Completing the look of your new home not only involves painting the exterior and choosing the right roofing, it also involves choosing the right grass for your yard.
In general, it will be wise to choose a type of grass that is adapted to your local climate and soil conditions. Your state’s cooperative extension can make recommendations The newest varieties have greater resistance to drought and disease and need less maintenance. Let’s take a look at your options.
Tall Fescue (Festuca arundinacea)
The Tall Fescue is a cool-season perennial from Europe. Deep roots help it survive foot traffic and drought. It’s best to plant in September. Some of its latest varieties, the ‘Rebel IV’ and ‘Tarheel II’ tolerate fungi too. If you are considering alternatives, perennial ryegrass, fine-leaf fescue, Zoysia, and Kentucky bluegrass are also good.
Zoysia grass (Zoysia spp.)
Zoysia grass is an Asian import and it can tolerate shade, insects, disease, and dryness. However, one disadvantage is that it goes brown at the first hint of cold weather. It also grows slowly but grows best in April. Its latest sub-types, the ‘Meyer,’ ‘Zenith,’ and ‘Compadre’ can resist winter temperatures better.
St. Augustine grass (Stenotaphrum secundatum)
The St. Augustine grass is a plug- or sod-grown species. It does best in sandy soil and bright sun. A down side is that it is very sensitive to foot traffic and chewing insects. It’s best to plant this on April too. Some of St. Augustine’s newest varieties are shade-tolerant and winter-hardy though.
Bermuda grass (Cynodon spp.)
Bermuda grass originally came from Africa. This type of grass thrives in full sun, spreads aggressively, and needs lots of fertilizer. Mow 1 to 2 inches high. April is still the best month to plant this type of grass. The ‘Riviera,’ ‘Yukon,’ and ‘Patriot’ sub-types handle cooler temperatures.
Buffalo Grass (Buchloe dactyloides)
Buffalo Grass is an American native. It needs little water and almost no fertilizer to grow because too much of either encourages weeds. When to plant? April and May are the best months.
Kentucky Bluegrass (Poa pratensis)
America is also home to the Kentucky Bluegrass. This type recovers well from drought, cold, and foot traffic. Popular for sod; seeds take up to 30 days to sprout. In hot weather, water twice as much as fescue. Plant this type of grass on September to grow better.