If you're interested in keeping a nice, healthy and green looking lawn then it's best to know which type of grass works well in your climate. Especially if you're planting a brand new lawn because you can control the type of grass that you plant. On the other hand, if you're just maintaining the existing grass in your lawn, it may be helpful to know which type of grass it is and how it acts in certain climates and situations.
In this case, lets say there are primarily two climates in the United States. The southern states mostly experience a warm climate and the northern states are mostly cool. Most turf grass will thrive in one or the other climate, but there is a little cross over with some types of grass and the region they grow in.
Some of the most common warm climate turf grasses:
Bermudagrass – Very common in the south and hot, dry areas. Used for residential lawns, sports fields, and parks. Does well in many soil types. Can be mowed up to 2". Requires regular irrigation and fertilizer to maintain a nice green appearance. Will turn brown if it gets too hot or dry.
St.Augustine Grass – Very common for residential lawns, but does not like heavy foot traffic. Does well in the heat. Requires needs regular watering. Does well if cut high, around 4". Most common way of planting is sod so it can produce a lot of thatch, which will be a maintenance concern.
Zoysiagrass – First, zoysiagrass is just fun to say! Native to many Asian countries, which is why it does well in coastal areas that have salty, sandy soils. Needs to be watered and fertilized regularly and mowed around 2". Does fair in the shade and grows slowly.
Some common cool climate turf grasses:
Bentgrass – (Sometimes referred to as "creeping bent grass"). Does not do well in hot dry climates. Likes to be cut very short and very often. Shallow root system. Usually creeps along the surface and spreads quickly.
Kentucky Bluegrass – Very common in northern states. Known to be pretty durable. Likes full sun, does not do as well in the shade. Likes to be mowed around 2 1/2". Known for its deep, dark green color. Can be blended with other types of grasses if necessary.
Perennial Ryegrass – Germinates quickly. Likes cool, moist environments. Carries a slightly lighter shade of green coloring. Can be blended with other types of grass and used in different applications such as ground cover and golf courses. Sometimes used in southern states for winter overseeding to keep the appearance of a green lawn in the cool months when other seeds go dormant.
By understanding the different characteristics of each type, you will have a better understanding of what to expect and how to treat your grass.
Whether you are maintaining an established lawn or starting from scratch and planting a new lawn, it is important to gather some basic information.
What part of the country do you live? What type of soil do you have? Do you have a lawn sprinkler system? Questions like these will help identify what type of grass is best planted in your area and will give you an idea of what to expect from a maintenance standpoint.