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Choosing the Right Warm Season Grass

Choosing the Right Warm Season Grass

The basic requirement for a flourishing lawn is the right kind of grass. If you are in doubt about how to select the best warm season grass for your lawn, this Gardenerdy article is surely going to make your job easy. Just have a look!
Gardenerdy Staff
Warm season grasses are the ones which grow during summers and become dormant in winters. After a long period of dormancy, these grasses revive in mid-spring. These are drought-resistant, and capable of thriving in dry weather with limited availability of water. During summers these grasses appear lush green, and in winters develop beautiful fall colors imparting a different look to the landscape. Warm season grasses are of several varieties, each one having different characteristics. It is extremely important for you to pick the perfect variety for your lawn so that you get what you are looking out for.

Tips for Selecting the Perfect Warm Season Grass

#1. Determine your climate zone
The U.S. is divided into three zones; namely, North, South, and the transition zone. These zones are devised so as to determine which kind of grass is suitable for growing in a particular area. The southern zone is mostly suitable for growing warm season grasses. A zone map for grasses is easily available on the Internet. So check which zone you live in, and determine the type of grass that is fit for your location. Factors like elevation, amount of sunlight received, and proximity to the sea must also be considered for choosing the right variety of grass for your lawn.

#2. Consider its utility
The next step to select grass is to determine what the lawn is going to be used for. You may either want a beautiful lawn for aesthetic purpose or may want it as a playground for children. Not all grasses grow well in high traffic areas. Therefore, first consider your lawn's utility and then make the choice accordingly.

#3. How much maintenance work can you carry out
Determining the amount of time and effort you can put in maintaining your lawn will help you in deciding the suitable grass type. If you are looking for a low maintenance grass, select a variety that is drought-resistant and has slow growth. However, if you are willing to spend more time in taking care of your lawn, then you can use varieties that require regular upkeep like fertilizer application, watering, mowing, etc.

#4. Decide on the type of grass you want to use
Every variety of warm season grass has certain characteristics. It can either be perennial or annual. Also, the life span of every variety is different. Some species grow in bunches, whereas others creep over the ground. These factors change the appearance of a lawn in a great way. So visualize the look of your lawn beforehand and select the grass accordingly. Last, but not the least, do not forget to take into consideration the cost of using a particular variety for your lawn.

Warm Season Grass Varieties You Can Choose From
There are plenty of varieties of warm season grasses you can choose from. Given below is a list of some common varieties that are widely used for growing in lawns and landscape gardens.
CHARACTERISTICS BERMUDA GRASS BAHIA GRASS ST. AUGUSTINE GRASS CENTIPEDE GRASS ZOYSIA GRASS
TEXTURE Fine Coarse Coarse Medium Medium/ Fine
SOIL REQUIREMENT Wide range Wet acid soil Wide range Acid soil Well-drained soil
WATERING Weekly Weekly or longer Weekly Weekly Weekly
MOWING HEIGHT 1/2" - 2" 2" - 4" 3.5" - 4" 1.5" - 2" 3/4" - 2"
SHADE TOLERANCE Poor Moderate Moderate Fair/ Good Fair/ Good
COLD TOLERANCE Good Poor Poor Fair Good
TRAFFIC TOLERANCE Good Excellent Poor Fair Fair/ Good

A lot of time and effort is required to establish a lush green lawn. You can use warm season grass seeds, sod, or sprigging as the method of lawn establishment. Usually, sowing of seeds must be done somewhere around mid-April to mid-May for optimal growth of grass. Some varieties grow well when methods like sprigging are used. An attractive lawn is a rewarding addition to your home landscape. You can definitely not play with it, as it calls for a substantial amount of investment. Therefore, give it a nice thought and follow the tips given above so that you can choose the best grass to convert your land into an attractive lawn.