A large multitude of varieties or cultivars of the species best suited for lawns or turfgrass exists on the market today. Each has specific characteristics that make it desirable in some ways under some conditions. In order to select the best one for your site and uses requires some basic information. Stevenson Intermountain Seed, Inc. offers a selection of species, varieties, mixes and blends to create a beautiful lawn or turfgrass designed for your needs.
In Order to best achieve successful results with your Lawn/Turf grass planting Stevenson Intermountain Seed, Inc. has developed a written “Quick Guide To Successful Planting Lawn Grass Seed and Lawn Maintenance”. Just ask for a copy of it.
General Information on Lawn / Turfgrasses
There are 2 general classifications of lawn and turfgrasses:
- Cool-Season Grasses
- Warm-Season Grasses
Cool-season grasses perform best in the northern, cooler latitudes of the US and do not perform well in the more intense summer heat of the south. Cool-season grasses grow and look great in cool temperatures between 600 – 750 with a period of lush, rapid growth in the spring, slowed growth and some dormancy in the hot summer, followed by another period of lush, rapid growth in the cooler fall. They need additional water in the summer hot, dry periods to look their best. Some maintain a green color into the winter.
Warm-season grasses are, of course, just opposite and perform best in the warmer southern latitudes but not so in the cooler north. Warm-season grasses are slow to green up in the spring but thrive in the 800- 900 hot temperatures and then go dormant and brown when the weather turns colder. They may need additional water in hot, dry periods.
The following map of the US shows the 3 recognized zones for turfgrass. The third zone, transition, is in-between cool-season and warm-season and is more difficult to grow good turf in.
COOL-SEASON TURFGRASS/LAWN SPECIES
The most common species of cool-season lawn/turfgrass are as follows:
Kentucky Bluegrass – Often considered “King” of the turfgrasses. Widely adaptable to a number of environmental conditions over a broad geographic range. Has dark green color, medium fine texture or leaves, adapted to full sun or partial shade. Strongly rhizometous so it recovers well from hard use or damage. Good low to medium height mowing characteristics. Good disease resistance in premium varieties. Requires a moderately high amount of water and fertilizer. Takes about 21 days to germinate.
Perennial Ryegrass – Dark green color, medium fine textures, widely adaptable, good mowing characteristics. Germinates and establishes very quickly. Bunchgrass non-rhizomatous so it is slow to recover from hard use or damage. Good disease and insect resistance in premium varieties. Often used in a mix with other species.
Turf-Type Tall Fescue – Does well in the warmer areas of the cool-season zone being more heat and drought-tolerant than the other cool-season lawn grasses. Newer varieties are as dark green and almost as fine leaf as Kentucky Bluegrass. Needs to be mowed at longer lengths than Kentucky bluegrass. Requires somewhat less water and fertilizer but is slow to recover from damage or hard use. Often used in low maintenance turf areas. Some what slow to germinate and establish. Performs well in full sun to partial shade.
Fine Fescue – Chewing’s Fescue, Red Fescue, Creeping Red Fescue, Sheep Fescue and Hard Fescue are the most common fine leaf fescues used for lawn/turf. They have very fine leaves, are the most shade tolerant, lowest water and fertilizer requirement lawn grasses. Can be mowed to medium heights. Low resistance to hard use and damages and slower to recover. Medium to dark green color. Low heat tolerance, germinate fairly rapidly and do well in poorer, dry and sandy soils. Often used in a mix with other lawn grass species.
Bentgrass – Colonial Bentgrass and Creeping Bentgrass considered by many to be the most beautiful Turfgrass species with its fine texture, thick density, deep green color and low growing and mowing capability. Moderately fast to germinate and establish. Poor shade tolerance but high heat tolerance. Very high water use and fertilizer requirements and must be mowed often to look good. Low wear resistance. Mostly used on golf courses but is being used by homeowners and in other settings for those wanting nothing but the most luxurious turf or lawn.
WARM-SEASON TURFGRASS / LAWN SPECIES
The most common species of warm-season turfgrasses are:
Bahia – A tough, tolerant grass easy to grow. Not a high quality lawn grass. Used extensively for roadside erosion control.Bermudagrass – Very popular and excellent choice for many sites including home lawns, golf courses, athletic fields etc. Medium to fine texture, sod-former, dark green, drought-resistant, low growing, quick to recover from damage. Easy to establish and likes full-sun. Very aggressive in some situations and hard to kill.
Buffalograss – Only native grass widely used in lawns. Tough and well suited for lawns in semi-arid climates: Drought and heat-tolerant. Sod-forming by above ground stolons (runners). Fine textured leaves, grayish green color, low maintenance, not shade-tolerant. Can be left un-mowed for low growing natural turf.
Zoysiagrass – Creates a beautiful relatively low maintenance lawn. Soft spongy texture, and drought- tolerant. Wear-tolerant but slow to recover from damage. Spreads by rhizomes and stolons.
Blue Gramma – Suitable for low to medium quality low maintenance turf. Very drought-tolerant and somewhat cold-hardy. Very low water requirements. Can be left un-mowed for a nice natural ground cover appearance. Grows in clumps and does not form a dense sod cover. Slow to recover from damage.
LAWN / TURFGRASS MIXES & BLENDS
To create the best turf or lawn possible it is often desirable to plant mixes and blends, especially for cool-season turfgrasses. A mixture contains more than one species of grass to achieve genetic diversity and greater adaptive potential. A blend contains more than one variety or cultivar of a grass species to achieve greater diversity, adaptation, disease resistant or other desirable characteristics.
PREMIUM COOL SEASON LAWN / TURFGRASS BLENDS
The following mixtures and blends have been formulated by Stevenson Intermountain Seed, Inc. to provide just the choice needed for your requirements.
PREMIUM WARM SEASON LAWN / TURFGRASS BLENDS