Turf grasses that spread are referred to as spread-type grasses. Most warm season grass varieties and a couple cool season grass types have spreading growth characteristics. The other type of grasses are referred to as bunch-type grasses. Understanding what grass types spread and bunch can help your pick out the best turf for your yard.
Spreading Types Versus Bunching Types
Spreading type grasses have both above spreading stems called stolons and underground spreading stems referred to as rhizomes, according to Grounds Maintenance Magazine. These grass types spread horizontally over the lawn. Yards with weed problems can benefit from spreading type grasses, because this grass type crowds out weeds. Also, most spreading type grasses tolerate low mowing. Bunch type grass types grow up right and be cut higher than spreading type grasses. Gardeners typically plant bunch type grasses in shady areas, because this grass tolerates partial sun.
Cool Season Spreading Types
Both bluegrass and bentgrass are cool season spreading type grasses, according to Grounds Maintenance Magazine. Because these grasses do not tolerate hot temperatures, it is best to plant them in the northern regions of the United States. Furthermore, gardeners should sow seeds or sod their lawns with this grass type in the early fall. Wait for the soil temperatures to cool down to 59 to 86 degrees Fahrenheit before planting, as suggested by Pennsylvania State University.
Warm Season Spreading Types
Warm season spreading grass types include zoysia, buffalo, bahia, bermuda, centipede and St. Augustine grass. These warm season grass types prefer to grow when air temperatures are between 85 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit, but can germinate when temperatures raise to 65 degrees Fahrenheit in the spring, according to Grounds Maintenance Magazine. Typically, gardeners living in the southern parts of the United States grow warm season grass. Plant in the spring, because this grass type goes dormant when temperatures dip below 55 degrees Fahrenheit, according to Grounds Maintenance Magazine.
Bunch type grasses include fescues and ryegrasses. This grass type expands over the lawn by producing tillers at its base, according to the University of California. Gardeners should plant these bunch grass types in the early fall, because both of them are sensitive to hot summer temperatures. Gardeners prize fescue for its ability to thrive in the shade and survive droughts. Ryegrasses grow in a wide variety of soil types, but prefer moist soil.