You just moved into a new home, and it looks brilliant. It also has a great yard that will look fantastic with the perfect grass. However, identifying the right grass species for your home may seem difficult if you don’t know where to begin. For starters, you’ll need topsoil, and you can buy it from a local store by searching for “topsoil near me”. Let’s check out how you can identify the top lawn grass species for your home.
- Geographic Location – Location is the most important factor when identifying lawn grass species for your home. If you live in the Northern zone in Canada and Northern US, winters are cold, and summers are moderate. This region is perfect for growing cool-season grasses like perennial ryegrass, Kentucky bluegrass, and tall fescue. If you live in the Southern zone with moderate winters and hot summers, your property is more suited for warm-season grasses like Bermuda grass, Augustine grass, zoysia grass, and St. Augustine grass.
On the other hand, if you live in the transition zone between the above-mentioned two zones, you’ll experience cold winters and hot summers. In this kind of climate, cool-season grasses won’t survive the summer heat while warm-season grasses remain brown for most of the year and may get damaged during the winter season. That’s why people tend to choose grass varieties like tall fescue in the transition zone since it shows high tolerance to both cold and heat. Kentucky bluegrass and Bermuda grass also fare well.
- Yard Conditions – After geographic location, you need to think about the conditions of your yard. You can grow almost any of the suited varieties in your climate if there are no special challenges. However, if you have special circumstances like lack of water, deep shade, and salty soil, your choices get narrowed down even more.
Let’s assume that you’re planning to grow your lawn on a low input area that’s hard to supply with fertilizer and water. In that case, buffalograss and fine-leaf fescues may be the only option if you live in the Northern zone. If you live in the southern zone, centipedegrass is a decent low-maintenance option.
For deep shade areas, fine-leaf trees are well suited. As you move towards the south, St. Augustine is a great option that manages to stay green with limited sunlight. On the other hand, if you’re planning to grow grass on high-traffic areas like stone walkways, you may consider Kentucky bluegrass and ryegrass if you live in the north. If you live in the south go for Bermudagrass.
When you buy seeds for your lawn, you can pick up seed mixes that are made for certain conditions. The label would say if they were suited for sunny, dry, wet, or shady conditions and even the amount of foot traffic they can handle. If you can pick up the bag with the right ratio of grass species, you’ll have an easier time growing and maintaining your lawn.
On the other hand, if you have salty soil, you have very few options. People living near the sea usually opt for seashore paspalum since the grass is highly tolerant to salt sprays experienced by coastal sites. The grass can also be used for sites that have water with higher salt concentrations than normal. With that out of the way let’s check out a few specifics about some common grass species for your lawn.
- Kentucky Bluegrass – As mentioned above, this is one of the most common cool-season grass species for northern lawns. It can also be found in the transition zone and the west coast where proximity to the ocean results in the moderate summer heat. It has a medium texture and a dark hue and is usually sold mixed with other varieties, especially perennial ryegrass for best results.
If you have a few bare spots, this grass will spread and cover them up pretty quickly without any additional effort. Moreover, if the winter season gets especially harsh, it can survive those extreme temperatures as well.
- Tall fescue – Tall fescue is a cool-season grass species that can tolerate both droughts and the summer heat. That’s why apart from the Northern Zone it is also grown in the South and in the Transition zone even when some people don’t prefer their coarser texture. They are also low maintenance since they are pest-resistant. However, their ability to spread into bare patches is quite muted.
- Bermudagrass – Bermudagrass is a warm-season grass that has a coarse texture. However, hybrid varieties have finer grass blades and make for an attractive lawn. Keep in mind that hybrid varieties require sprigs while the traditional “common” variety can be planted from seeds.
Since they are warm-season grass, you need to overseed the lawn with ryegrass before the winter season to maintain color during the cold. If you have large bare patches of grass, this is one the best grass species for your lawn since it spreads quickly. However, you’ll need to provide it with ample sunlight.
- Zoysia grass – Zoysia grass is similar to tall fescue since it can also tolerate opposite conditions. That means it’s a warm-season grass that can survive and even thrive in cold conditions. They have a medium dense texture and the thick lawn they create completely cuts off sunlight and deters weed growth.
They can also tolerate droughts and can grow in partial shade. However, growing them can be a demanding chore since they have a long dormancy period. Moreover, they aren’t well-suited for winter overseeding and need to be detached once a year. Apart from that, they are also very slow to recover from damage and in that condition can make your lawn look unattractive for several weeks.
There are warm and cool summer grasses and depending on your region, soil, and climate, some of them would be well suited for your lawn. If you need topsoil for that lawn, you can buy it from a nearby store by searching for “topsoil near me”.