The appearance of one’s front lawn is imperative to maintaining an appealing and welcoming home. In some US neighborhoods, homeowners are even required to keep their lawn to a certain standard. However, maintaining a beautiful grass lawn is not always an easy task for inexperienced homeowners.
The first step to understanding how to maintain a beautiful lawn is knowing what type of grass to use. Only then can you begin to know what methods of treatment and maintenance you should be using. To help you out, Lawn Love has compiled this guide to the different types of common grasses found across the United States.
We hope that this list can help you discover your lawn’s grass type by describing the conditions under which each type of grass likely survives in. After knowing what specific type of grass your lawn has, you can better manage and maintain both the appearance and the health of your lawn.
Cool-Season Grasses in the North
Fescue grasses have extremely fine, thin blades, with a texture similar to hair. There are multiple different types of Fescue grasses, like Chewings Fescue, Red Fescue, Sheep Fescue, and Hard Fescue. There are two types of Fescue grass commonly found in the northern regions of the United States,
Tall Fescue grass can tolerate relatively high temperatures but is still classified as a cool-season grass. It is known for sticking out in uneven patches because some portions of the grass grow taller and faster than other parts of the same grass. Tall Fescue also bears a similar resemblance to common weed types of grass.
Some lawn enthusiasts even claim that it should be defined as a weed type grass because of this. Furthermore, Tall Fescue is not recommended when mixed with different types of seeds for sprouting lawns because it has wide blades and grows in bunches, leading to an uneven looking lawn.
Fine Fescue grasses is found in areas that contain large amounts of shade. Such as areas with large areas of trees, tall surrounding structures, or under other large objects that may be creating blocking the sun from reaching your lawn. Unlike Tall Fescue, Fine Fescue is intolerant to hot or dry conditions.
Kentucky Bluegrass is a type of grass commonly found in the northern regions of the United States where moderate temperatures are prevalent throughout the year. It has a deep greenish and sometimes a bluish color and has a coarse, dry texture when touched.
Kentucky Bluegrass has an intense root system below the soil. For this reason, it is classified as being an extremely thick and durable grass.
The extensive root system allows the grass to repair itself quickly after experiencing severe or moderate damage. With that being said, this type of grass is found in areas that are exposed to a large amount of wear and tear, like around your driveway, surrounding walkways, and around steps.
Kentucky Bluegrass is popular in the northern regions of the United States because it does not cooperate well with extremely high temperatures or areas susceptible to droughts. These grasses require a mixture of sunshine as well as rain in order to grow successfully.
Ryegrass has a shiny texture and is rare because unlike most other grasses, it’s veins are visible on the blade. When mowed, Ryegrass’ health depends on the sharpness of the blade used on the mower. When cutting Ryegrass with a sharp blade, a white color is left on top of each blade of grass.
Also, when Ryegrass is cut with a dull blade, the grass starts to shred. You should always use mid-sharp blades when cutting Ryegrass or you risk damaging your lawn permanently.
There are many different types of Ryegrass found across the United States. The most common type is Perennial Ryegrass. It is the most commonly recommended type of grass to use when mixing multiple grass types for a lawn. This is largely due to its aesthetic appearance and ability to grow quickly.
Warm-Season Grasses in the South
Bermuda grass is commonly found in the most southern regions of the United States (especially California). This type of grass tolerates not only extremely high temperatures, but it is also able to thrive in colder temperatures.
Bermuda grass can healthily withstand being cut shorter than most other types of grasses can handle. For this reason, Bermuda grasses are commonly found in many golf courses in the Southern regions of the United States.
Bermuda grass can independently spread and seed above the ground as well as through the soil that’s below the ground (through the grass’ stem system). It has a dense root system, making it an extremely durable and thick type of grass, even the majority of the root system is growing above the ground.
This grass is the single most popular type of grass found on residential lawns across the United States. This is ironic because Bermuda grass requires a large amount of technical maintenance. Continuous labor is necessary to keep this grass type growing beautiful and healthy, (such as year-round fertilization, watering, and regular mowing to a short level).
Zoysia grass is very prickly and has stiff leaf blades. It is commonly grown in the central United States and even in some Eastern regions, like North and South Carolina since Zoysia grass grows best when exposed to large amounts of sunlight.
