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Choosing Grass Seed

Melissa Dunlap is a writer, editor and blogger specializing in lifestyle communications. Fueled by curiosity, and a tad too much coffee, Melissa enjoys dissecting current trends for the modern woman. When she's not having dance parties w...

A beautiful lawn starts with the right grass seed.

When it comes to getting your lawn ready for spring weather, there are many grass types to choose from. Grasses are essentially divided into two groups: cool-season grass and warm-season grass. The best time to plant new grass is in early spring, right before the lawn begins to show new growth.


When it comes to getting your lawn ready for spring weather, there are many grass types to choose from. Grasses are essentially divided into two groups: cool-season grass and warm-season grass. The best time to plant new grass is in early spring, right before the lawn begins to show new growth.

Different grasses are better suited for different climates, and your USDA Zone is going to be the best indicator of what grass will work in your area. Know your zone.

Warm-season grasses grow in summer and stay dormant during winter. If you had a green lawn before winter, but now have a brown, dead-looking lawn, you probably had some variety of perennial warm-season grass. It will grow back if you fertilize it and begin watering, or you can replace it with a new grass seed. Warm season varieties include bermuda grass (zones 6 to 10), buffalo grass (zones 4 to 7), zoysia (zones 6 to 8), centipede grass (zones 8 to 10) and St. Augustine grass (zones 8 to 10.)

Cool-season grasses are usually planted in fall in areas with warm climates, but cool areas can benefit from their greenery in spring and summer too. They grow best when air temperatures are below 75 F. Varieties include perennial ryegrass (zones 3 to 7; zones 8 and 9 for winter overseeding), Kentucky bluegrass (zones 3 to 6) and fescue (zones 3 to 6.)

When buying grass seed, pay attention to the information on the package label. This will include information about seed purity and germination rates. Buy the best quality grass seed that you can afford. Oftentimes the best value is a blend of several cultivars. Be wary of bargain-priced grass seed; these may be old or low quality.
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