Best grass for zone 9

If you are an avid gardener, having a well maintained and healthy green lawn is important, not only for enhancing the overall look of your property but also to improve the quality of the soil. Whether you are planting a new lawn or looking to re-seed unsightly patches of bare ground, finding the right type of grass seed will help you to get the beautiful lush green lawn you desire.

Image Product Name Price Rating
Kentucky 31 Tall Fescue 50lbs Grass Seed $ A
DC Earth 5LBS Creeping Red Fescue(Festuca Rubra) Grass Seed $$$ A+
Jonathan Green 10765 Fall Magic Grass 3 lbs Seed Mix $$$$ A
Scotts Turf Builder Quick Fix 3 Lbs Mix $$ B
Pennington Smart Seed 7 Lbs Sun and Shade Seeds $$ A+

Our Pick for the Best Grass Seed

Pennington Sun and Shade Smart Seeds Mix

These super seeds are pretty tough and can survive in almost any kind of climate and even sandy soil will not stop them from flourishing. The seeds can be planted in full sun or in moderate shade. With a quick rate of germination, they will spring to life into a beautiful green lawn. One of the best aspects of the Pennington Super Seeds is that they are very low maintenance and require less watering, which will save you money on your water bill.

Check the price on Amazon ›

How to Choose The Best Grass Seed For Your Lawn

Your choice of grass seed will depend on what you want to use it for, so to be able to find the right seed for your lawn’s needs, consider these six questions:

  • Are you planting a new lawn from scratch or do you have bare patches that need to be covered quickly?
  • Does your yard have a lot of shade from trees, or does it receive a lot of sun, partial or no sun at all?
  • Do you prefer a certain variety of grass seeds, like Red Fescue, or would you prefer a mix of different seed varieties?
  • How much time do you have to dedicate to the maintenance of your lawn? Are you “time-poor” and prefer a low maintenance type of grass seed that does not need a lot of watering? If you do not have time to regularly water the lawn, why not choose a grass variety that is drought resistant or has been specifically designed to retain water.
  • What type of soil do you have, is it clay-based or sandy soil? What is the pH level of the soil? If you are not sure about your soil type or pH levels, you can always consult your local gardening store for advice. Some grass seed manufacturers will display the type of soil pH or soil type that is right for their particular type of grass mix.

As well as the above six questions, you also need to consider the climate where you live, and the types of grass that are best suited to that climate.

Do you live in a warm climate that has a lot of hot sun and experiences periods of drought? Maybe you live in a cooler climate where there is a lot of rain? All of these questions will determine what type of grass seed is the right fit for your lawn.

Some grass types thrive in cooler temperatures, while other types grow faster in a warmer climate. There are grasses that prefer a dry arid climate, while others prefer a wet climate.

If you find that your grass is not growing, chances are the grass seed is not suited for your geographic area and its particular climate.

For example, if you live in the United States, choosing the right seasonal grass will depend on the particular geographic location or zone in which your state is located.

The U.S.A. is split into four zones:

Cool/Humid Zone. The Cool/Humid Zone contains areas like the Northeast and some of the Midwestern states.

Cool/Arid. The Cool/Arid zone contains some of the drier areas of the Midwest and West.

Warm/ Arid. The Warm/Arid zone contains the states in the South-West

Warm/Humid. The Warm/Humid zone contains states in the South-East and also the Gulf States

Then there is another geographic area called the transition zone, which can be more of a challenge for gardeners to find the right kind of grass seed. The Transition Zone experiences all four of the above climates. Here is a map which shows the particular states that fall into these four zones.

As well as these basic four zones as outlined above you can also access a more detailed map, a Turfgrass Selection Climate Color Coded map, which divides the U.S into 11 separate planting zones, depending on whether you live in a warm or cool zone.

Once you have found out which geographical or temperature zone your state falls into, you can start looking for the particular grass type that will work best in your area.

Types of Grass Seed

Grass seeds fall into two types: cool season grasses and warm season grasses.

Cool Season Grass

Cool season grasses predominately thrive in the cool/humid and cool/arid zones, which are contained in the Northern/Northeast and Midwest sections of the U.S. Cool season grasses are very hardy and they are a good choice as they can withstand colder temperatures but they can also tolerate some heat. They grow the best in temperatures that range from 65°F to 80°F and should be planted during the spring and fall months. Some of them can handle long periods of drought as they go dormant and then start to grow again in the cooler months.

Except for the coldest winters, cool season grasses will continue to grow to a certain extent while they are under snow cover. It is best to plant cool season grasses in the fall so that they have time to take root before the winter season arrives.

