Full sun or warmer weather grasses grow best in the Southern and Western United States due to the warm summer temperatures. Warmer weather grasses tend to grow and spread quickly and are very dense, which aids in the prevention of disease and weeds. These grasses will turn brown in the wintertime while they remain dormant, and return in the late spring typically appearing full and lush by early summer. Full sun grasses need at least 8 hours of direct, unfiltered sunlight daily to thrive and should be watered twice daily during the harsher summer months.
Bermuda is a turf grass that is both drought and heat resistant. It is an excellent option for those with kids and pets as it fairs very well when walked upon and remains low lying as it grows. Bermuda is a self seeding grass that spreads very quickly. If a garden also contains a large amount of ground level flower beds, Bermuda may not be the best option, as it has the ability to quickly and easily take over flower beds. Furthermore, Bermuda will not grow in shade, so avoid this species if there are large amounts of trees present in a yard.
Centipede grass is a hearty Southern grass that remains green year round. The ideal choice for a busy gardener, this grass can go much longer without mowing and requires minimal care. When healthy, it easily chokes out any weeds or other grasses. While dense, this grass takes multiple seasons to establish itself and can struggle with disease when nitrogen-based fertilizers are overused.
Popular for golf course fairways, Zoysiagrass is heat, drought and walking resistant. Similar to Bermuda, Zoysiagrass spreads and seeds vigorously and creates a thick lawn that is guaranteed to remain free of weeds. Also similar to Bermuda, this grass is seasonal and will turn brown in the wintertime. While Zoysiagrass does well against walking and normal pet abuse, it does not fair as well as Bermuda for severe abuse such as digging pets or football-playing children.
Originally from Texas and Florida, this grass can also be grown in many parts of Southern California. St. Augustine turf thrives in high heat, but also requires greater humidity and moist earth for optimal growth so it would not be suited for states such as Arizona or New Mexico. St. Augustine spreads almost entirely through stolons as its seeds rarely survive. St. Augustine is a high maintenance variety that requires annual de-thatching, considerably more mowing, and constant observation for disease and insects.