. If you live in a tropical region or an area where the temperature is consistently over 75 degrees, this type may be more fitting. On the other hand, cool-season grasses thrive in colder climates and usually grow during the spring or the fall.
In the United States, warm-season grasses tend to grow best in southern states and cool-season grasses grow best in northern states. However, some states fall in the transition zone. These states are in the middle of the country, and both warm and cool-season grass can grow there.
Within these two categories, there is a long list of different types of grass. But even though they fall into the same category, each has unique properties that set it apart from other types.
Below are a few examples of grass types and what characteristics they have.
Bring The Heat!: Warm Season Types Of Grass
Bermuda Grass: Out of all grasses in this category, this grows the fastest. Direct sunlight will help aid how much it grows along with good drainage. Bermuda grass is also very drought resistant and can survive in dry conditions. Since it is perennial, it will grow back every year in the right environment, but it requires high maintenance.
Centipede Grass: To be sustained, this grass needs to be watered frequently. It will not thrive in dry conditions or cold temperatures, so location is key for it to be healthy. Centipede grass does not need to be mowed frequently and does not require as much fertilizer as other warm-season grasses. Sandy soils support this kind of grass best, though it grows much slower than others of its kind.
Zoysia Grass: Much like Bermuda grass, Zoysia grass will grow back every year under the right conditions. It does not need to be watered very often but will most likely turn brown during colder months. Due to its ability to withstand both hot and cold temperatures along with drought, it is commonly used throughout the transition zone. Weeds will not be an issue with this type of grass because of how dense it is.
St. Augustine Grass: This grass can tolerate considerable levels of heat and will maintain its dark green color even in the shade. The speed that it grows prevents weeds from developing, but it needs to be watered frequently. Good drainage will assist the rate of growth. The coarse texture also allows it to resist damage from heavy foot traffic.
Carpet Grass (Axonopus): Unlike other types of grass, this does not need good drainage to grow. It grows best in wet soil and will need to be watered frequently if it is in dry soil. It requires very little maintenance and does not need a lot of fertilizer to survive. However, carpet grass is very vulnerable to disease and insects. Its coarse texture and pale green color make it less appealing to the eye. But, it is still used because of its ability to outgrow weeds and survive with low maintenance.
Grab A Jacket, It’s Cold Out: Cool Season Types Of Grass
Tall Fescue: Although this kind of grass is found in colder environments, it is very adaptable and can withstand considerable levels of heat. For this reason, it is common throughout the transition zone. The best time to plant the Tall Fescue is in the cooler months of the fall and spring. It comes with a wide array of benefits, as it is low maintenance and can tolerate different conditions. It is primarily used for grazing animals and can resist damage from foot traffic as a result.
Fine Fescue: This variation is more tolerant of shade than its counterpart. It also has a finer texture and requires less water and fertilizer. For this reason, it is more eco-friendly. If properly maintained, it will remain green throughout the year. It germinates quickly as well and can partially withstand a drought. But, it does not grow as well in the heat.
Kentucky Bluegrass: It is perennial and can tolerate low temperatures more than other types of grass in this category. However, Kentucky bluegrass is vulnerable to heat and drought. It is one of the slowest growing grasses and will slow down during hot summer months. Shade can impact the speed of growth as well. The texture varies from medium to fine, and it is a dark green color.
Perennial Ryegrass: The versatility of this grass allows its usage for pastures and lawns. Since it germinates quickly, this variation of ryegrass will gain its color faster than other types of grass. The rate of growth also means that it will be able to be mowed within a month. Light shade will not impact the development of this grass, but it is best suited with direct sunlight. Although it is low maintenance, it is less tolerable to heat and drought because of its shallow roots.
Bentgrass: This grass grows best in wet conditions, so it needs to be watered frequently. Unlike other kinds of grass, bentgrass can be cut very short and mowed often. It can also withstand heavy foot traffic. This is why it is commonly found on golf courses. Bentgrass cannot survive high temperatures and usually turns brown during warm summer months.
Types of Grass: Making a Decision
As you can see, there is a wide range of options when it comes to your lawn. Depending on your location, one type of grass may be more favorable than another. Still, there are a lot of choices to pick from. Different factors like your climate and how much time you have should determine which type of grass to go with.
Frequently Asked Questions: Types Of Grass
What kind of grass is the best for a lawn?
The answer may vary from home to home. If you live in a warmer environment, one of the warm-season grasses would be best. However, if you are cannot tend to a high maintenance grass then a low maintenance option would be better.
Which is the most popular option?
While up for debate, the Kentucky Bluegrass seems to be the most sought after option. It is very versatile and can have many variations that suit different needs.