Best grasses for Charleston, SC
The coastal seaport of Charleston, SC offers cool sea breezes, a sandy coast, and a mild climate. Those who want a lush, emerald green lawn must be careful to choose the right type of grass or your yard may suffer from lawn death every year when fall begins to end.
Using a Charleston fertilization expert can help keep your lawn looking great, but only a few kinds of grass look good all year no matter what. That is simply because like flowers and other plants, different grasses have certain climates in which they grow well.
Cool-season, warm-season, and ornamental grasses all grow well in the Lowcountry. The best year-round choice for the southern coastal region of the Palmetto State goes by Charleston grass in the state, but you will see it referred to as St. Augustine grass by nurseries. Other popular grasses for Charleston lawns include Bahia, Bermuda grass, Centipede grass, Kentucky bluegrass, Perennial ryegrass, Tall fescue and Zoysia. While you may need a Charleston fertilization expert to help get a new lawn going, most grasses spring up well in the area in less than a year. In cases of a tornado or hurricane damage, call a Charleston yard clean up service to get the debris up and prep the lawn for reseeding or new plugs.
Bahia grass is one of the warm-season turfgrasses that do well in the summer heat. It goes dormant during winter meaning it turns beige until around April. You can sprinkle it with the seed of a cool-season grass during early fall so that the alternate grass comes up to provide a deep green lawn until spring.
Another warm-season turfgrass, Bermuda grass, spouts up quickly from seed. It will take less than a year to grow a lush lawn from Bermuda seed. This drought-tolerant grass can handle the hot summers of the Carolina coasts, provides a tough turf, plus grows well despite salt spray. This aggressively growing grass does poorly in shade. Everywhere else, it grows like a weed, meaning you will periodically need to call a Charleston weed control expert to get it under control. Hybrid Bermuda grasses including Tifway, Tifway II, Midiron, Vamont, Riviera, Princess 77, and Tifdwarf all do well in Charleston. The latter choice you will see used on football fields, golf courses, and other high traffic recreational areas.
The warm-season turfgrass, centipede grass, grows well in all areas of SC. It provides a dense lawn with little need for fertilizing or mowing. It grows slowly and once grown boasts a light-green hue. You cannot neglect your centipede grass though it needs little maintenance. It grows equally well in partial shade to full sun. That comes in handy in a city filled with magnolia trees and weeping willows. It's stolons, or above-ground runners, make it easy to control, unlike Bermuda grass.
Those yards you admired in Charleston in December with their deep-green color were planted with Charleston grass, also called St. Augustine grass. It exhibits an amazing tolerance to salt spray and can grow well in shade. It provides a fairly dense turf that exhibits a blue-green or deep green color. Like centipede grass, it can easily be contained. Over-fertilizing or overwatering it can cause thatchiness. Chinch Bugs feed on this grass, but you can buy bug resistant versions.
Kentucky bluegrass does well year-round but looks best during spring and fall. It survives best in moist soil. It is one of the grasses that require a lot of summer and winter maintenance. This grass can benefit from a sprinkling of cool-season grass seed in early autumn so the winter grass comes up to provide a deep green lawn until spring.
The cool-season grass perennial ryegrass is frequently used to overseed dormant lawns in fall. Around the time you make an appointment with a Charleston gutter cleaning service for fall cleanup, use this grass to seed your dormant lawn. It grows best when the temperature range is between 60 to 75 degrees. It comes in quickly and produces a green cover that hides the dormant grass' brown color. In hot weather it often falls to disease, but as a winter lawn does well.
Tall fescue, a cool-season grass also works well as an over-seed for a dormant warm-season grass. It grows best in SC's Foothills and Piedmont regions, but does well in the Lowcountry, too. This is another seeding you should time with your fall Charleston gutter cleaning. That means you seed the lawn at the same time you winter prep your home. Within the fescues, Kentucky 31 exhibits a lighter green, pasture-type grass. "Turf-type" tall fescues provide a darker green hue and a thicker lawn plus they tolerate shade well. It can become clumpy during dry spells and droughts requiring periodic reseeding. This is typically best to do during the fall. To prevent this, irrigate the lawn or water it in the early mornings during dry spells.
The slow-growing Zoysia grass grows dense and deep green in partial shade or full sun. It provides a gorgeous lawn in all seasons but winter, when like most grasses it loses all color and imitates your khakis. If you plant plugs, it can take up to two years to grow. It can form thatch, a spongy formation of decayed plant matter if mowed too high or not often enough. This grass does not like to be heavily fertilized either. Two forms do especially well in SC, the Meyer and Emerald. The former exhibits strong cold tolerance and rapid growth and spread. The Emerald provides a darker green color enhanced shade tolerance.
Lawn Love provides the Charleston yard clean up help you need for year-round lawn care in Charleston. Our Charleston weed control experts can also help you with keeping your fescue or Bermuda grass under control. Call us today for help with your Lowcountry lawn.
Commonly asked questions
Are there currently any watering restrictions in Charleston?
There are currently no watering restrictions in Charleston. The city is fortunate to have an abundant water supply, even during a drought.
Are there any tree removal restrictions?
Protection of Grand Trees. The removal, relocation, destruction or abuse in any manner of any grand tree (24″ or greater D.B.H., excluding pine trees and sweetgum trees) is prohibited on any parcel of non-exempt land. For subdivisions, the siting of a lot so as to place a grand tree at or near the center of a lot in a location that will require the removal of the grand tree for construction of a dwelling unit, shall be prohibited.
Protected Trees Prior to Development. Where a building permit or subdivision approval has not been issued, the removal, relocation, destruction or abuse in any manner of more than twenty-five percent (25%) of the protected trees (8″ or greater D.B.H.) on any one (1) parcel of non-exempt land within any five (5) year period shall be prohibited. The total number of protected trees existing on any one parcel shall not be reduced below a total number equal to fifteen (15) protected trees per acre.
What is the height limit for trees?
Maintenance of landscaping and plant material in good condition. Vegetation, including, but not limited to, plants, trees, shrubbery and grass, which are dead, decayed, or diseased shall be removed. Overgrown vegetation shall be trimmed grass and weeds higher than twelve (12) inches.