Imagine a garden with just bare earth. Doesn’t it look incomplete? Plus you wouldn’t want to walk over it especially if it gets terribly rainy, since you’ll get a lot of mud stuck on your shoes.
A garden is not complete without grass on the ground. It makes the place look lush, it gives you something soft to play on, and it keeps the ground from getting muddy. Lastly, even though the roots of grass are much thinner, softer, and smaller than those of trees, they can also be very helpful in preventing erosion.
This is why planting grass must be somewhere at the top of your to-do list if you’re starting out your garden or if you are planning to make it look a bit better.
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The Best Types of Grass
1. Bermuda grass
Bermuda grass is a warm-season grass that is widely used in the south as well as in California. In tropical regions of the world that receive a generous amount of sunlight nearly everyday, Bermuda grass can survive the whole year. Aside from sunlight, Bermuda grass also requires good drainage.
Since this type of grass thrives during the warm seasons, it can become dormant when the temperature drops below 15C.
The roots of Bermuda grass can grow to as deep as a few feet into the ground, so it is more resistant to environmental stresses and you won’t have to worry about it easily getting plucked out if it is walked on for too many times.
2. Centipede grass
Centipede grass is a warm-season grass that is best grown in areas with acidic soil, particularly in the lower South. Its root system is a bit shallower in comparison to Bermuda grass, and unlike other warm-season grasses, this is somewhat more sensitive to low temperatures, however, what is good about this type of grass is that it is pretty low-maintenance. In addition to that, if it is properly taken care of, it can have some sort of resistance to weeds and pests.
3. St. Augustine grass
St. Augustine grass is native to North and Central America. In Australia, it’s known as buffalo turf, while in South Africa, it is called buffalo grass. This type of grass is often dark green in color, with wide, flat leaves, but sometimes, when the temperature gets warmer, the color could become blue-green.
These days, St. Augustine grass is widely cultivated in tropical and subtropical regions. While this type of grass prefers areas with warm climates, it can be planted in just about any type of soil.
Unlike other warm-season grasses, it is more tolerant to shade. However, this is not very ideal if you are looking for grass that can survive a high amount of foot traffic.
4. Kentucky bluegrass
Unlike the first three types of grasses discussed here, Kentucky bluegrass is a cool-season grass which means it thrives during the fall, winter, and spring seasons. Kentucky bluegrass loves to regularly receive a great dose of sunlight, but it is also fine with a little shade.
Perhaps the downside to this variety is that it is relatively more difficult to maintain than others. Its root system is also not very deep, so it needs to be watered regularly since it cannot survive long periods of drought. Without enough water, Kentucky bluegrasses may become dormant. However, it can also bounce back pretty easily from dormancy once the environmental conditions get better.
5. Zoysia grass
Zoysia grass is warm-season grass that is usually light to medium green in color. As a warm-season grass, its growth is fastest during late spring or early summer.
Like most warm-season grasses, Zoysia grass loves to be under the sun, but it can also tolerate a decent amount of shade. Despite its preference for warmth, it is relatively more tolerant to cold temperatures.
If you are looking for something that is not very hard to maintain and yet can tolerate quite a lot of traffic, then choose this variety. It has quite an extensive root system, which keeps it from being easily uprooted, and once it has started to grow, it will eventually form a thick carpet of grass that weeds find difficult to penetrate.
Factors to Consider When Deciding What Type of Grass to Plant
Your location determines the climate in your area, and the climate determines what types of grasses can thrive in your area. If you plant a variety that doesn’t like the environmental conditions in your area then you are more likely to end up trying your hardest to make your grass survive to no avail.
If you reside in the upper portion of the United States or in Canada, then you can go for cool-season grasses such as ryegrass, tall fescue and Kentucky bluegrass. If you live in warmer areas in the south, then plant Bermuda grass, St. Augustine grass, centipede grass, or Zoysia grass.
Different varieties of grasses have different requirements to survive. Some can survive if you just give it all the basic need of just about any other plant such as water, sunlight, and some fertilizer, but there are others that need a bit more tender love and care.
If you know you are not the type who has some much free time to spend taking care of your garden, then go for grasses that are low-maintenance. If you are willing to go the extra mile to have a pretty lawn, go for high-maintenance grasses.
Some grasses may not be tolerant to high traffic. If you are planning to plant grass for decorative purposes, then you can go for those grass varieties that can withstand low traffic. However, if you know that the area is going to be subjected to lots of traffic, choose something with a deeper and more extensive root system, so that it cannot be easily uprooted or damaged.
How long after planting grass seed can you walk on it?
Grasses take some time to fully develop their root system and get ahold of the earth, so it is best that you do not walk on them until about 2 or 3 months since you’ve planted them, at which it is expected that you have already mowed them around three to five times.
We often take grass for granted. Sometimes, we look at it as nothing more than something that we can step on and for others it could be as invaluable as weeds. But in truth, grasses are essential, because they provide a lush green carpet for the floor of anyone’s garden. At the same time, they also prevent erosion, and produce oxygen since they photosynthesize. If you live in a rural or farm area, grasses are also very good for small animals like rabbits and ground squirrels.
There are many types of grasses in the world, and you must consider factors such as location when choosing which to plant because each type of grass has a preferred environmental condition in order to grow well.
If properly taken care of, having grass in your garden will definitely make it a lot more pleasing to the eye.