Choosing the right grass for your lawn requires comparing many different factors and grass characteristics. Each type of grass comes with its own set of strengths and weaknesses that determine how well it will perform in a growing environment. They key to a successful lawn is to familiarize yourself with these characteristics and select a grass that is best suited to your area's climate and soil conditions, as well as your lawn preferences.
Distinguish between warm-season and cool-season grass. Cool season grass, such as Kentucky blue and fescue, perform best in north-central and Midwestern states. Warm-season grass, such as Bermuda grass and Bahia grass, prefer southern and coastal regions.
Compare maintenance levels of each grass. Fescue requires little supplemental watering, average mowing frequency and is resistant to most diseases. It is susceptible to white grubs. Bermuda grass requires frequent fertilization, often leading to frequent mowing, and is susceptible to many pests.
Analyze which grasses perform best in your area's soil type. Bahia grass thrives in porous, sandy soil, while tall fescue is suitable for clay soil. Acidic sioils, with a pH level of less than 7.0, are a good match for either carpet grass or centipede grass.
Determine how much sun exposure each grass type requires. Kentucky blue is a shade-tolerant grass that is often planted in heavy shade, such as under large trees. Tall fescue grows well in partial shade, while centipede grass requires full sun exposure.
Compare the texture of various grasses. St. Augustine grass, Bahia and fescue are coarse grasses. Grasses such as Bermuda grass and Zoysia grass have a fine texture. Texture is usually a matter of personal preference, unless planted on a golf course, which requires fine-textured grass.