Selecting the right type of grass is crucial for a successful lawn. Climate conditions and the amount of care a lawn receives help determine which type of grass should be planted. For example, warm season grasses are primarily grown in the southern United States, while cool season grasses grow in the northern United States. Neither of these flourishes in the other climate zone.
Some types of grass are drought tolerant and can handle little rainfall, while others need regular rainfall or they thin out considerably. If you live in a dry area and don't intend to water, you need a drought-tolerant type.
Decide if you need to grow warm season or cool season grass. If you live south of the line from Oklahoma to Tennessee to North Carolina, grow warm season grass because of the long, hot summers. North of that line, cool season grasses flourish best.
Decide whether you will provide supplemental watering for your lawn or not. Some drought-tolerant species include fescue for cool season grass and Bermuda grass for warm season grass.
Identify shady areas in your lawn. An area is considered shady if it does not receive at least four hours of direct sunlight per day. Grasses that do well in shade include fescue for cool season grass and centipede or St. Augustine grass for warm season grass.
Consider planting a grass that spreads to keep your turf looking full and healthy. Grasses that spread generally need to be grown in full sun, so if you have sun and shady areas, plant a few different types of grass. Kentucky bluegrass is a cool season grass that spreads rapidly, and Bermuda grass is a warm season grass that spreads well.