What Type of Grass Do I Have?

Use this handy guide to identify your grass type.

Depending on which area of the country you live, your lawn will most likely have different types of grasses. In the South, grasses that can beat the heat fair better. Whereas in the north, grasses that can weather harsh winters and cooler spring and fall seasons flourish best.


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Most Northern lawns are a combination of fescues, Kentucky bluegrass, and ryegrass. When mixed correctly, these grasses can form a dense, lush turf that provides a deep-green color that’s easy on the eyes yet durable enough to be easy on the upkeep as well


Fine fescue is actually a grouping of various fescue species of grasses such as chewings fescue, hard fescue, red fescue, and sheep fescue. As the name implies, fescue blades have a very fine, almost hair-like texture and do well in shaded areas but not in hot and dry conditions.


Kentucky bluegrass isn’t just a popular music type, it’s also one of the most popular grasses in the North. It has a deep green, almost blue color with excellent texture and grows from a very extensive system of rhizomes (science-talk for underground stems that produce new plants). However, it does not grow well in deep shade and goes dormant during droughts so it needs sun and showers to look its best.


It’s easy to take a shining to Ryegrass due to the shine it gives off. Ryegrass also leaves a "whitish" cast when mowed with a sharp blade and shreds when mowed with a dull blade. It has visible veins on the leaf blade and is primarily found in cool-season areas of the north.


Despite the ability to tolerate the heat, Tall fescue is typically considered a cool- season grass. In some lawns, patches of tall fescue may stick out and appear as a grassy weed. It also has the widest leaf blade and grows in bunches, so you won’t see it used very often in seed mixes.


Bermudagrass and zoysiagrass are just two of the grasses that are par for the course on southern lawns. And oddly enough are two of the grasses used on many award-winning golf courses throughout the south. These and other grasses do well in the warmer, more humid climate of the South.


Despite bahiagrass being named after the coastal state in Brazil, bahiagrass in the U.S. is found mostly in Florida. It thrives in sandy soil and dry, warm conditions. It is not a very thick grass but needs frequent mowing to maintain an attractive appearance. Often, it is considered a weed when mixed in with other grass types, such as St. Augustinegrass


Bermudagrass makes for a nice lawn because it can tolerate being cut very short when mowed (preferably while wearing Bermuda shorts), which is why it’s popular on golf courses throughout the South. It spreads by both stolons or “runners” (science-talk for stems that spread along the soil above ground) and rhizomes (stems that spread through the soil below ground), which makes for a thick, dense turf. It is perhaps the most popular lawn grass in the central U.S. despite maintenance requirements (feeding, watering, mowing) being high.


Centipedegrass is found throughout the warm-humid areas of the south, spreads through stolons (stems that spread along the soil above ground), and forms a dense turf. Because it grows horizontally, it requires less mowing and is easy to edge around garden beds and sidewalks. It does not grow well in hot, dry areas and will die if not supplied with adequate moisture. However, its fertilizer requirements are less than other warm-season grasses.


St. Augustinegrass is best suited to warm-arid regions such as Florida and the Gulf Coast region. It is not at all tolerant of cold temperatures and requires plenty of moisture to thrive. It is a coarse-textured grass with broad blades and rounded tips that grows via above-ground stolons (stems that spread along the soil above ground) that can reach several feet. Floratam is a variety of St. Augustinegrass that has longer, wider leaf blades.


Zoysiagrass is a very slow-growing grass that can take more than a year to establish in a lawn and just as long to pronounce correctly [zoi-see-uh]. It forms a lawn that feels like a thick, prickly carpet with stiff leaf blades that produce numerous seed heads if it isn’t mowed. It is found mostly in and from the middle of the U.S. then east towards the Carolinas.

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