A lush green lawn provides a welcoming oasis on hot summer days and, despite the mountainous climate, there are plenty of hot, humid summer days in Northeast Georgia. Grass cultivars should be selected based on the amount of sun the location receives. Grass requires well-drained soil and periodic applications of nitrogen. Several varieties of grass grow in sun and shade in Northeast Georgia's USDA Hardiness Zone 6 and 7.
A perennial grass favored for warm climates from Florida to the Gulf Coast and Southern California, St. Augustine is a warm-season grass that grows in full sunshine and partial shade. St. Augustine looks and performs better when cut around 3 inches tall. It grows well in shade and stands up to hot temperatures, according to the Georgia Turf website. This grass is available as sod and goes dormant during cold winter months. Cultivars to consider for your northeast Georgia landscape include Raleigh and Bitter Blue.
Tall fescue is a turf-type grass with fine-textured individual leaf blades and a low-growing but dense habit. Tall fescue is often sold as seed. In Georgia, seeds are planted in September and October so the grass is established before cold weather sets in. Tall fescue is one of the most commonly seen grasses in northeast Georgia, according to the University of Georgia Extension website. Keep this grass cut at approximately 2-inches high for best results. Tall fescue thrives in full sun and has excellent shade tolerance. Kentucky 31 and Alta are common tall fescue cultivars. This grass is idea for northeastern Georgia, as it thrives in the "transition zone," areas that are too hot or humid for cool-season grasses and too cold for warm-season grasses.
One of the best grasses for shady conditions, Zoysia grass grows throughout Northeast Georgia. Zoysia grass is a warm-season grass with a good tolerance for cold. This grass needs less maintenance than other grasses as it grows slowly, requiring less mowing. Zoysia grass is also slow to become established and can develop thatch, a thick layer of organic matter on the soil's surface, according to the University of Georgia. Cultivars for northeast Georgia include Emerald, El Toro and Meyer. Water Zoysia grass during periods of drought to maintain a green, healthy lawn.
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