An Ultimate Guide to Grass Types

magnifying glass in hand on grass

Identifying your grass type may seem difficult especially when you aren’t knowledgeable of all the different grass species, their characteristics, and native regions. The following guide will help you easily identify different types of grass and determine the best grass for your lawn.

Map of the United States showing cool-season grass, warm-season grass, and transition zones.
Infographic by Juan Rodriguez

Seasonal Grass Types

We have classified different grass types based on different seasons:

  • Cool Season Grasses
  • Warm Season Grasses
  • Transitional Zone Grasses

Cool-season grass types

Cool season grasses thrive in cool, humid locations including Northeast, Midwest, and Pacific Northwest regions and cool, arid locations such as the Midwest. Cool-humid parts of the U.S. provide favorable conditions for cool-season grass types that include:

  • Fescues
  • Ryegrass 
  • Bentgrass
  • Bluegrass


Fescues have wide, dark green blades and the upper side of blades is quite shiny. Tall fescues have broad leaves and flat blades while fine fescues have fine leaves with thinner blades.


Ryegrass has shiny leaves that are narrow and bright green in color. It has no hair and new leaves are folded.


Bluegrass has two types, Kentucky bluegrass and rough bluegrass. Bluegrass can grow up to 24 inches in length and you can easily identify it by its V-shaped leaves.

Other cool-season grass types

If you’re living in a cool-arid region, then you may find buffalograss, Canada bluegrass, and wheatgrass growing in your backyard.

growth of cool season grass
Infographic by Juan Rodriguez

Tips for growing cool-season grass

  • Apply fertilizers in the fall for optimal density and root nourishment.
  • Get rid of weeds in the late spring or early fall when they grow rapidly.
  • The best time to grow cool-season grass is late summer to early fall, as it thrives with hot days and cold nights.

Warm-season grass types

Warm-season grass types grow best in warm regions where the temperatures range from 80 to 95 degrees. These grass types are mostly found along the Gulf Coast. The warm zone includes regions that are warm and humid such as the Southeastern part of the U.S. However, there are some parts of the U.S. that are warm and dry, typically the Southwestern region.

If you’re living in the Southwest, you will probably find heat-tolerant grass types such as bermudagrass and buffalograss best for your lawn. 

If your home is in the Southeast, then Bahiagrass, St. Augustine, and Zoysia are the different types of yard grass you’ll find in your neighborhood.

Here is a closer look at bermuda, St. Augustine and Zoysia grasses:


rawpixel | CC0

Bermudagrass can be easily identified by its roots and texture. It has above-ground roots that can be seen easily. You can also find small hairs on its leaves.

St. Augustine

Forest & Kim Starr | Wikimedia Commons | CC BY 3.0

St. Augustine is a rough-textured grass that has thick, rounded blades. With darker green color and thick, flat leaves, it forms a dense layer of green carpet.


Forest & Kim Starr | Wikimedia Commons | CC BY 3.0

Zoysia has a light-green color that usually turns brown during dormancy. It has smoother blades and can maintain its green color much longer than other warm-season grass species.

growth of warm season grass
Infographic by Juan Rodriguez

Tips for growing warm-season grasses

  • Fertilize warm-season grass in early spring when it rejuvenates after winter dormancy.
  • Mow your lawn with sharp blades and don’t cut more than ⅓ of the grass length.
  • The ideal time for growing warm-season grass is late spring.

Transition-zone grass types

The transition zone includes areas where the temperatures rise and fall dramatically, including the East-Central and Mid-Central regions of the U.S. These regions are least feasible for many grass species due to their exposure to droughts, changing weather, and lack of shade.

In the transition zone, grass will be exposed to both cool and warm weather so it needs to have a higher tolerance to thrive. Choosing heat-tolerant grass types is a wise idea.

Some popular transition-zone grasses include:

  • Fescues
  • Bluegrass
  • Ryegrass
  • Zoysia
  • Thermal Blue

Grass Type Characteristics

Now that you know your zone, you need to determine the best types of grass to plant in your yard. Knowing your region’s climate and area’s soil condition will be quite helpful for growing the lush, green grass you desire. 

If you are wondering what types of lawn grass are suitable for your yard, you must know the characteristics of different grass types.

General Grass Care by Seasons

A healthy lawn not only adds to the value of your home but also enhances its aesthetics. To maintain a lush green lawn, you must know what type of treatment your grass needs season after season. 

We have compiled some pro tips covering lawn care required by season to keep your lawn healthy.


Spring is when your grass demands the most care, after winter dormancy. Your lawn’s health is majorly influenced by the way you treat it in the spring.

person spreading fertilizer on the soil
sakchai_R | Canva Pro | License


For optimum results, use mild, organic fertilizer and do not use it excessively as it can burn the grass leaves.


