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Use The Right Grass!

The beginning of any lawn project is simple, the grass.  What seems like a small choice really is monumental when it comes to conservation of waters, reduction of fertilizers and preventing the encroachment of non-native species.  For these reason, you must....


Most sod and seed sold in the United States is a combination of different grasses.  This is because mixed grass is more resilient than a single grass and also keeps green in multiple environments.  To find out the right mix for you, you must understand the grasses involved.  A great resource for this is The Landscape Design Site's list of grasses.  I have reproduced the list below so you can make the best choice for your yard.  But who really needs grass?  More on that tomorrow.

Bahia is a warm season grass that doesn't survive well in colder temperatures. It is fairly drought resistant and will grow in sun or shade.

Bentgrass is most commonly used in sports fields and golf courses, especially in the southern regions where the higher heat and lower moisture levels make this already demanding grass that much harder to maintain. In the cooler, moister northern regions, however, it is also sometimes used in lawns.

Considered a warm weather, traffic resistent, sun loving landscape turf. It is very invasive and easily finds its way into even bordered flower beds. Not usually the best grass for landscaping ideas with flower beds and shallow borders.

Bluegrass is one of the most popular types of grass used for lawns, athletic fields, parks, and other high traffic areas in cool season regions. This is thanks to its rich coloring, thick coverage, and its high resistance to damage from impact.

Buffalo Grass
This species needs very little water to thrive which make it a common choice for xeriscaping and low water use landscaping. As a general rule of thumb, about 1 inch of water a week is good enough to keep your lawn green, though it can survive with even less. It needs a lot of sunlight to thrive and doesn't tolerate shade well.

This grass type grows best in wet soil areas, leading it to be very useful in and around drainage ditches, for erosion control projects, as well as for lawns, parks, and other low maintenance areas. It handles traffic much better than most grass types in wet-soil conditions.

While this grass can be used for a variety of purposes, such as lawns, parks, and commercial areas, it should be noted that it doesn't handle heavy traffic well. It is slow to repair damage. Thus, if you are planning on planting in a high traffic area, it is best to consider a different type of grass.

This grass does well in low-light, high-traffic situations, which makes it perfect for many different purposes, ranging from personal lawns to playgrounds and sports fields.

This is one of the most impact resistant grasses around, leading it to be used for athletic feilds, parks, and golf courses as well as for homeowner's lawns. While it doesn't tolerate shade or drought well, its ability to grow and "green up" fast make it useful for many different purposes.

St. Augustine
St. Augustine lawn grass grows in warm, coastal areas best. This includes the areas near the Gulf of Mexico as well as from mid-California down. While it can handle a moderate amount of traffic, it is generally suggested for use in relatively low-impact areas.

This type of grass is very salt tolerant and can handle wear better than most turfgrasses. On the other hand, its slow rate of growth means that it recovers from damage very slowly. Thus, it is best to use in areas that might receive heavy traffic, but not concentrated in a single area.





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