Monday, October 28, 2013

5 Great Grasses for a New Lawn

Lawns have been coming under attack as of late — after all, they are high-maintenance, chemically dependent thirst mongers, right? Yes and no. Much depends on what type of grass you choose, and if you choose the “wrong” type for your area, you’re in for high water bills, lots of mowing and possibly an unhealthy landscape environment. And while many people want to reduce the size of or even eliminate their lawns, some live in neighborhoods where taking out the front lawn is prohibited.

One solution to the lawn issue lies in selecting the best type of lawn for your area. It’s not easy. There is no one-size-fits-all grass that will do well everywhere, so it’s best to consult the extension office in your county for recommendations. That said, here are some good options to consider when installing a new lawn.

Before you get started, ask yourself what your goals are for your lawn. For example:

Do you need to water less?

Do you hate mowing?

Does your grass need to stand up to lots of foot traffic?

Do you have a lot of shade?

Do you want to minimize chemicals?

Fine-tuning your answers to these questions will help you choose the best grass type for your landscape. Always take into account your area’s challenges — low or high average rainfall, high heat, harsh winters or rocky soil should all inform your turfgrass choice.

Grass Types

St. Augustine (Stenotaphrum secundatum, USDA zones 8 to 10; find your zone). This grass has a coarse texture and is adapted to moist, coastal areas with mild winter temperatures. It’s also adapted to a wide range of soil types, does fairly well in moderate shade and provides good coverage with minimal mowing. St. Augustine is a “carpet” grass that creates a great low-profile lawn with high heat tolerance. It’s native to the Gulf Coast regions, West Indies and Western Africa.

St. Augustine does not handle high foot traffic well and is not recommended for areas with drought issues.

Continue reading 5 Great Grasses for a New Lawn

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