In a matter of weeks, spring will be upon us, which means now’s the time to get thinking about your lawn care goals. Whether you’re located in Ohio or Florida, our staff can help you achieve the lush green lawn you’ve always wanted. You can either patch up problem areas or start over from scratch with an entirely new lawn by overseeding. Not all grass seed is suitable, however. Some grass varietals do better in colder northern climates, while others prefer the intense heat and sunshine of the South. Discover the difference between warm and cool-season grass so you can make the best choice for your yard!
How To Choose Grass Seed For Your Spring Overseeding
Things To Keep In Mind
Whether you live in tropical Florida or temperate Ohio, there are several factors to consider when selecting grass seed.
- Foot traffic – If your household has children or dogs, you should opt for a varietal that stands up well to foot traffic.
- Shade tolerance – Is your yard full of trees and tall shrubs? If so, you’ll need grass that doesn’t mind the reduced light.
- Drought tolerance -This is important for customers in the South. You never know how much rain each summer brings, and your grass should be prepared to go without moisture from time to time.
Every grass varietal has its pros and cons – there isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution. And if you’re not sure – ask your Land Art, Inc. lawn care services technician! We’re happy to help you find the best solution for your yard!
The majority of the US is hospitable to cool-season grasses. From New England to Pacific Northwest, you’re most likely to find grass varietals like Kentucky bluegrass and fescues. These grasses can tolerate the extreme cold of our winters, and while they don’t actively grow during the winter, they can retain some of their green colors when warm-season grasses have turned brown and gone dormant. While parts of the country fall into the transition zone – where cool and warm-season grasses, cohabitate – the hardiness of cool-season grasses makes it a popular choice for many lawns. Some southern even mix cool-season grass in so they can enjoy a green lawn in the middle of winter!
Overseeding your lawn with cool-season grass in spring and fall is best. By overseeding in a few weeks, you’ll give your grass a chance to get established before summer hits. Cool-season grasses prefer temperatures in the 50s and 60s, ideal during springtime.
Even if you know next to nothing about grass seed, chances are you’ve heard of this varietal. It’s the most popular grass seed in the US, and it’s not hard to figure out why. Kentucky bluegrass establishes quickly, so you won’t have to wait for thin or bare patches to thicken up. The color of Kentucky bluegrass is known for its rich green hues, and despite being a cool-season grass, it’s relatively tolerant of summer heat and foot traffic. That being said, the root system is shallower than other grass varietals, so if we get a dry summer, you’ll need to water. One drawback to Kentucky bluegrass is that it worships the sun. So if your yard is on the shady side, this might not be the best choice.
Tall fescue is the hardiest of cool-season grasses. It’s one of the lowest maintenance options having a medium to high tolerance for heat, shade, and foot traffic. It doesn’t require as much water as Kentucky bluegrass, and it can make due when soil runs low on nutrients. One of the only cons to this grass is it grows in clumps. So depending on your existing lawn, it might not create a uniform look to your turfgrass. That being said, the benefits might outweigh the clump factor. Tall fescue is an excellent option if your property has trouble with erosion and soil loss. Because the roots of tall fescue grow deeply, this grass is excellent at stabilizing the earth.
Unlike tall fescue, known for its broader blades, fine fescue has thinner, more delicate grass blades. This varietal produces a greenish-gray color and is more tolerant of shade than other cool-season grasses. It’s comparable to its cousin tall fescue in drought tolerance and foot traffic. However, it might struggle when the temperature stays in the upper end of the spectrum. Consequently, you’ll need to make certain nutrient levels remain steady. Because fine fescue is thinner, it’s known for its softness both visually and physically. Fine fescue is your friend if you enjoy going barefoot in the grass.
Warm-season grass loves two things: sun and heat. As long as temperatures remain above 60 degrees, you should expect your warm-season grass to keep growing. And grow it will! It’s not uncommon to mow twice a week during the growing season if you have a warm-season lawn. Many warm-season types of grass can tolerate being cut shorter than cool-season grasses, which shouldn’t be cut lower than three inches. When the winter comes, warm-season grasses will turn brown and go dormant until springtime returns.
Bermudagrass is tolerant of foot traffic, which is excellent for homes with families and pets, and it sprouts quickly. If you decide to start over from scratch with a new lawn, Bermudagrass might be the way to go. You won’t have to wait long to enjoy a lush new lawn! In addition to its foot traffic tolerance, it holds up well during droughts, so watering won’t be an issue. However, Bermudagrass needs loads of sunlight, so keep that in mind if your yard has areas of abundant shade.
Like many types of turfgrass, Zoysia was imported from Asia in the late 1800s – when the concept of a lawn was becoming popular in America. Zoysia enjoys a robust root system, which means it can put up with shade, drought, and moderate foot traffic. It’s one of the most popular choices for golf courses and relatively low-maintenance – needing only about an inch of water a week. The downside? Zoysia is eager to grow wherever it can, so you’ll need to keep an eye on it, or it could overwhelm your landscaping beds.
Like Zoysia, Centipede grass was also imported from Asia. Of all the warm-season grasses, centipede grass might be the most shade tolerant. And like Bermudagrass, it doesn’t need high doses of fertilizer to get by, and it can handle periods of extreme heat. The one thing centipede grass doesn’t like is foot traffic, and it will not bounce back as quickly if walked upon. It also doesn’t grow as quickly as other varietals, so if you’re eager to get a new lawn fast, keep that in mind.
St. Augustine Grass
St. Augustine looks gorgeous, but it is one of the higher maintenance varieties. St. Augustine does not like loads of foot traffic and will need extra water during times of drought, but it makes up for that with other qualities. St. Augustine can handle a yard with a mixture of light and shade and will treat you to a lush green carpet full of thick grass blades.
Add Overseeding To Your Lawn Maintenance This Spring – Contact Land Art, Inc.
Whether your lawn needs a complete makeover or just a few touchups, the experts at Land Art, Inc. are here to help! Our aeration and overseeding services will rejuvenate your turfgrass and help you achieve the lawn of your dreams. We are a full-service lawn care company with offices across Ohio and Florida, so our team understands the needs of both cool and warm climates.
Don’t forget to check our previous blogs for more helpful articles on maintaining the yard of your dreams!