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Growing Grass Types For Optimal Sustainability: Spotlight on the South

by Kelly Richardson, All About Lawns Columnist

From the mountains of North Carolina to the plains of Texas, the southern U.S. poses a variety of unique challenges for growing grass. Historically warm climates and unpredictable rains translate into a guessing game for homeowners and landscapers. However, here is a selection of grass types that should thrive no matter what the conditions may be.

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Bermuda Grass. Resilient, sturdy, and fast-growing in optimal conditions, Bermuda is the grass of the South. From lawns to sports fields, to reclamation areas, this perennial grass type traditionally grows best in the tropical, subtropical and transition areas of the globe.

  • The 411. Grows best in full to moderate sun, has medium to fine blade texture, is quite drought resistant, highly versatile, salt tolerant and easy to seed
  • Time to Growth. Most Bermuda grass types can be established in 60 to 90 days
  • Watch Out For. Growing grass can turn invasive if not carefully bordered

Centipede Grass. This is arguably one of the more popular turf cover grasses across the country. Centipede grass types are certainly some of the lowest maintenance varieties of landscaping--they typically tolerate droughts well and generally need very little light to flourish.

  • The 411. Warm season, thick and uniform growing, with medium to light green color blades
  • When to Plant. When the temperatures are 70+ for several weeks is best; avoid fall planting
  • Unique Benefit. Low growth means better water conservation throughout the year

Zoysia Grass. Zoysia is the broad name for a category of grass types that originated in Asia. The dense, dark green spread is multifaceted and the "go-to" grass for difficult growing areas.

  • The 411. Wholly durable, soil and salt tolerant, requires very little fertilizer, with a deep root system
  • Plant or Roll. You can choose to plant seedlings or purchase a roll of zoysia sod--both yields excellent results
  • Watch Out For. Slow-growing process means early establishment may take more time than other grass types

By selecting a sturdy and resilient grass type, you should be able to create and maintain a healthy and green lawn throughout the year.


About the Author
Kelly Richardson has obsessive compulsive lawn disorder and is afflicted with the need to share his knowledge with the world. Kelly writes lawn columns for a variety of home and garden magazines and e-zines.

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