Most Common Types of Southern Lawn Grasses

To many people, the grass is grass. As long as it’s green, lush, and low maintenance, they don’t look any deeper into the content of their lawns. However, the ubiquitous emerald carpet that can be seen almost anywhere from residential areas to parts actually consists of many species, each with their own growth habits, light tolerances, and propagation patterns.

Your lawn service in Atlanta can advise you about the best type of grass to use for turf purposes in your area. However, you can also take a crash course in the types of grasses that are common in southern lawns, which will make it easier for you to determine the species of grasses that thrive in your location. Keep reading below to learn about some of the most common grass types found in warm-climate lawns. 

Bermuda Grass

Have you ever noticed that prickly, short-bladed grass common around golf courses and club houses? If so, then you already know a little about Bermuda grass. Bermuda has thin blades with a dense growth pattern that allows for low mowing without adverse effects to the overall turf. That’s one reason it’s used on golf courses, where low-growing, highly manicured greens are required for play. It can propagate with rhizomes, or roots, as well as stolons, which are above-ground runners. Bermuda prefers full sun, but it can also tolerate some shade. The maintenance requirements for Bermuda are high, as it requires frequent fertilization, mowing, and watering. 

Centipede Grass

Another common grass in warm, moist climates in centipede grass. You’re likely to see this creeping full-sun grass in residential lawns, as it provides a dense, durable, and fast-spreading carpet of resilient green grass. Centipede thrives in the heat, but it requires a lot of moisture to perform well. It’s not at all well-suited to dry climates. Centipede spread across the surface of the ground rapidly using aggressive stolons that seek out open space and fill it with green. Centipede can also be seeded, but the germination period is prolonged, which makes it difficult to execute in climates that receive heavy rains or prolonged periods of drought. 

St. Augustine Grass

St. Augustine is another heat hardy grass that thrives where there is a long growing season and plenty of moisture available. It can tolerate a wide variety of light conditions, including heavy shade. The broad blades are dark green in color with rounded tips, and the grass spreads via stolons over the surface of the ground. However, it’s intolerant of extreme cold and prefers rich soils with plenty of nutrients and moisture. It is also intolerant of low mowing, as the stolons and roots can be damaged by exposure to high temperatures and intense sunlight. 

Zoysia Grass

Another prickly, thin-bladed variety of warm weather grass is zoysia. While mature lawns of zoysia grass are consistent, solid, and carpet-like, attaining that outcome takes time. That’s because zoysia is a slow growing grass that propagates primary by seeds from seed heads that grow when the grass is infrequently mowed. It’s drought and heat tolerant, and it prefers full sun. Its maintenance requirements are low, however, as it isn’t particularly thirsty or demanding when it comes to fertilizer application.

Ask your lawn service in Atlanta to help you determine what type of grasses are present in your existing turf and compare them to this list of types that thrive in your location. With the right grass to match your conditions and maintenance commitment, you too can create a lush, emerald carpet of grass in your yard. 

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