Have you ever put much thought into your grass? Aside from knowing when to mow it and perhaps how to fix a bald spot here and a raised area there, many people don’t know much about this versatile plant life that covers so much of the earth. Grasses are the most widespread plant type that lives today, and serve as a food and energy source for a large number of animals and insects.
As with other plants there are many different types of grass that exist. Being aware of some of the most common grasses can help you to understand your own and tend to it accordingly. This article will cover 10 of the most common types of grass and how they are all different from one another.
- Buffalo Grass
This type of grass is the same kind that early settlers used to construct sod houses. Buffalo grass is native to North America and is named as such because it was the main food source of the wandering buffalo that thrived on the Great Plains. Although this grass stands up exceptionally well against arid climates and is very low maintenance, many homeowners find it less attractive than other grasses due to its lackluster green color and tendency to turn brown.
- Carpet Grass
Carpet grass is used in many parks and lawns because the nature of its dense mat makes it weed and disease resistant. Acidic soil with an abundance of moisture is necessary for this grass to grow strong and healthy, and it does best in warmer climates. Carpet grass loves moisture-rich areas so much that it can even thrive in consistently wet and spongy soils.
- Perennial Rye Grass
Rye grass is known for its ability to put up with a lot of impact and pressure, making it the perfect type of grass to cover golf courses, parks, and fields where sports are played. This durable grass is pest-resistant and prefers slightly cooler weather than the two listed before it.
- Bent Grass
If you’re looking for a fine-bladed, vividly green luxury grass, then bent grass might be where your search ends. This type of grass often covers the lawns and fields of high-end estates as well as fancy golf courses, and creates a lush and beautiful landscape. The downside to bent grass is that it only thrives in a very particular cool season climate and you must have your property routinely watered, fertilized, and mowed.
- Centipede Grass
Centipede grass is a good middle-of-the-road grass for those who are not interested in spending a lot of time on maintenance. This grass can take root in poor soil conditions, prefers warmer seasons, and grows slower than other variations of grass— which means less mowing for the owner. That being said, centipede grass is particularly sensitive to salty conditions. Therefore it might require some sand, iron, or a soil conditioner when it first gets started.
- St. Augustine Grass
This is one type of grass that is strong, durable and grows fast. St. Augustine grows as a beautiful dark green and can take a lot of wear, which is why it’s such a popular lawn choice for Southern homes. The downsides are the coarse texture of the blades, and the fact that it requires almost weekly mowing in the summer months.
- Bermuda Grass
A particularly robust and attractive type of grass is Bermuda. Although this grass can be healthy and green for years with little maintenance involved and can handle a huge amount of wear and tear, many people have a strong dislike for Bermuda. This is because, while the grass can thrive almost effortlessly, it also spawns invasive runners that can take over gardens and other areas a homeowner might not want it to cover.
- Kentucky Bluegrass
Bluegrass is a cool season grass that many enjoy for its appealing blue tint and densely packed, fine blades. Kentucky Bluegrass can take heavy foot traffic well and is naturally resistant to the cold. On the other hand, the root systems for this grass are shallow, making droughts a major threat to its livelihood.
Homeowners who are interested in a soft grass that is durable enough for pets, children, and any amount of foot traffic would be wise to consider zoysia. This type of plant life is a warm season grass and turns brown when it encounters frost, but immediately starts growing again when the temperature hits 70 degrees. It also does well in salty conditions, unlike many other types of grass.
There are two common types of fescue found in North America: tall fescue and fine fescue. Tall fescue is great for moderate climates, but this grass has impressive capabilities when it comes to adapting. Although some maintenance is needed, tall fescue is enjoyed by many homeowners because it looks like you’ve put much more time into maintaining your lawn than you actually have. Fine fescue is known for looking more like a plush carpet than other types of grasses, and can establish itself quickly in soil. The only downside to fine fescue is that other more aggressive grasses can easily dominate it, so the homeowner should keep a watchful eye open.