Choosing the Right Grass for Your Lawn
El inglés es el idioma de control de esta página. En la medida en que haya algún conflicto entre la traducción al inglés y la traducción, el inglés prevalece.
Al hacer clic en el enlace de traducción se activa un servicio de traducción gratuito para convertir la página al español. Al igual que con cualquier traducción por Internet, la conversión no es sensible al contexto y puede que no traduzca el texto en su significado original. NC State Extension no garantiza la exactitud del texto traducido. Por favor, tenga en cuenta que algunas aplicaciones y/o servicios pueden no funcionar como se espera cuando se traducen.
English is the controlling language of this page. To the extent there is any conflict between the English text and the translation, English controls.
Clicking on the translation link activates a free translation service to convert the page to Spanish. As with any Internet translation, the conversion is not context-sensitive and may not translate the text to its original meaning. NC State Extension does not guarantee the accuracy of the translated text. Please note that some applications and/or services may not function as expected when translated.Collapse ▲
With warm, spring days now here the thought of establishing a lawn often comes to mind. With the decision to establish a lawn, comes the decision of what type of grass to select. Since now would be the time to establish a new lawn, it is a good time to do some research for choosing the right grass for your lawn. There will not be one type of grass that is the best, instead it will be a personal preference of what grass characteristics one prefers.
First of all, what is the difference between cool-season and warm-season grasses? Cool-season grasses grow best in the spring and fall and are less active in the summer. Common types of cool-season grasses include: fescues, bluegrasses, and ryegrasses. Warm-season grasses are slow to green up in the spring, grow best in the summer, and go dormant after the first heavy frost. Common types of warm-season grasses include bermudagrass, zoysiagrass, centipedegrass and St. Augustinegrass. Warm-season grasses are recommended for our area because they grow best in our climate and are best planted from March through July.
When selecting a type of lawn grass, you will want to compare and contrast the different types of warm-season grasses. The characteristics of your site, your goals, and your intended use of the lawn will all determine which type of grass is appropriate for you. Where heavy traffic is expected, choose a tough, aggressive, wear-tolerant grass. Also, take into consideration the amount of time, effort, and money you are willing to spend for turfgrass maintenance.
Below is some brief information about the four main types of warm season grasses:
Bermudagrass is a popular low growing, dense grass that has medium color and texture. Bermudagrass requires full sunlight and does not grow well in shade. This grass type will grow well on all soils, especially sandy soils and is very drought tolerant. The rate of establishment is fast and can recover rapidly from injury. Bermudagrass can withstand wear and traffic well, however, it requires a high mowing frequency and it is recommended to be mowed at a short height of 0.75 to 1 inch. There are two types of bermudagrass available: common and hybrid. Common bermudagrass is more invasive into flower beds and other areas while hybrid bermudagrass such as Tifway and Tifgreen are not as aggressive growers.
Centipedegrass is a light apple-green color, with coarse textured leafs. Centipede is a slow-growing grass, taking 2 to 3 years to fully establish. Centipedegrass is low maintenance in that it requires less frequent mowing. Centipedegrass grows well in full sun to moderate shade. Centipedegrass can be a little picky because it does not tolerate several things such as traffic, soil compaction, heavy fertilization, excessive drought, high soil pH, common lawn herbicides, late spring frost or heavy shade. The recommended mowing height for centipede grass is 1 inch.
Zoysiagrass is a slow growing grass with a medium to dark color and a fine to medium texture. Zoysiagrass makes a very dense, wear-resistant lawn. It grows well in full sun or partial shade and is drought tolerant. Zoysiagrass’s very dense nature can make it more prone to thatch build up, requiring dethatching every few years. Zoysiagrass requires less mowing but, like bermudagrass, it is mowed at a height of 0.75 to 1 inch.
St. Augustinegrass is medium to dark green with coarse leaf texture. St. Augustine has poor cold tolerance causing it to grow best in warm, humid areas that are not exposed to excessive or intense periods of cold weather. The “Raleigh” variety has the best cold tolerance and is best suited for eastern piedmont and coastal plains. St. Augustinegrass tends to be more expensive because it is not available in seed form and would have to be sodded. This grass type prefers fertile, well-drained soils. It has excellent tolerance to shade, heat, and some drought tolerance. St. Augustinegrass does not tolerate heavy traffic and like centipdede grass it is sensitive common lawn herbicides. Since it is fast growing, St. Augustine needs to be mowed frequently. It is a taller grass with a mowing height of 2 to 3 inches.
When selecting the type of grass you want to grow you have to consider the site along with your needs and interest. The same grass type will not be suitable for everyone. Not one grass type will be perfect for every situation, there may have to be some give and take on what you are willing to put up with from your lawn and what you are not willing to deal with. By taking the time to do some planning, you can end up with a lawn that you will enjoy.
Jessica Strickland is an agriculture extension agent, specializing in horticulture for North Carolina Cooperative Extension in Wayne County.
- Gardening questions? Ask a Master Gardener Volunteer. The Extension Master Gardener℠ Volunteers of Wayne County Plant Clinic is open on Mondays and Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. (April through August) to help you with your gardening questions. Contact by phone at 919-731-1433, e-mail or stopping by the N.C. Cooperative Extension, Wayne County Center at The Maxwell Center (3114 B Wayne Memorial Drive, Goldsboro).
- Sign up for the Wayne County Extension Gardening email list to receive timely gardening tips.
- Learn more by following us on Facebook and Instagram.