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Types of Grass

By: Jack Claridge - Updated: 1 Feb 2021 | comments*Discuss
Types Of Grass Warm Season Grasses Cool

When it comes to deciding upon whether or not to have a grass lawn or a turf lawn there are certain things to take into consideration; not least the type of grass that you might wish to use.

Many people simply look upon grass as being simply grass but the fact is there are many different types and many different ways in which the grass can be used and grown.

When considering which type of grass to use for your lawn it is worthwhile taking the time to think about how the lawn will be used. Will the lawn's purpose be simply decorative in the midst of your garden environment or will it be utilised in a manner whereby people are walking on it or children playing on it? You should also think of the growing conditions under which the grass will have to function. Will there be lots of rainfall in your area? Will there be lots of direct sunlight? These are questions - which although they might sound as though they are not necessary to consider - are ones that if answered correctly will make the choice of grass an easier one.

There are two categories of grass - warm and cool season - and they are made up of the following:

Warm Season Grasses:

  • Bermuda grass
  • St Augustine grass
  • Zoysia
Cool Season Grasses:
  • Fescues
  • Bents
  • Ryegrasses
  • Meadow Grasses
Below are some of their applications.

Utility Lawns

A utility lawn is a lawn, which - as its name might suggest - will have a specific function to perform. For the most part this will be not only to look good but to withstand the day to day human traffic that will be excerpted upon it by children playing or family pets etc. A utility lawn needs to be hard wearing and needs to be able to cope with heavy footedness and the introduction of heavy toys, garden furniture and anything else that might be placed on - or travel over it.

Perennial ryegrass is a good place to start if you are looking for a utility lawn if you want them fair well in cooler weather but if you are looking for something that will withstand not only a lot of wear and tear under foot but hotter temperatures then perhaps Bermuda grasses are the type of grass you should consider. Your local garden centre will be able to recommend which variety is best for your needs.

Sports Lawns

Again - as the name would suggest - these are lawns where there is a lot of sports activity taking place over a long period of time. Any game requiring the use of a ball for example will provide your grass with a lot of stiff competition when it comes to growing and as such sports lawns are designed with this in mind. Lawns for such things as croquet or bowls for example - referred to as low impact sports - are made up of a mixture of bents and fescues as in the case of high quality lawns. But if you are intending to play such games as tennis for instance, it is again an idea to incorporate perennial ryegrass into the mix to provide that element of protection. Again Bermuda grasses are a good place to start and provide a hard-wearing, attractive surface.

High Quality Lawns

The main function of a so-called high quality lawn is to give the appearance of a perfectly manicured stretch of grass in your garden. Again it is a good idea to consider climate when choosing the grass you wish to have in your lawn as there are different types for different climates. In cooler climbs a highland and brown-top bent mixed with Chewing's fescue or creeping red fescue is the best choice; whereas in warmer climbs you should perhaps consider something along the lines of the common Bermuda grass or Zoysia.

In conditions that are persistently wet it is best to choose a grass that can withstand these hardy onslaughts and Wood Meadow grass mixed alongside rough-stalked meadow grass will give the best appearance as well as the best covering.

All in all there are many options to choose from and having considered exactly what level of functionality your lawn will have your local garden centre will be able - and only too happy - to provide you with all the help you need.

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Last year, as I couldn't do anything else in lockdown, I decided to tackle the creeping bent grass in my lawn. Where the patches were dense I cut it all away with a lawn stripper and put down new turf. I had a terrible time as badgers tore up the new turf 3 times until finally the new turf took. To my horror, despite the turf matching my grass initially, as it established it changed colour and now stands out like a sore thumb. Can anyone advise me what I can do. I am planning to kill the new turf and seed over it as I can't bear the though or re-turfing for a forth time! How do I I know the grass from the seed will match my existing lawn?
T944 - 1-Feb-21 @ 12:02 PM
Hi there, can you advise me on what grass seed to choose? I'm looking to overseedfor autumn and I'd like to go for something between a utility lawn and a high quality lawn as it's not used a lot so not much traffic on it. Am very fascinated and want to create an impressive lawn that I can show off. I live in London so it's mostly wet and cold with a few weeks of sun there's no shade or cover so the sun hits directly onto the lawn.? Thank you.
Ghadji - 11-Sep-20 @ 7:50 PM
@Freshman - You need a drought-tolerant grass. Buffalograss is native to the midwest-America and is very hardy - but still needs 1/4" of water per week in the summer. It's a slow grass to start but it's a grass that clumps rather than lies flat. El Toro, Empire, Jamur, and Palisdaes are considered drought resistant cultivars of Zoysia grass, which are drought-tolerant and Bahia grass is a good all purpose grass which is tolerant of disease and insects and it grows well in infertile soils.
Ady - 18-Dec-17 @ 11:27 AM
Hi Can you please advise me for the best grass seed to grow in Africa Ghana Thanks
Freshman - 15-Dec-17 @ 7:50 PM
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