Choosing the right variety of grass for your landscape is key to enjoying a lush, green lawn. If you choose the wrong one, you will have gone through all the work only to have a dying or weak lawn. If you choose the right one, you will be rewarded with a beautiful and healthy lawn. Choosing the right grass depends on not only your region, but also your soil, weather, the stress put on your grass and how much maintenance you want to put in. When choosing your grass, it's important to take into consideration certain factors; for example, whether you need grass for a shady lawn, a dry desert environment or a low-maintenance lawn.
If you do not want to spend a lot of time pampering your lawn or adding fertilizer, go with hardy grass that can flourish on its own without a lot of help. These include:
Fine-leaf fescue, a cool-season grass that is drought resistant and can grow nicely in shade. It does not support a lot of foot traffic.
Tall fescue, a grass that has better tolerance for traffic and is drought resistant.
Bahia, a thick turf grass with a coarse texture. It is a warm-season variety that grows low to the ground and is resistant to weeds.
Buffalo, a warm-season variety that is drought tolerant. Once the weather becomes cold or hot, it turns brown. It is not very tolerant of foot traffic and grows very slowly.
Centipede, which grows quickly and low to the ground as a warm-season variety. The texture is coarse and it turns brown in high temperatures.
Some lawns have shade the majority of the day. This can be a tricky situation when trying to grow a lush lawn. The varieties that grow well in shade include:
Fine-leaf fescue, tall fescue and Bahia grass.
St. Augustine, a warm-season variety that grows quickly into a thick carpet and can take a lot of traffic. It is weed resistant and requires constant watering, fertilizing and care.
Hot or Arid Climates
In hot climates, it can be difficult to grow grass. The heat and constant exposure can wreak havoc on lawns. The varieties that can be planted in hot, arid or desert climates include:
Bermuda, a warm-season grass with a light, fine blade. It stands up to traffic well and tolerates drought and salt. This variety needs full sun to thrive; no shade.
Seashore paspalum, which grows in sandy, salty, wet conditions. It is a warm-season grass that stands up well to traffic and drought.
Zoysia, is a warm-season variety that grows thick, dense and slowly. It does best with constant watering but is also drought tolerant. If left uncared for, it will build up thatch.
Some lawns are meant to be walked on constantly, whether it is the kids playing tag, soccer or football, house parties or if you will be doing a lot of landscaping or renovating on your property. Varieties that can take the foot traffic and trampling include:
Perennial ryegrass, a cool-season grass ideal for overseeding. It has thin to medium texture and doesn't need a lot of care. It is also drought resistant and mixes great with other grass varieties, but needs to be in full sun.
Bermuda and Zoysia.