Your landscaping can add a lot to the curb appeal of your home, but there is one aspect of your yard that holds more importance over everything else. Your grass. If your grass is beautiful, green, lush, and evenly cut, the rest of your yard will look better too! Just think about it—you pass by someone’s house, it is a great looking house, nice paint colors, and a big porch. But then you see the crispy brown, overgrown grass that has more bald spots than your grandpa. And the entire appearance of the house is completely altered.

We have all judge a house based on their quality of the grass spread across the lawn. There are many reasons why grass could turn into something so ugly. One reason may be the type of grass. Yes, there are many different types of grass, and some thrive better in certain environments than others. Carlson Landscaping knows that grass is an important element of the yard, so if you are having issues with your grass, you may have decided on the wrong type.

When selecting a grass type for your lawn, you also want to consider the use it will get. Do you have children who will be playing in it or pets who will be relaxing in the shady spots of your lawn?

This blog will go over how to best select the grass type that is best in your environment and for the use. First we will go over the different types of grass:

  • Bahia
  • Bermuda
  • Bluegrass
  • Centipede
  • Fescue
  • Perennial Ryegrass
  • St. Augustine
  • Zoysia

There are different types of fescue grasses including tall fescue, dwarf tall fescue, double-dwarf fescue, and creeping red fescue.

You can sort grasses into two identifying groups: creeping or bunch. According to Lowe’s, bunch grasses include fescue and ryegrass and spread from the crown of the plant. With bunch grasses, you want to mow higher to protect the crown and help the grass survive. Creeping grass include bluegrass, Bermuda, and most of the warm-season grasses. Creeping grass spreads by above- or below-ground runners. These grass types are more prone to thatch.

Depending on the area of the country you live, you should consider some grasses and not others. Here in Pennsylvania, grasses such as Kentucky bluegrass, perennial ryegrass, and fine or tall fescue are the best choices. Different grass types thrive in different environments. These grasses are split into cool-season and warm-season grasses.

Cool-Season Grasses

Cool-season grasses grow best in temperatures between 60 and 75 degrees. These cool-season grasses include:

  • Creeping Bentgrass
  • Fine Fescue
  • Tall Fescue
  • Kentucky Bluegrass
  • Annual Ryegrass
  • Perennial Ryegrass

These grass types can survive through winter and will turn a greenish yellow, which means it is preserving energy. If you live in the upper North portion of the country, cool-season grass is the type you will most likely want.

Warm-Season Grasses

Warm-season grasses have optimum growth when the temperature is around 80 to 95 degrees. With these warmer climates, the best grasses to choose from include:

  • Bahia
  • Bermuda
  • Centipede
  • St. Augustine
  • Zoysia

These warm-season grass do not do well in cooler climates, but thrive in the warm areas of the country.

There are other factors that impact the way grass grows in certain areas. These factors are predominantly humid or arid. Combine with warm or cool areas, there are four zones:

  • Cool/humid
  • Cool/arid
  • Warm/humid
  • Warm/arid

In between the warm- and cool-season areas, there is a transition zone, which has all four of the zones listed above present. This means that winters are too cold for warm-season grasses to grow, and the summers are too hot for the cool-season grasses. It is very difficult to grow grass in this area. This includes parts of California, Arizona, New Mexico, parts of Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Arizona, Tennessee, Kentucky, North Carolina, Wisconsin, and Virginia.

To grow grasses in the transition zone, it is often required to use mixtures and blends of warm- and cool-season grasses. Some people work with this dilemma by growing warm season grasses when the temperatures are right, and then they will overseed the warm-season grass with cool-season grass, but generally, cool-season grass grows better in the transition zone.

Best For Traffic

If you have kids, pets, and a bundle of friend who enjoy getting together and barbecuing in your backyard, you will want a grass type that can take all of your foot traffic and bounce back easily. For cool-season grasses, the best options for highly trafficked yards are perennial ryegrass and tall fescue. There grass types have high tolerance to traffic, making them perfect for your busy lawn.

As for warm-season grasses, there are more options for the high traffic lawns. Choose between Bermuda, St. Augustine, or zoysia grasses for high tolerance to traffic. Bahia grass has a moderate tolerance, but is not the right choice if you have heavy traffic on your lawn.

If you are the type who yells at squirrels to get off your lawn, you can choose one of the grass options that have a low tolerance for traffic. For cool-season, those grasses are bentgrass, bluegrass, and fine fescue. And for warm-season grassed centipede grass is the option for you!

Sun Or Shade

Grass may seem like a simple species, but there are a lot that goes into the perfect environment and climate for grass. The amount of sun is one of those aspects. Some grasses need full sun all the time. Other grasses need some shade as well. Depending on where you are putting your grass, you will want to determine how much sun and shade there areas are getting before choosing your grass type.

Grasses that need full sun include:

  • Bentgrass
  • Bluegrass
  • Perennial Ryegrass
  • Bermuda

Grasses that need full to partial sun:

  • Tall Fescue
  • Centipede
  • St. Augustine
  • Zoysia

Other grass options:

  • Fine Fescue needs full sun to shady areas
  • Bahia grass needs full to moderate amount of sun

When choosing a grass for your lawn, you will want to determine and consider many different aspects of your lawn. If you live in an area that is prone to droughts, you will want to make sure your grass can survive, for the most part, during that period of time. You will also want to determine your soil—the pH level, the texture, and other factors.

If you are not huge on taking care of your lawn, make sure you choose a grass that is easy to care for. There are unique care requirements for different types of grass, the list can be found at Landscaping Network. Carlson Landscaping knows the important role that grass plays on the appearance of your home. Make sure you have grass that can survive and thrive in your environment! Contact us today for any lawn care needs!