Lawn Maintenance: Types of Grass

types of grass

In order to grow a great lawn, you need to start with the right type of grass for your area. There are a wide variety of grass types, which are divided into two main groups: Cool Season and Warm Season.

Cool Season Grasses

Cool season grasses grow well in fall, winter, and into early spring, so it’s important to time your planting accordingly. These types of grasses are great for areas that have wet, cold, and/or snowy winters and dry summers.  Popular cold season grasses include tall fescue, fine fescue, Kentucky bluegrass, and perennial rye grass. It’s also common to blend a few different types of cold season grass seeds together for lawns with multiple uses and varying sun-coverage.

Warm Season Grasses

Warm season grasses grow well in late spring and throughout summer and thrive in areas with mild winters and hot and humid summers. Bahiagrass, centipede grass, zoysia grass, St. Augustine grass, and Bermuda grass are all common warm season grass types.

What types of grasses work well in Missouri?

In general, cold season grasses do best in the northern areas of the United States and warm season grasses thrive in the south. The problem with identifying the right grass for Missouri is that it lands right in the middle.

St. Louis’s hot and humid summers point to warm season grasses, but cold season grasses would survive the frigid winters a bit better. Missouri technically falls a “transition zone” that includes areas that where cold winters kill warm-season grasses and hot summers harm cold-season grasses, which is why it’s best to choose seeds that toe the cold/warm season line.

Tall fescue grass, which is a cold season grass, is a transition zone favorite because it has the ability to survive periods of drought as well as power through cold winters. Tall fescue grass also has deep roots, making it ideal for yards that get a lot of foot traffic.

The warm season grass, zoysia, also does well in the transition zone due to its high tolerance for cold weather and ability to manage short periods of drought. Zoysia does not require a lot of heavy-duty lawn maintenance and can thrive in both sun and shade. Zoysia is great for landscaping because it handles foot traffic well and becomes more or less weed and disease free once the roots have been established and the grass has grown dense.

It’s also not uncommon to use blends of different types of grass seed for lawns in transition zones so that you can balance the benefits of a few different types of grasses.  However not all grasses do well when mixed with other seeds, so it’s best to work with a lawn care professional before creating your own blend.

You can’t grow a great lawn if you don’t start with the right seed, so before you plant, make sure you do your research and contact a professional with any questions you might have. Call Hackmann Lawn & Landscaping to talk with experts in St Louis lawn care!