Lawn Terms: Difference Between Lawn, Yard, Turf and Garden

We often hear about roses by any other name when we discuss lawn care, yet people often call the greenery surrounding their home by an interchangeable number of names. What would be the most accurate name for the grass that surrounds your favorite spaces?

People use terms like lawn, yard and turf to describe their gardening, but what do those words mean exactly?

It can seem confusing with tiny distinctions between the terms, yet you might benefit from using proper meanings when determining choices for your lawn maintenance services or even tree and shrub care. can help you find the best local services and experts to care for your lawn, yard, turf or garden.


You’ve probably heard this word thrown around, potentially in describing football fields. But where did the term originate, and what does it mean?

If you look in an encyclopedia, it will tell you that turf refers to the actual soil on the surface of the ground that contains vegetation. It also refers to grasses that are known for being ornamental, including bent grass, fine or red fescue, Kentucky bluegrass and perennial ryegrass. Warm-season grasses that are considered turf include Zoysia, St. Augustine and Bermuda grasses.

Warm and cold-season grasses are the two types of turf grass, with warm-season grass thriving in hotter conditions. Some turf grasses can withstand both hot and cold temperatures and stay richly green all year round, including Bermuda grass, Zoysia grass and Kentucky bluegrass.

Turf grasses are usually grown on turf farms. What happens is that blocks and plugs of turf grass are transplanted to areas where they can grow quickly.

Artificial turf grass is also used sometimes, made of a plastic called polyethylene. It even has a thatch layer.


The definition of lawn is a piece of commercial, residential or industrial land on which grass can grow. A lawn, according to Merriam-Webster, is ground, such as land around a house or in a garden or park, covered with grass and regularly mowed.

When you think of a lawn, you see a crisp, well-maintained area, either in public or in your garden.

Thus, the right turf grass can make your well-maintained lawn look great. Though lawn and turf are defined differently, the two terms connect when considering proper lawn care.


Other than the unit of measurement, what is a yard?

According to the dictionary, a yard is the grounds that immediately surround a house, usually covered with grass. People can describe things in this range, often designating a front and backyard.

Some people may consider a yard and garden interchangeably, but that’s not the case. Yards are often used to grow flowers, feature a sandpit, shed or a place for children to play. Their uses can be versatile on your property. You can even raise animals, perhaps including a chicken coop, on your yard.

In that way, yards are not like gardens.


A garden is a space outdoors that can be used to grow and display plants, as well as other natural features, including trees and rocks. You can use a garden to raise flowers or even vegetables. But you also fill your garden with man-made items, including fountains, statues, waterfalls or decks.

The dictionary defines gardens as plots of ground where herbs, fruits, flowers or vegetables are cultivated. A garden is known as a rich, well-cultivated region.

By definition, things have to grow in gardens.

Knowing these distinctions will help you communicate the needs you have in your outdoor spaces. can help you find lawn care experts and specialists who can help you determine the best services or lawn care plan.

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