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By Ilana Weiss

Grass types for your lawn and how to care for them

There are many factors to think about when deciding what grass type is best for your lawn. There's also a nice variety of grasses to think about and choose from. They are bahia, bermuda, bluegrass, centipede, fescue, perennial ryegrass, St. Augustine and zoysia.

When deciding which one of these grass types is best for you and your lawn, you should think about the following: the foot traffic you are expecting through your lawn; the amount of sunlight hitting your lawn or the angle the sun is facing your lawn from; the type of soil the grass needs in order to survive; the height the grass needs to be in order to survive versus how tall you want your grass to grow; the maintenance required to keep that grass type alive versus how much time and maintenance you actually feel like putting into lawn care; and the weather/temperatures where you live versus the weather/temperatures that the grass prefers.

Grass types for cooler seasons

Grasses that do better in cooler seasons are bentgrass, bluegrass, perennial ryegrass, fine fescue and tall fescue. If you have or expect a lot of foot traffic through your lawn, perennial ryegrass and tall fescue would both be a fitting choice for you because of their high tolerance to foot traffic. The good thing about these two grasses is you can plant them using pretty much any soil you want or can afford. Also, if you overseed perennial ryegrass with wintergreen, your lawn will still look good in warmer seasons. Both of these grasses grow and are kept taller.

However, if you do not have or expect a lot of foot traffic and do not want to put an excessive amount of effort into your lawn, fine fescue is a better grass type for you. Fescue can survive in almost any type of soil, but has a low tolerance for foot traffic. Fine fescue is a taller grass as well.

If you do not mind grass types that require specific soils and do not expect much foot traffic, some good grass types for you would be bentgrass and bluegrass. Bentgrass requires acidic soil and bluegrass requires ph 6.5-7 neutral soil. Bentgrass grows and is kept shorter, while bluegrass tends to grow and be kept taller.

Grass types for warmer seasons

Grasses that do better in warmer seasons are bahia, bermuda, centipede, St. Augustine and zoysia. The grasses that grow best in warm seasons and have the highest tolerance for foot traffic are bermuda, St. Augustine and zoysia. However, each of these grass types requires a different specific type of soil. Bermuda requires light textured soil, St. Augustine requires sandy soil, and zoysia requires pH 5.5-6.5 slightly acidic soil. Bermuda and zoysia are kept shorter and St. Augustine is kept taller.

Centipede is the only grass that does better in warmer seasons that has a low tolerance to foot traffic. Centipede is a shorter grass type that requires acidic soil. Bahia can tolerate a decent amount of foot traffic, but is not as tough and resistant to it as some other grass types. However, it is the only grass type that prefers warmer seasons that can be planted in almost any type of soil.

The higher north you are, the cooler it is, so you should look for grass types that are for cooler seasons. The further south you are, the warmer it is, so you should look for grass types that are for warmer seasons. Either way, as long as you take care of your grass type and maintain it properly, your lawn will reward you.

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