The lawn is one of the most standout aspects of your home, and also one of the areas of your home you will care for the most.  Carefully selecting plants and grass is a decision that one must put a lot of thought into.

In this guide we will look at some of the main types of grass and the conditions they need to thrive.

Conditions

There are many different factors to consider when planning your lawn grass.  Different grass species have plusses and minuses, and will be suited to certain areas of the country.  When choosing a grass one should look at these different factors:

Shade tolerance: grass needs at least four hours a day of sunlight in order to survive.  Areas that are walked on frequently need around six to repair themselves.

Drought tolerance: some people can’t afford to water their lawn as often, and some people who live in drier areas receive less rainfall.  If this is the case, grass that can get by with less water is preferable.

Wear tolerance: some species of grass are hardier than others.  If your grass will be walked on often, buying a species that can resist constant traffic is beneficial.

Establishment: some grasses germinate quicker than others.  Sometimes you need grass to grow quickly, or sometimes have time to let it slowly grow.

Leaf texture: some grasses have thicker and coarser leaves, and some have thinner and finer leaves.  These will feel either softer or rougher underfoot.

Climate

Much of your decision on which grass to pick for your lawn will be influenced by the geographical area you are in.  Different varieties of grass are specialized to certain climates.  Factors like water requirements and temperature play a role in this.  The easiest way to determine what kind of grass you need is to separate your options based on the temperature you will be in.  For cold weather bentgrass, bluegrass, ryegrass, and fescue are good options.  For warm weather bahia, bermuda, and centipede grasses are good options.

In the warm weather department, Bahia is a grass that is especially suited to higher humidity and heat.  It’s also fairly hardy, and can withstand lots of walking over its lifespan.  Bermuda grass also thrives exceptionally well in warmer environments, and is very weed resistant.  This can also be its downfall, as it invades other areas of the garden easily.  Centipede grass is a very tough and very low grass that is suited to warmer climates.

It is also very resistant to acidic soil, which makes it a great choice for the south.  St. Augustine is a grass that grows will in sparse sandy soil, making it ideal for states in the southwest and in Florida.  Zoysia is a very luxurious grass, but requires a lot of water and sunlight.  For hot and humid areas with lots of rainfall, this lawn can practically care for itself.

For cold weather grasses, Bentgrass leads the charge.  Bentgrass tolerates cold very well, helping it survive cold nights in the Midwestern regions.  Bluegrass is hands down the most popular grass in northern states.  However, bluegrass needs sunlight and a good water source to survive, making it slightly more maintenance heavy.  Perennial ryegrass is a quick-growing grass that is very resistant to walking damage.  Fescues are a family of different grasses all connected based on the fact that they survive cold temperatures extremely well.  This family includes grasses like fine fescue, chewing fescue, and tall fescue.  Fescue grasses are also very easy underfoot.

Getting started

Once one has chosen their grass species, it’s time to plant their new lawn.  Planting a lawn is a process that can take weeks, but must be done right to ensure a good lawn.

First remove any plants that are in the area.  This includes old grass, weeds, and other things.  One should first remove any weeds, water the area, and then let it sit a week.  Have a look at our review of Wet & Forget which helps in removing weeds, holds and stains. This will give any dormant weeds a chance to germinate, allowing you to go back and pick any stragglers.  Once you have done this, till the soil to soften if up for planting.

You want to break up the soil on the surface to allow the seeds to get inside the soil.  Seeds that simply sit on the top of the soil will not grow.  Once you have done this, the yard needs to be graded so that the surface is even.  An uneven yard is unsightly.  Use a rake to do this.  Once the yard is graded, you must wait a couple more weeks for any weeds to grow from the tilled soil bringing them to the surface.

After you’ve cleared out any weeds, it’s time to lay down fertilizer.  Load up your spreader with fertilizer and take it for a spin around the lawn.  If your soil is acidic, it’s a good idea to use the spreader to cover the area with lime as well.  If you live in northeastern states, or have lots of pine trees in your lawn, chances are you soil is acidic.

After this, tamp the soil with a tamper to flatten it.  Once you’ve done this, go over it again with a rake to roughen it up a bit for the seed.  After all this, it’s finally time to seed the lawn.  Load up your spreader with seed and make the rounds in your lawn.  Make sure you put down just the right amount of seed, as too much will inhibit your lawn’s growth.

After this, laying down a good fertilizer like peat moss or manure will help ensure the new grass gets enough nutrients to begin growing.

Don’t neglect watering the new lawn either!  Make sure it gets consistently watered and mowed as it begins its new life.