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Determining What Grass You Have picture

Determining What Grass You Have

As any homeowner knows, there are two categories of grass warm and cool season grasses. Warm and cool season grasses each have various types of grasses underneath them. Determining what type of grass can be difficult as most people see grass as green and undefinable. Each grass type has its own characteristics that make it unique. A single blade of Zoysia grass is different from that of St. Augustine. Both of these grasses are warm season grasses but look, feel, and grow differently. Knowing the differences between each type will help you find out what type you have. Cumming Lawn Service has listed three grass types of each category to highlight how each type is different.

Zoysia

As stated previously, Zoysia is a warm season grass. Zoysia can be found throughout the central part of the U.S. and some if the north but turns brown once it is cold. Zoysia grows very slowly so it does not need mowing as often as other grasses. It can take a full year for a Zoysia seeds to fully grow into a lawn. Zoysia blades feel prickly like a cactus and cannot be crushed easily by feet. Zoysia is drought resistant and has a low watering requirement as it can retain water well. However, Zoysia will brown before most warm season grasses during winter. It also stays brown longer after the frost has subsided. Zoysia’s dark green color throughout the seasons and durability to the elements make it a great addition to any home.

  • Feel: Prickly
  • Water Retainability: Good
  • Blade Tip: Needle-like
  • Color of grass: Dark green when in season/ browns earlier than other grass and stays brown longer
  • Growth Rate: Slow

 

St. Augustine

St. Augustine is a warm season grass and can be found in arid regions in Florida and on the coast. St. Augustine cannot tolerate cold temperatures and will plenty of moisture to survive. St. Augustine has a slow growth rate and has a coarse texture. Even though St. Augustine has a slow growth rate, it can reach up to several feet if not mowed regularly. The only way to plant St. Augustine is with plugs or sod for it to form a new lawn. The grass blades have a rounded tip and is broader than other warm season grasses. The color of St. Augustine is a dark green like the palm trees in the area that inhabits. Overall, St. Augustine requires more water and maintenance than other grasses but has a good texture and feel.

  • Feel: Coarse
  • Water Retainability: Poor
  • Blade Tip: Blade is broad with a rounded tip
  • Color of grass: Dark green
  • Growth Rate: Slow, new lawn is planted with plugs or sod

 

Bermuda

Bermuda is a warm season grass and probably the grass type thought of when describing warm season grass. Bermuda is the most popular warm season grass despite its high maintenance needs. Bermuda is found mostly in the central and southern parts of the U.S. and can be found as far as Kansas City. It is a high growth rate and need can be mowed to a lower height than other warm season grasses. Bermuda requires more fertilizer, watering, and mowing than other warm season grass. Bermuda is highly sought because of its deep green color that is also used on most of our golf courses here in Georgia. The blade tip of Bermuda forms a sharp point while the blade is thin. Bermuda makes a great addition to any lawn but only to those who do not mind yard work.

  • Water Retainability: Good
  • Blade Tip: Blade tip comes to a sharp point and has thin blade
  • Color of Grass: Deep green
  • Growth Rate: Fast

 

Fine Fescue

Fine Fescue is a cool season grass and is found in colder climates in the northern U.S. Fine Fescues are named after “fine” because the grass blade tip is so thin it is almost hair like. Fine Fescues are unique in that it has several species underneath it: red, chewing, hard and sheep. All four of the subspecies share certain characteristics. Fine Fescues have a remarkable shade tolerance meaning they can grow without sun. They have little to no maintenance requirements and can still green all year long, if maintained. Fine Fescues can withstand drought but do poorly in dry climates. The color of Fine Fescues is a dull green or gray color. Fine Fescues have a soft feel but will be easily crushed by feet. Fine Fescues have a fast growth rate and grow in poorest soil. ( In poor soil, the pH Level is not balanced)

  • Feel: Soft
  • Blade Tip: Blade is thin and is “hair-like”
  • Color of grass: Dull green or gray
  • Water Retainability: Excellent
  • Growth Rate: Fast
 

Kentucky Bluegrass

Kentucky Bluegrass is a species of Bluegrass. Surprisingly, Kentucky Bluegrass is more well-known than Bluegrass is. Kentucky Bluegrass is the most well-known and used cool season grass in the United States. You can find it all over the northern part of the U.S. Kentucky Bluegrass has a moderate growth rate and will rush to fill in bare spots on any lawn. It has a low tolerance for hot and dry climates and does not grow well in shade. The grass blade of Kentucky Bluegrass has a V-shape to it and has a rounded tip. Kentucky Bluegrass does not require much maintenance besides the occasional watering and mowing. Kentucky Bluegrass mows clean and it will not crush easily from feet. Kentucky Bluegrass has a green hue and is soft to the touch.

  • Feel: Soft
  • Blade Tip: Blade tip is rounded and the blade is V-Shaped, making it immediately identifiable
  • Color of grass: Green
  • Water Retainability: Good
  • Growth Rate: Moderate

 

Ryegrass

Ryegrass is a prominent cool season grass found in the northern U.S. Ryegrass is commonly used in grass seed mixtures for specific purposes such as overseeding. Ryegrass is easily identifiable by its shiny grass blades on one side. When the sun hits the grass, the blades give off a whitish hue as if it is shiny. Ryegrass is a type of bunchgrass meaning it grows quickly and in bunches. Ryegrass blades also show the veins on the blades just like leaves on a tree. Since Ryegrass grows in bunches it will not look natural as Bluegrass does. Ryegrass will have to be mowed and shaped the way you want it to look. When Ryegrass is mowed it is not a clean cut, the grass blades will look chopped and hacked. Similar to Bluegrass, Ryegrass is soft to the touch and will not be crushed easily.

  • Feel: Soft
  • Blade Tip: Pointed tip with a shiny blade on one side
  • Water Retainability: Good
  • Color of grass: Dark green
  • Growth Rate: Fast
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