How to Choose the Right Grass Seed for a Healthy and Beautiful Lawn
Although some types of grass seed will sprout and grow just about anywhere, this doesn’t mean that you can just buy a bag of grass seed and spread it around haphazardly. In order to obtain a healthy and beautiful lawn, some amount of preparation is needed. Proper soil aeration, water, and fertilization are all important considerations, but they’re of little use if you’ve chosen the wrong seed to begin with.
Meant for warmer climates, warm-season grass is often used in the southernmost parts of the United States. Because they thrive when temperatures are between 75 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit, warm-season grass seeds and plugs need to be planted after the last frost of the season. As both daytime and nighttime temperatures start warming up, your new grass will take root quickly and consistently across your entire lawn.
Avoid planting your warm-season grass too early. Overnight frost could cause your new lawn to remain dormant and stunt its growth. If you’re planting new grass seed at the end of the growing season, you’ll want to complete the process a minimum of eight weeks before the first frost of the season. This gives your seeds or plugs plenty of time to take root and reach a healthy size before the cooler weather sets in.
Types of warm-season grass seed that works best in humid climates include:
- St. Augustine
Unfortunately, options for warm-season grass seed in arid climates are rather limited. They include:
Remember, you can also plant warm-season grass in the summer months. However, they’ll likely require additional watering in order to keep the soil moist at all times. This is especially true in humid environments.
As expected, lawns in cooler climates will benefit more from cool-season grasses and grass seed. These grasses tend to thrive with temperatures ranging from 50 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit, so they’re incredibly versatile and resilient. Cool-season grasses are seen throughout the northern United States and, in some cases, the south.
Cool-season grasses meant for humid climates in the northern U.S. include:
- Kentucky bluegrass
- Fine or tall fescue
Lawns in cool, arid climates have limited seeding options. The most popular types include:
- Canadian bluegrass
Naturally, grasses that live in cooler climates tend to struggle when temperatures exceed 80 degrees Fahrenheit. As such, they often look their best in the spring and fall.
The Transition Zone
Consisting of a narrow strip of land that spans from the east coast to the west coast, temperatures within the transition zone aren’t as consistent as they are in the northern or southern U.S. While this often results in added difficulty when it comes to planting and maintaining a lawn, it ultimately gives homeowners more options when choosing grass seed.
Warm-season grass tends to grow better in the southernmost portions of the transition zone. The most popular options include:
Likewise, cool-season grass is often seen in the northernmost regions of the transition zone. These include:
- Kentucky bluegrass
- Fine and tall fescue
Some lawns in the transition zone even use a mixture of grasses, including both warm- and cold-season grass, within the same lawn. When two or more grasses are used together, however, it’s often done to address a specific lawn care issue – including problems with shade, dormant grass, and other challenges.
Finding the Right Grass Seed for Your Lawn
Almost anyone can spread grass seed, but it takes knowledge, patience, and skill to cultivate a healthy, beautiful lawn that will stand the test of time. Not only will the right grass seed increase your home’s curb appeal, but, when properly maintained, a healthy lawn can even help avoid infestations from local insects, rodents, and other nuisance pests. So what if you start your gardening journey and you find yourself overwhelmed or needing a hand from the best lawn care professionals? No worries, just reach out to us at lawncare.net, where you’ll find the top Pros in the business – they’ll be sure to have your yard looking like the greenest on the block in no time at all!