Zoysia grass grows at a prolonged rate, and can even take up to one full year for the grass to fully develop from seed. Even though Zoysia grass grows at an extremely low rate, once fully grown, it is a very thick, dense, and robust type of grass.
Zoysia grass also produces an excessive amount of seeds when not mowed on a regular basis. This contributes to the grass growing extraordinarily thick, and it can quickly become out of control. For this reason regular, attentive maintenance of Zoysia grass is crucial to maintaining a beautiful, healthy lawn.
Centipede grass is found in lawns located in warm and humid regions of the Southern United States. This grass commonly spreads and multiplies in soil that is above the ground. For this reason, Centipede grass can be similar in appearance to turf grass.
Centipede grass grows horizontally and has short blades. Both of these characteristics are beneficial for keeping pests away from your lawn.
This grass is unable to grow in climates that are dry and hot since it requires large amounts of moisture to successfully grow and maintain its health. Although it requires large quantities of hydration, it requires low maintenance, since it doesn’t need fertilizer or other certain specifications to grow.
Bahiagrass is found in lawns located in Florida as well as some other regions of America’s South. Bahiagrass is characterized by its durability as well as its ability to grow in soil that even contains some amounts of sand. Although Bahia grass is durable, it’s not thick, and it has a texture that resembles turf.
Since Bahia grass is durable, it is often grown in areas of lawns surrounding walkways, driveways, sidewalks, and gardens. Bahiagrass requires frequent mowing it because it needs to be kept short to maintain its appearance and health.
St. Augustine grass is commonly grown in lawns located in America’s most Southern states, including Texas, Florida, and other states along the Gulf Coast. This type of grass is unable to withstand colder temperatures, but it can tolerate areas containing extremely high temperatures and even droughts.
St. Augustine grass has a coarse texture and is recognizable by its broad blades and round tips. This grass is also capable of spreading and multiplying through soil that is located above the ground. There are different types of St. Augustine grass, including Floratam, which has longer blades of grass than the typical St, Augustine grass does.
Types of Ornamental Grass
Ornamental grasses are typically only noticed for their appearance, instead of serving a function. You may choose to use ornamental grasses in your lawn if you live in an area that has frequent droughts since types of ornamental grass are drought-resistant and don’t require much moisture.
Festuca grass is classified as an ornamental grass that is capable of withstanding a wide variety of inclement weather conditions. Not only this, but Festuca grass is also beneficial for people that travel in the summertime because it doesn’t require water maintenance during the hot, summer months.
Festuca grass is typically grown around the edges and borders of lawns, such as lining sidewalks, driveways, or along your house. Additionally, this type of ornamental grass presents a mixture of a blue and green color, which is beneficial for people that have bright plants in their garden.
Fountain grass is popular for growing in bunches with each other, which is beneficial for people that want more height in their lawn and garden areas. Not only this, but Fountain grass also can withstand a variety of weather conditions, including long periods of drought. Additionally, Fountain grass can grow in several different types of soil. There are multiple types of Fountain grass, including Redhead and Hameln.
Silvergrass is a type of ornamental grass that’s capable of handling a wide range of weather conditions, making it easier for you to manage your lawn if you live in areas susceptible to drought, frequent floods, or even hurricanes. Not only this, but Silvergrass also requires low maintenance, since they don’t need large amounts of water and they are extremely easy to manage.
Silvergrass also can withstand severe winter conditions, and they can prevent insects and pests from coming into your lawn. These types of grasses even have flowers that bloom in the late summer and early autumn months, which allows you to make your lawn look even more personal to you.
Muhlenbergia grass is an ornamental grass that’s commonly referred to as Muhly Grass. It is well known for its color. Muhly grass typically has a pleasant mixture of purple and pink colors and is a popular pick for homeowners that wish to add more color to their lawn or garden. Not only this, but Muhlenbergia grass can successfully grow from a wide variety of soils, which requires little maintenance from you.
Muhlenbergia grass grows best in locations that receive a large amount of sunlight. Muhlenbergia grass must be planted with sufficient space in between each plant to ensure that each plant gets enough sunlight and has enough room to grow to its full capacity.
Finding out what type of grass you have on your lawn is a problematic yet crucial process for maintaining your lawn. However, with this guide you are now one step closer to understanding your lawn and the maintenance required to ensure it remains healthy and beautiful for years to come.