Examples of Cool Season Grasses:

Some popular examples of cool-season grasses include Ryegrass, Kentucky Bluegrass, and Red Fescue.

Kentucky bluegrass is one of the most popular cool season grasses due to its fine blade blue-green appearance and general all-around tolerance to a variety of growing conditions.

Ryegrass is another popular cool season grass that provides excellent cover in high traffic areas, and it is also a very good choice for those gardeners who need to cover bare patches in their lawn quickly, as it has a fast germination rate.

Red Fescue or Creeping Red Fescue is the ideal choice for a garden that has full or partial shade areas with some exposure to sun, and for gardeners who prefer a low maintenance lawn. Creeping Red Fescue can provide good ground cover all year round and can withstand drought conditions, and can be used in zones 1-7, and in areas that have winters that have temperatures that drop to -15°F. Red Fescue is not ideal for areas that have warmer winters as the lack of freezing winter temperatures do not provide the necessary time for the seeds’ dormancy.

Warm Season Grasses

Warm season grasses grow well in the summer months and tend to be very drought resistant, so they are also ideal for lawns that are situated in the southern states. They thrive in gardens that receive a lot of sun and grow the best in temperatures that range from 75°F to 90°F. During the cooler seasons around late fall and into the winter months, the grass will become dormant and turn brown and will grow once again when the warmer seasons begin to arrive.

Examples of Warm Season Grasses:

Some popular examples of warm season grasses include Bermuda, Zoysia, St. Augustine, Bahia, and Buffalo.

Bermuda grass is very durable and requires little maintenance and tolerates drought conditions very well, but it is not tolerant of shady areas.

Zoysia grass is a low-maintenance grass that produces a dense growth and can grow in a large variety of soils, from sandy to clay and alkaline to acid. Although it is predominantly found in the Southern States, it has been found in some parts of the north like New York and Chicago.

St. Augustine grass has heat resistant qualities and it is ideal for humid parts of the Southern and Gulf states, but it does not tolerate cool temperatures very well.

Bahiagrass does very well in sandy, slightly acidic soils and in full sun conditions, and it is a low maintenance turfgrass that requires minimal watering and fertilizing, but it does not develop the thick, rich look of other grasses. It can withstand a lot of activity and can survive short periods of drought, but does not handle the cold weather very well.

Buffalo grass is one of the few native kinds of grass in the United States, and it can be found in the west of the Mississippi, and in many semi-arid regions of Texas and other areas in the southwest. It can withstand near freezing temperatures for short periods and extended drought periods but does not do very well in high activity areas.

5 Best Grass Seed Reviews

1. Kentucky 31 Tall Fescue 50lbs Grass Seed

Kentucky 31 have designed their tall fescue grass seed to grow into a low-maintenance lawn that has a high tolerance to heat, so it is ideal for areas that experience a lot of sun as it is drought resistant. Although Kentucky 31 has been specially adapted for the cool planting zones that are unique to the North-eastern states, it also does very well in some warmer areas of the U.S.

The best time to plant Kentucky 31 is early Spring or early Fall and it will germinate quickly to produce a thick, soft green even coverage for an area of 350 sq. ft. per pound, and it is low maintenance and weed and disease resistant. If your lawn hosts a lot of activity, this is the ideal grass seed for you as it holds up well under heavy traffic.

To get the best growth rate out of the seeds is to plant them in well aerated soil and in full sun, or partly shaded areas that receive at least 4-8 hours of sun a day. Kentucky 31 is fast growing and will result in a healthy lawn that will be the envy of your neighbors and a delight for your kids to play on.

What we like:

  • Economical
  • Low maintenance
  • Drought-tolerant
  • Grows well in direct sunlight and partly shaded areas
  • Produces thick green grass

What we don’t like:

  • Expensive
  • Not ideal for pasture with grazing cattle and horses

Check the price on Amazon ›

2. DC Earth 5LBS Creeping Red Fescue (Festuca Rubra) Grass Seed

DC Earth Creeping Red Fescue Grass Seed is the ideal choice for a garden that has full or partial shade areas with some exposure to sun, and for gardeners who prefer a low maintenance lawn. Creeping Red Fescue is a hardy type of grass that can provide good ground cover all year round and can withstand drought conditions. It can be used in zones 1-7, and in areas that have winter temperatures of -15°F. These seeds are not ideal for zones 9-11 that have warmer winters as the lack of freezing winter temperatures do not provide the necessary time for the seeds’ dormancy.

