There are many varieties of grasses to choose from when planning your landscaping project. The key to finding the right grass for your yard depends on what part of the country you live in. After you determine the zone where your grass can live, you can choose among several types of grasses that will thrive in your region.
Areas of the country that have cold winters with temperatures that fall below freezing and warm to hot summers require cool-season grasses. Cool-season grasses include Kentucky bluegrass, red fescue, perennial rye grass, fine fescue and tall fescue. Kentucky bluegrass is a hardy grass that has a bluish tint from a distance. Tall fescue and red fescue are both shade- and drought-tolerant. Cool-season grasses need regular intervals of rain throughout the summer months. For extended hot, dry periods, a lawn irrigation system is necessary to keep your cool season grass green.
Warm-season grasses are best suited to the southern regions of the country. They are tropical in origin and thrive in the intense heat of summer. Warm-season grasses include Bahia grass, St. Augustine grass, Bermuda grass, buffalo grass, carpet grass, centipede grass and zoysia grass. If you have sandy or acidic soil, Bahia grass is a good choice. Buffalo grass is a low-maintenance grass. Both buffalo grass and Bermuda grass are drought-tolerant.
Transitional-zone grasses can function as either warm-season or cool-season grasses. They grow best in areas between the northern and southern regions. Types of grasses suitable for the transition zone include Kentucky bluegrass, tall fescue, perennial rye grass, thermal blue and zoysia grass, overlapping somewhat with cool-season. Thermal blue is a combination of tall fescue and Kentucky bluegrass. It is shade- and heat-tolerant. Tall fescue is also shade tolerant and a good choice for high-traffic areas. In general, the transition zone favors cool-season grasses over warm-season grasses.