Which Grass Type Is Best Suited to My Area?
Achieving a lush, healthy golf course lawn is no mean feat. It takes the right knowledge, methods, and lawn-care products to reach your grass goals. But it’s not just down to how you look after your lawn — your success also depends on your grass type and soil quality.
To save money on fertilizers, watering requirements, and biostimulants (to say the least!), you’ll need to match warm or cool-season grasses to the weather conditions of your growing region.
For instance, in the northern region of the US, cool-season grasses grow well in the cooler seasons, like spring and fall or moderately warm summers. In contrast, warm-season grasses thrive in the south, where temperatures are higher. Warm-season grass types can’t cope with the harsh winters in the north, so it’s essential to get it right — it could save you a lot of money in the long run.
To ensure your lawn has every advantage to flourish, you need to consider regional factors. But, not to worry — Golf Course Lawn Store is here to help. We’ll identify which grass types are best suited for your area so you can get the most out of your lawn and your lawn care investments.
The Best Grass for My Area: Northeast Region
In the Northeast region of the States, the climate is cooler. The winter of 2022/2023 is predicted to be even colder than the last. So, if you live in Virginia, Pennsylvania, or another Northeastern state — cool-season grasses are your best bet.
Bluegrasses, ryegrasses, and fescues are all grass varieties in the United States which are all suited to harsh winters, cool summers, and high humidity. Many grass types and even plants won’t withstand these challenging conditions, so you’ll have your work cut out if you’ve chosen a warm-season grass type for your lawn.
Our recommendation for the Northeast region? Kentucky bluegrass. This grass type is a well-adapted perennial (so it’ll last for several years) which has been popular amongst many grass enthusiasts as the “ideal” American lawn. Kentucky bluegrass blades are deep, emerald green, and resistant to cold winters.
Kentucky bluegrass is known to spread aggressively throughout the Northeast but requires a bit of extra watering in high heat and periods where rainfall is scarce. Drought conditions induce a dormant state in this type of grass, but it makes a strong comeback once watered.
Just like the Northeast, the Midwest is known for colder weather conditions, but humidity levels vary. Eastern states like Illinois will experience some humidity, and bluegrasses do well here. However, the more west, the more arid the growing conditions. Ryegrasses and fescues can thrive in a drought-like climate. Perennial ryegrass is the best grass type for the Midwest area — enjoying the sun but also tolerating periods of light shade.
Perennial ryegrass is a fast grower and produces finely textured dark green lawns. This grass’ color is incredibly vivid, even retaining its vibrancy throughout the winter. Perennial ryegrass will require additional watering in dry periods as it has a moderate tolerance to drought.
The Pacific Northwest and Transition Region
In the Pacific Northwest, the climate is cooler, with arid inland areas westward of Montana and Wyoming a mainstay for cool-season grasses. Bluegrasses and tall fescues are resistant to lawn diseases the wet and cool climate can encourage.
The transition zone refers to the central area of the States where the climate varies — from cool to warm to arid or humid. It’s a tricky one. But tall fescue is also an excellent choice for the transition region due to its deep roots and low maintenance. If you live further north in the transition zone, Zoysia grass is the best warm-season alternative and tolerates a lot of traffic with a dense, cushioned texture.
The Southeast and Southwest
Welcome to the warm-season grass zone of the USA. Inhabitants of Georgia, Florida, Texas, Alabama, and Tennessee — this is the best type of grass for your area. Warm-season grasses are best suited to this area, with Bermudagrass as the best grass type for the Southeast. Bermudagrass is known for its tolerance for heat and drought, and even saline conditions.
Bermudagrass blades are medium-coarse to fine in texture and are known to be a persistent grower. In its prime (during the summer months), Bermudagrass is thick and dark green in color, but in the winter, it turns brown like many other warm-season grasses. When spring comes, Bermudagrass greens up quickly — but if you want a consistently green lawn throughout the seasons, try overseeding with ryegrasses that maintain their color in the winter.
Bermudagrass is also suited to the Southwest, along with St Augustine and Zoysia, which only requires an inch of water per week. Currently, the Southwest is experiencing a megadrought, the likes of which have not been seen for years. It’s possible to reduce watering requirements by investing in soil moisture management products. Hydretain can cut your watering requirements in half by drawing moisture from below and above the root zone, allowing your grass to take advantage of the moisture already present in the soil.
Another way to retain water in your lawn is to set your irrigation system to only run in the early morning. When we say early, we mean early — in the small hours, perhaps around 4 am. This way, the water can soak into the lawn fully before the sun rises and the moisture evaporates. At this time, the wind also tends to be low, so you can achieve an even water spread that doesn’t get blown away in the wind.
The Deep South and Gulf Coast
The Deep South and Gulf Coast are known for high temperatures and humidity. Some of the best drought-tolerant grass types are Bahiagrass and Centipedegrass, which can withstand heat and dry conditions.
Bahiagrass is more coarse in texture than some cool-season grasses but is hardy, low-maintenance, and resistant to diseases and pests. Bahiagrass and Centipedegrass are some of the best grass seeds for full sun.
Centipedegrass grows relatively slowly, with a light-green color but is also highly resilient to weeds and can cope with nutrient-deficient soil — reducing mowing and fertilizer requirements. In the winter, Centipedegrass will maintain its color, and the denseness of its grass blades tolerate a heavy amount of foot traffic.
Choosing the Best Grass Type for Your Area
By complementing your region’s growing climate with the best grass seed for your area, it’s far easier to achieve a golf course lawn. It can also save you money on lawn-care costs in the future as you enjoy a stunning lawn with your friends and family. Give your lawn the best possible start by choosing a grass type that suits your region’s conditions, and reduce the time you spend on lawn maintenance.
Did you find this guide useful? If so, head to our blog to discover more lawn care guides and advice to get you one step closer to a golf course lawn.