DC Earth grass seeds can help with erosion control and will attract wildlife to your lawn or meadow. The seeds are very hardy and can be planted in well-drained, dry or average soil, and they can tolerate soil types like sandy soil, loamy soil, acidic soil, and dry soil.

To get the best results, the seeds need to be planted in the cooler months and they should start to bring forth rich green shoots in mid-summer, and once the grass reaches its maturity, it will provide an even coverage of 90-150lbs per acre and grow up to 12”- 24” in height.

  • Ideal for full or partial shade areas with some exposure to sun
  • High rate of germination
  • Provides very good coverage
  • Drought-tolerant
  • Creates a beautiful lush green lawn
  • Not ideal for full sun areas

Check the price on Amazon ›

3. Jonathan Green 10765 Fall Magic Grass 3 lbs Seed Mix

Jonathan Green Fall Magic Grass Seed Mix is a good choice if you need to cover any unsightly bare patches of soil, or if you want to start a new small to medium sized lawn. The seed mix is also ideal for those lawns that have been summer damaged or have been ravaged by insects as the seed is engineered to be disease and insect resistant.

The fall magic mixture is specially formulated for seeding in late summer to early fall, and as the seed mix contains ryegrass, bluegrass, and creeping red fescue, the seeds have an all-around tolerance to a variety of growing conditions. To get the fastest germination rate, the seeds should be planted in well-moisturized soil that has a pH level of 6.5 to 6.8. You can plant the seeds in a sunny or shady area, and the 3lb mixture will cover up to 1500 square feet and will grow into an attractive green lawn.

Although the seeds are drought resistant and are capable of preserving moisture when they are fully grown, it is recommended that you carefully follow the product’s instructions to give your lawn the best start in life.

  • Good value for money
  • Fast germination
  • Ideal for sunny or shady areas
  • Ideal for covering bare patches
  • Attractive dark green lawn
  • Need to buy more bags for a large sized lawn

Check the price on Amazon ›

4. Scotts Turf Builder Quick Fix 3 Lbs Mix

If you need to cover those bare spots in your garden, or just need some fast-growing turf, Scotts Turf Builder is a great choice. This weed-free mix can be used in shady or sunny areas in well-aerated soil and will provide good, even ground cover for up to 750 sq. ft.

Scotts Turf Builder has been specially designed for use in the Northern States and as it contains perennial ryegrass, seeds that grow best when temperatures are between 60-80°F.

With its fast germination rate, you will start to see the first rich green blades emerge in about 1 week for small areas and up to 2 weeks for larger areas of your lawn. Scotts Turf Builder is specially designed for covering bare spots in your lawn, but if you want the mix to cover a larger area of your lawn, you will need to spread the seeds evenly and regularly water the seeds in the early stages of germination. If you want to use the mix to kick-start a brand new lawn for a small to medium sized area, you will need to purchase additional bags of seeds.

  • Good value for money
  • Ideal for sunny or shady areas
  • Quick germination rate
  • Ideal for covering bare patches of lawn
  • Good coverage and erosion control
  • 99.9% weed free
  • Creates a rich green lawn
  • Not ideal for planting a large lawn

Check the price on Amazon ›

5. Pennington Smart Seed 7 Lbs Sun and Shade Seeds

Pennington Smart Seed Mix is one of the top-selling grass seed products in the Northern States of the U.S. It is a very versatile seed mix that is engineered to be drought, heat, and disease resistant. It can survive in almost any type of climate and soil type, so you could also use it if you live in the southern states. The secret to its success is the Myco Advantage technology, which helps to create a dense root system that allows the grass to retain water to endure drought and tough summer heat. Pennington’s Penkoted technology also protects the seed from deadly fungus by enabling the seed to establish itself faster during the early stages of germination, when it is most susceptible to the ravages of disease.

This pure-bred premium smart seed mix contains cool season grasses like Tall Fescue, Red Fescue, and Kentucky Bluegrass, which will thrive in those sunny areas of your garden that receives from 4-8 hours of sun per day, but it also grows very well in moderately shady areas.

The 7lb bag of seeds can cover up to 2300 sq. ft. and with a quick 7-14 day seed germination period, you will be the proud host of a beautiful dark blue-green fine bladed lawn.

The grass is low maintenance and does not require a lot of watering, which can save you up to 30% more water year after year.

