It’s all green right? So does the variety of grass you use for your lawn really matter?
Actually, yes it does.
If you’ve ever seeded a new lawn or purchased sod, you’ll quickly learn that not all grass is created equal. Dozens of types of grass offer different textures, colors, growth rates, hardiness, hues, and pest problems. To get the beautiful, lush, (and green) lawn you’re looking for, you need to know what you’re getting into.
The grass for your area depends on which climate and soil zone you are in. Within each zone, certain grass types will grow better than others.
Zone 1: Tall Fescue
If you live in Zone 1, you’re going to want to look for a tall fescue grass. The Fescue family has several members, but they all survive cold winters well. This grass has deep roots so it can also survive drought, heat, and shade. It’s best planted in September and responds well to a regular fertilizing and aerating schedule. Alternatives would be Zoysia or Kentucky Bluegrass.
Zone 2: Zoysia grass
If you live in the southeast portion of the country, your best bet for a green lawn comes from Zoysia grass. This is an Asian import that works well in shade, and tolerates insects, disease and dry weather, but hates the cold. It is best planted in April. Alternatives would be Bermuda grass or tall fescue.
Zone 3: St. Augustine grass
For those in the deep south, St. Augustine grass does best in sandy soil and bright sun. It is best planted in spring and the blue-green color lasts into fall. If St. Augustine is unavailable, a viable alternative is Centipede grass, Bahia, or seashore paspalum. Bahia is a tough grass that is suited to the heat and good for heavy foot traffic.
Zone 4: Bermuda grass
For those in deep desert areas of Zone 4, the Bermuda grass is originally from Africa and thrives in the sun. It spreads aggressively giving it it excellent weed resistance and uses a lot of fertilizer. Bermuda is wear-resistant and drought-tolerant. It’s best planted in April and overseeding with rye will provide a green lawn even through the winter.
Zone 5: Buffalo Grass
The plains state use an American native grass, the buffalo grass. This grass needs little water and almost no fertilizer, making it very user friendly. It is best to plant in the spring. Alternatives would be Kentucky bluegrass or tall fescue
Zone 6: Kentucky Bluegrass
Although nowhere near Kentucky, the Kentucky bluegrass is the preferred choice for the rocky mountains and pacific northwest region of the country. It’s durable in this zone because it recovers well from drought and cold. It’s more popular for sod because seeds take over a month to sprout. In hot weather, it needs plenty of water and it’s best to plant in September. If you’re in this region looking to seed, a good alternative would be tall fescue.
Getting the lawn you want depends on several factors, but starting with the right type of grass is the first one. Additional factors might be altitude, sun or shade, foot traffic and watering, but ensuring you start off with the right type of grass is the best step to beginning a beautiful lawn you can be proud of.
Once your grass is established learn more about caring for it here How To Have A Green Lawn