Use a pre-emergent herbicide to remove any weeds that you might see in your lawn. Common weeds include crabgrass, and weeds usually grow in the summer.


Water your lawn an inch a week and not more than that. Spring is usually moist and the soil contains water. Excessive water can damage roots. You can check the moisture by digging the soil a bit.


Summer is the time when you spend the most time on your lawn. Here are some tips for keeping a healthy lawn that you can enjoy in the summer.


MariuszBlach | Canva Pro | License

For cool-season grasses, mowing length should be 3-4 inches.

For warm-season grasses, mowing length should be 2-3 inches. 

Don’t mow your lawn too frequently and always use sharp blades.

Weed Control

Weeds emerge and become more visible in the summer. To get rid of weeds, you can use two methods: conventional and chemical. Pluck weeds with your hands if your lawn is not heavily populated, otherwise chemical methods are a good option.


Weeds emerge and become more visible in the summer. To get rid of them, you can use two methods: conventional and chemical. Pluck them with your hands if your lawn is not heavily populated, otherwise chemical is a good option.


maple leaf on green grass

Fall provides you the last chance to look after your lawn before the harsh winter. The care your lawn gets in this season shows results in the upcoming months.


Apply a slow-release fertilizer that is rich in nitrogen as it enhances grass color. Don’t apply fertilizer on a dry lawn, and water your lawn before applying fertilizer.


Mowing should keep your grass at 2-3 inches high. Leaving your grass too tall can expose it to fungal diseases.


Keep watering your lawn constantly for optimal growth. Don’t rely on rain.

FAQ About Grass Types and Lawn Care

How can I be sure what grass zone I’m in?

The best type of grass for your lawn depends on your region’s climate. We all know that America’s climate system is a little complex, and to keep things easier for you, we have divided the common grass types into 6 regions.

  1. Northeastern grass types

    Kentucky bluegrass, ryegrass, and fescues can be found all across the northeastern region. Residents of this region can please themselves with the amazing blends of Kentucky bluegrass with fescue and ryegrass.
  2. Midwestern grass types

    The Midwest region mostly stays cool during the year with varying humidity. The best grass types for the heartland are tall fescues and perennial ryegrass. You can blend them together for better durability.
  3. Southeastern grass types

    The climate in the Southeast mostly stays warm and humid. It provides the most favorable conditions for the southern grass types that thrive under warm and humid conditions. Bermuda and ryegrass are the types you can plant considering their tolerance against heat, droughts, and salt.
  4. Southwestern grass types

    The southwestern region is favorable for grass types that can fare well in the warm and dry season. Bermudagrass is the most suitable breed that you can plant in this region. It requires frequent watering but is heat-tolerant.
  5. Gulf Coast grass types

    The Gulf Coast and deep southern regions have high temperatures and humidity levels. Bahiagrass and centipedegrass are the two low-maintenance species that you can have to beautify your lawn.
  6. Pacific Northwest grass types

    This region has cool weather with varying humidity levels and provides favorable conditions for grasses that are cold-tolerant. Tall fescues and bluegrass are preferred in arid zones while fine fescues and ryegrass do well in humid zones.
Person pulling weeds in a lawn
DmitryTkachev | Canva Pro | License

How do I grow my grass?

Growing grass and creating a perfect lawn have a lot to do with what kind of seed you choose, how you plant it, and how you hydrate it. Of course you want to grow your grass quickly and to be thick, green, and healthy.

You should look after your grass like you would look after your children. A green and thick grass is a result of proper nourishment and consistent care. You should water it deeply, aerate it when required, kill weeds, use organic fertilizers, and mow it frequently to maintain its thickness, color, and health. 

If you take the lawn care steps outlined above, growing a scenic lawn shouldn’t be a problem for you.

Some grass growing tips

person watering grass with a hose
ChristinLola | Canva Pro | License
  • If you want to maintain a thick, green turf, and want that to happen quickly, then you should plant ryegrass seeds as ryegrass is the fastest-growing grass.
  • Spring and fall are the best seasons to plant grass seeds. Make sure to add moisture to the soil and cover the seeds not more than 1/4 inch of the soil. Water your seeds lightly to keep the soil moist and soft.
  • To increase thickness, aerate your lawn, water it deeply, apply organic fertilizers , and mow your grass to the optimal length.
  • To hydrate your lawn properly, water in the morning – and deeply – but not too frequently.

Or Let Our Pros Show Your Grass Some Lawn Love

Caring for a lawn – keeping it green, healthy, and trimmed – is a lot of work. Chances are you have better things to do with your time. Lawn Love’s vetted pros can mow, trim, and edge your lawn and blow away the debris. 

Lawn care made easy – That’s what Lawn Love is all about. You’ll get a custom quote in seconds and service shortly thereafter. Call the number at top right of your screen, click this link to find Lawn Love pros near you, or download the Lawn Love app and manage your mowing right there from your smartphone.

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