January 3, 2012
There are many different types of grass in Georgia to choose from. If you look at the hardware store or nursery you will usually find a wall full of types of grass seed that are supposedly going to be the best thing for you and your yard. It is out of those that you must find the perfect type for your lawn. While there is no one type that is the best grass for Georgia there are ones that are really good for the sub climate that you have in your yard. There are of course a few things that you should know before you go out and buy any kind of seed or anything.
First off if your lawn is full shade and there is no grass there already then more than likely you will not get any kind of grass to grow. If you are looking for a grass like ground cover to fit into this areas then I would definitely take a look at Monkey Grass (liriope) or Mondo Grass (Ophiopogon japonicas). Both of these turf grass alternatives will do very well in most shade situations.
Also, you want to take a full assessment of your lawn to see what is the best kind of grass for your yard not the grass that looks the prettiest on a package or a picture that you see from the Internet. Look at your whole lawn to see what the overall picture is. Do you have one or two small shade spots? Do you have full sun all day? Does your lawn get some shade and some sun mixed in all day long? Accessing what kind of sub climate that you have can be a really good way to get the best turfgrass for your lawn.
Another thing to remember when looking for the best grass for your lawn is to think of how much up keep you will want to do with your lawn each year. Sodding your lawn once may cost you more money up front but in the long run it will save you money of having to overseed every year or every other year. Also look at how vigorous of growth the grass goes through when it is in its active growth stage. Some grasses like Bermuda grass if allowed to let grow unchecked can become out of control in a short amount of time. While grasses like Centipede grass can go a while without close maintenance practices and not much will happen if you miss a cut here or there.
This is the most widely used new home install Georgia turfgrass that is around and used today. Common Bermuda is great for those who are on a budget and need a lawn fast. Good drought and heat resistance will spread fast and will not tolerate shade well at all. Goes brown (dormant) when the cold comes in for the fall and winter. This grass will grow and spread rapidly.
These varieties are improved varieties of the common Bermuda grass. Most of the hybrids are able to be cut lower and are more wear, disease, drought and shade tolerant than common type. Hybrids often have a different color green than the common type; you will often notice a hybrid Bermuda yard amongst common Bermuda yards by its vibrant color. These are a great type of grass to get if you have a little more to spend on your lawn. Tifway 419 is an established hybrid that has a large following, it is also however like the rest of the hybrids requires more attention, more frequent mowing and more nutrient requirements.
Good if you want to have a lawn that is of lower maintenance than a Bermuda lawn. The down side to this type of lawn is that it requires you to overseed your lawn every spring and fall in some cases. This is especially true if you have a lot of traffic on your grass as with the case with animals and kids. This is a cool season grass that will do well in some amounts of shade and will stay a shade of green all year long. If you do get one of the improved varieties of Tall Fescue then you will get better wear and tear resistance as well as heat and disease resistance as well.
Good fast growing type of cool season grass that will provide better shade and temperature than some of the Tall Fescue varieties. There is a lot of testing going on with this Fescue grass and scientists have come a long way in developing some really good stands of Fine Fescue turfgrass. An example of this is the Fine Fescue variety Titan RX that Georgia Lawn uses to overseed its lawns with. Titan RX is one of the only fescues to spread by rhizome, thus solving the problem that fescues only clump and having poor repair ability.
This Australian native is fast becoming very popular with Georgia lawns. It provides excellent control to a host of problems often associated with Georgia lawns. The only down side to this grass is that it does take a while for it to get established, but once it is watch out because this is some thick stuff. This turfgrass is great for those who have full sun lawns and a little money to spend and some patience.
While this grass is used in some of the shade/cool season blends it is not recommended to be used except in the Northern part of the state. This is a cool season grass that spreads through both rhizomes and stolons.
Good low maintenance grass for those who want a grass that goes dormant when the cold comes and can tolerate poor acidic soil. It does not like cold at all and it will actually die as temps get around the zero mark. An upside to this grass is that it does not have high fertilizer or water requirements or mowing requirements like Bermuda or some types of Fescue. Likes to be in the sun but can tolerate shade. There are some improved varieties that are more cold tolerant that if the money allows are good choices for a nice lawn.
This is one of the Georgia grasses that is more of a coastal grass in my opinion but it can be used for shadier lawns and can be a good lawn grass if in the right conditions. This grass is more popular in the Southern part of the state and along the Gulf. Great salt resistance.
Whichever one of the Georgia grass types you decide to choose once again make sure that you are choosing one that will fit into your lawn’s micro climate, into your budget and into your maintenance preferences.
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