Many homeowners value a lush, green lawn. However, some grasses, such as Bermuda grass, turn brown in the winter and others are better suited to sunny areas than to shade. Some types of lawn germinate and grow quickly, while other types grow more slowly. Lawn seeds fall into two categories: cool season and warm season. Cool season grasses are best for areas where winter temperatures fall to zero degrees F, while warm season grasses are best for places with milder winters.
Both annual and perennial ryegrass are cool season grasses that grow very quickly. They are popular for this reason and because both types of ryegrass are a dark green color. Ryegrass is recommended for the northwest and coastal areas of the western U.S. Perennial ryegrass gives fast cover, because its seeds germinate in only five days. Annual ryegrass takes just a couple of days longer to sprout. Ryegrass helps to prevent erosion of slopes because of its fast-growing nature.
The bluegrasses are also cool season grasses that are commonly found in the northern states. Included in the bluegrass family are annual bluegrass, rough bluegrass, Supina bluegrass, Kentucky bluegrass and part Kentucky bluegrass. All of the bluegrasses germinate in about three weeks and are considered fast growers.
This warm season grass is popular in areas where winter temperatures are relatively mild. Because Bermudagrass will die back in the winter if freezes occur, plant a cool season grass seed along with your Bermudagrass if you want a green lawn all year round. Bermudagrass seeds sprout within two to three weeks of planting and grow quickly after that. It is drought tolerant, which makes it appropriate for hot southern climate zones.
Similar to Bermudagrass, buffalograss is also a warm season grass favored by folks in mild winter areas. It tolerates hot summers well and is attractive with its fine leaf texture.