A specific grass type may seem perfect for your home lawn, but there are many elements you should analyze before making a hasty decision. For example, how well does the grass adapt to your climate and what are the maintenance requirements.
Does your climate have high temperatures? Are there frequent droughts in your area? Is your lawn area shady or sunny? What are your preferences for a lawn maintenance schedule? Do you have proper lawn irrigation to meet the watering requirements of a certain grass? These are some of the questions you should be considering as you decide what type of grass to use for your lawn.
What, exactly, are turfgrasses?
There are many important decisions that go into making a green and healthy lawn each and every year but no decision is more important than the type of turfgrass you choose for your lawn. There are hundreds of different types of grasses available for purchase today, with each one specially formulated for a particular type of soil, a particular degree of watering and a particular type of heat. You need to know exactly what kind of conditions you have before you choose the type of grass you want to plant. You’ll also need to know the particular care instructions that come with the grass you choose.
Most turfgrasses can be broken down into two main categories: a warm season grass and a cold season grass. Just like the name suggests, if you live in a climate that is more warm than cold, a warm season grass would be a better fit for you and vice-versa. Some of the most popular names in the cold season grass category are bentgrass, bluegrass, ryegrasses and fescues. In the warm season category you’ll find such well known names as St. Augustine, Bermudagrass, buffalograss and others.
If you live in the northern part of the United States or in Europe, you probably have bluegrass planted in your front yard. Bluegrass is a durable and reliable type of grass that is often the choice of professional groundskeepers in both the National Football League and in Major League Baseball for its ability to grow in colder temperatures. Bluegrass gets its name from the tip of the plant that only becomes apparent when it reaches its full height of over two feet tall. Otherwise, bluegrass is a rich green color.
If you live in a southern climate and you are looking for the lowest maintenance lawn possible, St. Augustine is probably your best bet. Anyone who has walked barefoot on the grass in Florida or a similar climate will note that while St. Augustine doesn’t have the silky soft feel that comes with many of the cold season grasses, it grows think and full and often chokes out any invading weeds or pests. As a matter of fact, many grass experts compare the aggressive behavior of St. Augustine grass to that of a weed since it can so completely take over a lawn in a short period of time. The individual blades of St. Augustine grass are much wider and stiffer than most other grasses. This allows for better sunlight exposure for the hidden root system underground. St. Augustine is also a popular choice for lawns that have an excessive amount of shade, as it can survive and even thrive in shaded spots that would kill most other varieties of grasses.
If you live next to a functioning dairy farm, you may find ryegrasses in and around the area. These grasses are often grown, dried and used as feed for livestock and can also be used in places where soil erosion has become a major problem thanks to their thick and complex root system. Ryegrasses are native to Africa and Europe but are now used all over the world.
Bermuda grass is another very well known warm season grass that is used throughout the American south and is found all over the African grasslands, as well. The big attraction when it comes to Bermuda grass is the resistance to drought. The overwhelming number of lawns in places like Nevada and Arizona contain Bermuda grass, which can survive days without watering, even in the most extreme heat. Many golf courses around the world have chosen Bermuda grass as their grass of choice for putting greens and it is also commonly found in sports stadiums, too.
If you are planting grass seed from scratch, you’ll have to choose which kind of turfgrass you want to go with. Most cold season grasses will begin growing once the temperature hits 5 Celsius and they flourish between 10-25 Celsius. If you live in a warmer climate, warm season grasses begin to take hold once the thermometer reaches 10 Celsius and they flourish once the temp rises to between 25-35C.
For far too long, lawns with incredible potential have been ruined by poor grass seed choices. No matter how much you spend on fertilizer or on a state of the art lawn irrigation system, you will not have a lawn you can take pride in if you don’t pick the right seed to start with. Talk to a lawn care expert at your local garden store to see which seeds are the most successful in your area, and don’t forget to take a sample of your lawn soil with you. Many home and garden centers can send away your sample to check the acidity level, which will also help you choose which seed to start with.
This section will discuss different types of grasses, their strengths and weaknesses, and compare qualities between types. Lawn diseases that kill your grass will be covered as well.
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