Wiggling your feet in your own lush green lawn is a pleasure. But for many homeowners, achieving that coveted lawn is more difficult than it sounds.
Growing a luxurious green lawn can be a struggle in any condition and environment. Most homeowners opt to grow their lawns from seed since it’s cheaper, especially for small lawns.
The success of your lawn hinges on the type of grass seed you use. The different types of grass differ in appearance and how well they tolerate different lawn conditions. Here are some considerations you should make when selecting the right grass seed for your lawn.
Start with your region
Fighting nature, especially when it comes to gardening, is always a bad idea. Instead, choose the right type of grass seed for your region so you start out with nature on your side. A good starting point is understanding which growing zone you’re in and selecting the strain of grass that’s designed to withstand conditions in your region.
Stretching from Texas to the Atlantic Ocean, this region is mainly warm and humid. Grasses like Bermuda grass, which are highly tolerant of drought, salty soils, and heat, are well adapted to the conditions of the southern region. Bermuda grass dominates in this climate since it can tolerate extreme climatic conditions. Be sure to check out our post on crab grass killer.
There are several textures of Bermuda grass. But generally, this type of grass is known to spread aggressively and produce a dark green lawn. During winter, Bermuda grass turns brown when temperatures drop. The green quickly grows back in spring.
In the northeast region of the United States, cool-season grasses such as rye grasses, fescues, and blue grasses dominate. Conditions that characterize the region, such as cool summers, high humidity, and cold winters, make it hard for plants to grow. Most homeowners in the region select grasses that are tolerant of cooling temperatures and are naturally disease-resistant.
The Kentucky bluegrass that’s ideal for a lush green lawn prevails throughout the northern and northeast tier of the states. With dark green, finely-textured blades, this cool-season grass has epitomized the lawn industry. During the dry season, Kentucky bluegrass depends on supplemental irrigation.
The arid southwest region begins in Texas and stretches over to southern California. In these high and low desert climates, turf grasses face a unique set of challenges resulting from intense sunlight, saline water, and alkaline soil. The region is mostly characterized by varying ground elevations and high temperatures.
Lawn growers in this region usually prefer to grow the resilient varieties of Bermuda grass, such as Pennington Sahara Bermuda grass. This finely-textured grass type is popular in the region since it effortlessly flourishes even in the droughts that are common in the area.
The states in the Midwest region experienced humidity levels that are almost identical to those in the northeast. This is especially true for the eastern part of the region. These humidity fluctuations demand that the grass being planted is capable of thriving in cool conditions.
Bluegrass varieties are dominant here. With sufficient watering, fescues and rye grasses also perform well. The perennial rye grass is preferred for its fast-growing and versatility even under the full mid western sun. It requires additional irrigation during drought periods, however, or it goes dormant and loses color.
Many lawn care enthusiasts and professionals are well aware of this region because it presents challenges to all kinds of lawn grasses. Referred to as the transition zone, this region stretches from the Atlantic west coast to Kansas. The tricky factor with this region is that different climatic zones (like arid, humid, cool, or warm) all collide in this region. Selecting an ideal grass type for this region is difficult since the summer is too hot for the cool-season grasses and the winters are too cold for the warm-season grasses.
Grass strain mixes are common on the transition region lawns. Zoysia grass and tall fescue are dominant in this region. Tall fescue is most common due to the long roots that enable it to withstand the droughts and heat tolerance to grow through the summer. Zoysia, on the other hand, is cold-resistant.
Grass function and purpose
You’ll want to consider the future purpose of your grass when choosing grass seed. Scrutinize your yard for any challenges that might come up in the future. You may be growing your lawn for different purposes, such as a ground cover or ornamental purposes. Once you’re content with what purpose your lawn will be serving, narrow in on what kind of strain will be ideal for your lawn. Here are a few factors to consider.
Take into consideration the amount of wear and tear your grass will take. If you expect children to play on the grass, select a grass type like Kentucky bluegrass, or the perennial ryegrass if you live in the cool regions. For those in warm regions, consider going with strong turfgrass like Bermuda grass, which holds up well to high traffic.
When selecting grass seed for your lawn, be realistic with the amount of maintenance you can handle. Some grass varieties require high maintenance, while others, like buffel grass, require little to no maintenance. Low maintenance is ideal for inaccessible and hard-to-water portions of your lawn. There several hardy grass options, such as centipede grass and Bermuda grass, that have low fertilizer and water requirements. Your also going to need a good edger/here is our top picks.
Some varieties of lawn grass are tolerant to shade, while others cannot withstand shade. Varieties like St. Augustine grass can handle shady sites quite well. The fine-leaf fescue is also a common choice for shady lawns.
Selecting the right seed quality
Even after selecting the ideal grass type for your region and lawn purpose, you still have to purchase high-quality grass seeds. A good rule of thumb is to stay away from cheap bags of seed; they tend to contain low-quality grass seeds and lots of weed seeds.
When you purchase a bag of grass seeds, it usually has more than the seeds of grass you need. Low-quality seeds have high amounts of an inert material like chaff, seeds that won’t germinate, weed seeds, and seeds of other crops. Some seed production companies are also adding germination additives in the seeds.
When shopping for grass seed for your lawn, check to make sure the seed has little or no additives or inert material. High-quality seeds are sorted to remove weed seeds and have a guaranteed germination rate of more than 85%. Also, check out the best lawn fertilizer for your yard to ensure your lawn grass grows just like you want it to.