Turfgrass Types & Information

What is Turfgrass?

Turfgrass is a broad umbrella term that covers a broad spectrum of grass species with narrow leaves used as a low-growing perennial ground cover on lawns, sports fields, and golf courses. They can generally stand up to high traffic well and tolerate lower mowing heights than other grasses.

If you have a lawn, then it’s likely that you have one or more varieties of turfgrass growing in your yard. Every type of turfgrass has unique qualities and will thrive in different growing conditions. Some prefer full sun and warm temperatures, while others tolerate some shade and grow best in the cooler temperatures of spring and autumn.

While there has been push-back in recent years bemoaning the ecological cost of turfgrass lawns, many homeowners love the grass in their yard, and why not?

Turfgrass feels good underfoot, it’s a great blank canvas to decorate with ornamental trees and perennial garden beds, and having a level yard available for your kids and pets to run and play in is the primary draw of homeownership for many families.

Two Broad Types of Turfgrass

There are a number of different varieties of lawn turfgrass, but generally they fall into two distinct categories:
  • Cool Season Grasses like Kentucky Bluegrass, Perennial Ryegrass and Fescues, and
  • Warm Season Grasses like Bermuda, Centipede Grass, Zoysia, and St. Augustine.

On this page I share a number of different articles and resources to help you learn more about your lawn turfgrass options. I hope you find these resources interesting and useful – whether you’re choosing the best grass for a new lawn, or want to learn how to care for and maintain your existing turfgrass lawn.

Turfgrass Types

In this section you can explore my in-depth guides to different types of turfgrass, includin their properties and characteristics, notable cultivars, disease and pest resistance, durability, color, and much more. 

Choosing the Right Turfgrass for Your Lawn

Every grass needs different things to thrive, and understanding your property’s conditions will help you select a solid turfgrass for your lawn.

Unpacking the Grass Zone Map

Grass Zone MapWhen choosing a turfgrass for your property, start with the basics and look at the grass zone map pictured here.

Are you located in the cool-season grass zone, the warm-season grass zone, or the transitional zone which runs between the two?

  • Cool season grasses thrive in cooler climates and perform best during the spring and fall. You’ll need to provide some extra support to these lawns during the dog days of summer.
  • The transition zone generally has a climate in which you can grow either type of grass, but where you’re located within that grass growing zone and how hot and dry or cool and wet it tends to be during the growing season will guide you toward which grass type will work best for your lawn.
  • Warm season grasses come from tropical climates and put on most of their growth during the heat and humidity of summers in the southern US.

Beyond these factors, here are some relevant articles which may help you choose the perfect grass for your yard’s conditions:

About Turfgrass That Spreads Laterally

Illustration - Parts of a Grass PlantI’m a big fan of turfgrass which spreads laterally by rhizomes and/or stolons.

This type of turf will repair itself and fill in bare patches when your lawn is damaged, saving you time and money.

Turfgrass which fills in naturally is especially helpful if you have kids, pets, or a high traffic lawn or athletic field where you don’t want to constantly be working to repair damage.

  • Rhizomes are lateral runners that spread below the turf’s surface to create new plants.
  • Stolons are similar, but these runners spread above the turf’s surface, rooting to create new plants when they come into contact with the soil.

Here are some articles about turfgrass that spreads laterally:

Related Articles

If you’re looking for some interesting reading about lawns and grass usage, these articles are a few that I think you might like:

What Readers Are Saying

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