Characteristics of Different Types of Grass Seeds

Rather than laying down grass sod, many homeowners plant grass seed to create a new lawn. Not only is it cheaper than sod, but planting seed requires less labor. However, with so many different grass seeds from which to choose, it can be confusing which type of seed to plant. Various factors are involved in choosing a grass seed such as a region's climate, including annual rainfall.

Kentucky Bluegrass Seed

Kentucky bluegrass, one of most common cool season grasses, is known for its blue-green color. Although it creates a good lawn when it's grown alone, it does even better when included in a mixture. This type of grass seed takes time to germinate and become established. It doesn't do well in drought or dense shade, but responds to high mowing and sufficient fertilization.


Zoysia, a medium green to dark green grass, is a warm weather grass that does best in the south and warmer regions of the Midwest. The grass slowly turns brown by mid-fall, remaining dormant until mid-spring. It grows slowly, although it has a high tolerance to heat. Zoysia grass seed needs to be sown and fertilized during the spring and summer. The surface runners provide a dense mat, making it an ideal grass for reducing crabgrass and other weeds.

St. Augustine Grass Seed

St. Augustine is a warm weather grass suited mostly for Florida and Gulf Coast areas. Although this grass seed is easy to grow, it needs a power mower for mowing as it's a tough and course grass. Lawn colors are dark green to blue-green. Insects such as the chinch bug can cause severe damage to St. Augustine lawns.

Fescue Grass Seed

Fescue grass seed produces a hearty perennial bunch grass, coming in various heights from short to tall. Fescue stays green, especially during winter, regardless of how cold the weather gets. This grass is also resistant to drought, withstanding shade better than most other types of grass species. Because fescue thins out over time, overseeding can help to thicken the sod for producing a higher plant density. Red fescue is known for growing grass that's thick and compact, producing a full and lush lawn. Tall fescue grass is course, although it's ideal for regions needing a tough grass.

Meadow Grass Seed

Meadow grass seed produces smooth stalked meadow grass that's highly resistant to excessive lawn traffic and durable during times of extreme drought. With its long slender leaves, this grass is like tall fescue. It does well in cool climates and is typically found in fields and pastures.

Bahia Grass Seed

Bahia grass can be easily planted from seed and needs limited maintenance. It grows well in partial sun or shade in warmer climates. Bahia's color is green or light green, remaining green during fall and winter months. It grows well on dry infertile soils and can withstand traffic wear and close grazing. Because Bahia grows thick, it's able to compete with weeds.

Bermuda Grass Seed

Bermuda grass seed is more suited for warmer climates, having a high drought and heat tolerance for southern areas. It spreads quickly during warm periods, turning brown and dormant beginning the first frost until late spring. Bermuda grass ranks as the top choice for golf courses, including tee and putting areas.

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About this Author

Venice Kichura has written on a variety of topics for various websites, such as Suite 101 and Associated Content since 2005. She's written articles published in print publications and stories for books such as "God Allows U-Turns." She's a graduate of the University of Texas and has worked in both Florida and Connecticut schools.