How To Choose The Right Grass For Your Lawn | Killingsworth
  1. How To Choose The Right Grass For Your Lawn

FEBRUARY 01 2022 /

How To Choose The Right Grass For Your Lawn

5 Things To Consider When Choosing Grass Seed For Your Lawn

Hello again! If you’ve been following along with our blogs, then you know we love to share our expert lawn care advice. This blog is no different! When it comes to choosing the correct grass for your lawn, there are quite a few things to consider. You’ll want to look at where you live, how much activity your lawn sees throughout the year, the level of care it needs and more. Below, we discuss everything you need to know before deciding on the perfect grass seed for your lawn.  By using this blog as your guide, you should have no trouble picking the perfect grass for your lawn. With any luck (and a little advice from our experts) your lawn will look lush, healthy and beautiful all year long

1. Where You Live

Where do you live? If you’re located in the Northern Zone of the United States, where summers are mild and winters are cold, cool-season grasses will work best for your lawn.  However, if you live in the Southern Zone of the United States with hot summers and mild winters, warm-season grasses will make your lawn thrive.  Or maybe you live right in the middle, in what we like to call the Transition Zone. In this zone of the United States, both grass types are known to thrive. However, we typically recommend a blend of grasses for the best results, as well as considering the type of maintenance needed, how much sun your yard gets and the levels of activity your lawn sees (all of which we discuss more of below).  But before digging into that, let’s get to know what warm-season and cool-season grasses are.

Cool-Season Grasses

These grass types thrive in spring and fall, and will remain green throughout winter. However, they do not do well in heat, so it’s not unusual for these grasses to brown in the summer, especially if they lack proper maintenance.
Kentucky Bluegrass
Bluegrass is one of the most common grasses in the Northern regions, as well as the West Coast and Transition Zone. This grass type thrives in direct sunlight, and will not tolerate shade. 
Fine Fescue
While this grass type is less attractive than its cool-season counterparts, it’s extremely tolerant and requires little maintenance. Fine Fescue can live in the shade and through drought, making it an ideal grass for lawns that don’t receive direct sunlight and regular rainfall. 
Tall Fescue
Similar to Fine Fescue, Tall Fescue is also unattractive in appearance due to its coarse texture. Its texture comes in handy though! Tall Fescue isn’t prone to lawn thatch and is highly tolerant against pests. Plus, Tall Fescue can thrive in heat and drought, making it a relatively low-maintenance grass type. 
Perennial Ryegrass
Looking for a grass to mix with your Kentucky Bluegrass? Perennial Ryegrass may be the perfect candidate! Both Kentucky Bluegrass and Perennial Ryegrass are the most appealing cool-season grasses. Plus, it tolerates high traffic and activity, making it the perfect grass for busy families or homes with pets

Warm-Season Grasses

If you live in the South like us, then warm-season grasses are likely your go-to! These grass types thrive in the heat of summer, and go dormant in areas with little rain. However, warm-season grasses don’t thrive in the cold, so they are likely to go dormant in the winter. 
While this grass type is one of our least favorites, it’s common in the South. Most Bermudagrasses are course in texture, prone to lawn thatch and can invade unwanted areas quickly. It’s highly tolerant of activity though, and can repair itself quickly.
St. Augustinegrass
Native to the Gulf states, there’s a reason this grass type is named St. Augustine! St. Augustinegrass is known for providing lush, thick lawns and requires moderate levels of maintenance. 
Also known as “lazy man’s grass”, Centipedegrass requires little maintenance to look healthy and green. This grass type is not known to be inviting to pests or common lawn diseases, either. 
Zoysiagrass forms a thick turf, which looks nice a majority of the year. This type of grass lies dormant for a while though, and requires annual dethatching. The best part of Zoysiagrass? It’s a regular pro at choking out pesky weeds!

2. The Acidity of Your Lawn

Everyone’s lawn has different levels of acidity, which is why yearly lime applications are so important. Ideally, you want the pH level of your lawn to be between 6 and 7.5. This will allow most turf grasses to thrive.  Certain grasses, both cool and warm-season, require certain pH levels to survive. For example, Kentucky Bluegrass only tolerates acidity levels between 6 and 7.5, while Zoysiagrass requires an acidity level between 5.5 and 6.5.  So, a highly acidic or sandy lawn may not work well for the grass type of your choosing. While you can complete a soil test on your own, we always suggest reaching out to a local lawn care professional to verify the pH level of your soil and suggest a tolerant grass type. 

3. Wear and Tear

When choosing the perfect grass for your lawn, you need to consider how much wear and tear your lawn may go through. If you have children or pets, there’s a chance your lawn will experience some damage. If that’s the case, you’ll want to choose a highly tolerant grass that can repair itself quickly.  On the other hand, if your lawn doesn’t see much activity throughout the year, you can get by choosing a grass that isn’t as tolerant.  Perennial Ryegrass and Tall Fescue can tolerate high traffic, while Kentucky Bluegrass isn’t as tolerant of activity. For warm-season grasses, Zoysiagrass and Bermudagrass are known to thrive despite lots of activity, while Centipedegrass isn’t as tolerant. 

4. Maintenance

If you’re like us, taking care of your lawn is one of your top priorities. Taking the time to mow, fertilize and weed your lawn is never an issue—it’s usually something to look forward to! However, we understand that not every homeowner is like us and has the time to dedicate to making their lawn beautiful.  No matter which side you fall on, it’s important to know how much work you’re willing to put into your lawn, and how much maintenance your lawn requires. Some grasses will need regular maintenance and care to make them look their best. While others will require little work on your part for them to thrive!  Typically the more lush, attractive grasses like Kentucky Bluegrass require more work. Bermudagrass, on the other hand, is one of the less eye-catching grasses but it won’t need much from you to help it grow. 

5. Sunlight vs. Shade

Lastly, you want to consider how much sun or shade your lawn will receive throughout the day. Some grass types, especially the warm-season grasses, need at least eight hours of direct sunlight a day to survive. So if your home is primarily in the shade, these grass types may not work best for you. Cool-season grasses won’t require as much direct sunlight, though. Typically, these grasses need four to six hours of direct sunlight a day, making them a more ideal choice for homes with lots of shade. 

Can’t Decide? Killingsworth Can Help!

Picking the ideal grass type for your lawn is sometimes easier said than done! With everything to consider, you may need some additional help. If that’s the case, trust the lawn care professionals at Killingsworth to get the job done! We’ll be able to examine your lawn to determine which grass type, or blend of grasses, will work best for your lawn. With our expert care and experience, you’re practically guaranteed to have the best looking lawn on the block! Schedule a service with us today to get started.