Why choosing the right grass seed is important
Using the right type of grass seed can make the difference between enjoying a lush, green lawn or an ugly, spotty mess. Matching your grass seed to the local climate and growing conditions is essential for a healthy lawn.
Different varieties of grass seed do better than others depending on several factors, including:
If you live in an area with relatively cool summers, you can use Kentucky Bluegrass for a shorter lawn, Fescue for a taller lawn, or a mixture of the two.
- Is your area subject to drought?
- Is there a lot of insect activity where you live?
- Is your lawn shaded or in full sun?
- Do you live in a hot climate or enjoy cool summers?
Modern varieties of Bluegrass are very resistant to disease and insects and moderately resistant to drought. It does best in full sunlight.
Fescue does extremely well in both a drought-prone area and shade, providing the best overall chance at growing in most areas.
A good option for cooler locations is a Bluegrass-Fescue grass seed mixture. In spots where one doesn't do as well, the other will tend to take over resulting in a lawn with no bare spots.
If you live in the south where the summers are long, hot, and dry, Zoysia grass is probably your best option since it does well under those conditions.
Zoysia grass is also better able to withstand winter cold than most other southern grasses. Remember, temperatures sometimes dip well below freezing deep into the south.
Centipede Grass is also an excellent choice of grass seed for the southern climate. It is a low-maintenance grass that does well in moderate shade.
If you live along the Gulf coast or most of Florida, the humid air and abundant moisture make Bermuda grass an excellent choice. But be aware that Bermuda grass isn't capable of withstanding hard freezes. It also does poorly in shaded areas.
There are also other varieties of grass seeds available that do best in specific geographic locations. It's always a good idea to ask your county extension agent which grasses do best in your local area.
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