Gardening Articles: Landscaping :: Yard & Garden Planning

Lawn Grass (page 2 of 2)

by National Gardening Association Editors

Warm-climate grasses

These are found throughout the South. Often they are wide-bladed and coarse compared to the northern grasses. They put on vigorous growth during summer and go dormant and turn brown in winter. Golf courses and some homeowners keep lawns green by overseeding with annual rye grass toward the end of the growing season. Instead of being started from grass seed, lawns of warm-climate grasses are usually started from planting sprigs, plugs, or sod.

Bermuda grass. Durable and heat-loving, Bermudagrass is the most common of the warm-climate grasses. It does not do well in shade. Hybrid bermuda grass is very soft and fine-bladed and is therefore a common choice for golf greens in southern regions.

Centipedegrass. This grass makes a good lawn in hot areas, although it is lighter green in color and subject to drought damage because of shallow roots. It does well in poor soil.

St. Augustine grass. St. Augustine does well in shade and is fast-growing, but is subject to damage from chinch bugs. It prefers slightly alkaline soils over acid soils.

Zoysiagrass. This grass establishes slowly, but when it gets going forms a dense, wirey, fine-textured lawn and is resistant to heat and drought. It tolerates shade, where it grows slowly. Zoysiagrass is relatively free of diseases and insect problems. Many improved varieties are available.

If you have deep shade, steep banks, or other problem areas, it might be worth investigating the many ground covers that can be used in place of grass lawns.

Photography by Suzanne DeJohn/National Gardening Association.

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