  • Very good rate of germination
  • Drought, heat, and disease resistant
  • Ideal for sunny and shady areas
  • Attractive bright green lawn
  • Low maintenance
  • Economical
  • Expensive

Check the price on Amazon ›

Best Grass Seed for North Carolina

Best Lawn Grass Seeds For North Carolina

Click Name To View Grass Seed Choice Type Applications
Bermuda Grass – Oasis Warm Season Lawns – Full Sun – Fast Growing
Bermuda Grass – Blackjack Warm Season Lawns – Full Sun – Fast Growing
Bermuda Grass – Yukon Warm Season Lawns – Golf Course – Fast Growing
Full Sun – High End – Best Cold Tolerance
Bermuda Grass – Arden 15 Warm Season Lawns – Golf Course – Fast Growing
Full Sun – High End
Bermuda Grass – Riviera Warm Season Lawns – Golf Course – Fast Growing
Full Sun – High End
Centipede Grass Warm Season Lawns – Mostly Sunny to Full Sun – Low Maintenance
Zoysia Grass – Zenith Warm Season Lawns – Mostly Sunny to Full Sun – Very Dense Grass
Zoysia Grass – Compadre Warm Season Lawns – Mostly Sunny to Full Sun – Very Dense Grass
Cool Season Mix – Showtime Cool Season Lawns – Moderate Shade
Rye, Kentucky Bluegrass, Fine Fescue Mix
Cool Season Mix – Garland Cool Season Lawns – Moderate Shade
Rye, Fine Fescue Mix
Fescue/Bluegrass Mix – Combat Extreme South Cool Season Lawns – Wear Tolerant – Extra Heat Tolerance
Fescue Blend – Combat Extreme Transition Cool Season Lawns – Wear Tolerant
Fine Fescue Blend – Legacy Cool Season Lawns – Moderate to Dense Shade
Kentucky Bluegrass – Bluegrass Supreme Cool Season Lawns – Golf Gourses – Full Sun
Kentucky Bluegrass – Midnight Cool Season Lawns – Golf Courses – Full Sun
OSP Ryegrass Cool Season Lawns – Golf Courses

Grasses used in North Carolina generally consists of warm season grasses such as: bermuda, zoysia, centipede, and carpet grass is even used in shady, wet areas of the state. Warm-season grasses are green in the summer and become brown and dormant in the winter. Warm-season grasses are adapted to the sandy soils of the North Carolina coastal plain and most of the piedmont. Warm-season grasses tolerate the high temperatures and summer droughts in North Carolina better than cool-season grasses. Cool season grasses such as turf type tall fescue can also be used in areas where year round green turf is desired. Ryegrass is typically just used for overseeding warm season grasses in North Carolina.

Warm-Season Grasses:
Zoysiagrass – Zoysiagrass is a warm-season species that makes optimum growth during high-temperature periods. It can form an attractive turf in all regions of the state and is used primarily for home lawns. Zoysiagrass has a medium to fine leaf texture and tends to have a light to medium green color. This species produces extensive, thick, stolons that spread rapidly. Because of its prolific stolon production, zoysiagrass has good recuperative potential, however, it may also spread into areas where it is unwanted.

Although drought-tolerant when established, zoysiagrass performs best under moderate moisture levels on fertile, well-limed soils. It will not tolerate poorly -drained soils. Its green color is completely lost with heavy fall frosts, and plants remain dormant until late spring or early summer. Due to its relatively short growing season.

Bermuda Grass – Bermudagrass is the species most adapted to and most frequently used throughtout the state. Many new and improved seeded varieties have been developed and released during the last 10 years. Users now have a choice of varieties that are denser and finer textured than the almost extinct seed of common bermudagrass. Bermudagrass spreads aggressively by stolons (aboveground runners) and rhizomes (belowground runners) and can become a nuisance when it invades flower beds and gardens. Also, cold-tolerant seeded and vegetative varieties are available that withstand lower winter temperatures.

Centipede Grass – Medium in texture with a pale to medium green color, Centipede is slow growing but highly aggressive grass that can be depended upon to produce a good, dense, relatively weed-free turf at low maintenance levels. In spite of its aggressiveness, Centipede is easily controlled and usually requires edging only once a year around walks and flowerbeds. Although Centipede usually produces a good turf at low fertility and with little management, it responds nicely to good care.

Cool-Season Grasses:
Tall fescue – Turf Type – Tall fescue is a persistent and durable plant that forms acceptable turf for home lawns, grounds, parks, playgrounds, and athletic fields. It is commonly used in low maintenance situations such as utility areas, highway medials, airstrips, and fairgrounds. Many new and improved varieties have finer texture, higher tiller densities, and a darker-green color than the coarse-textured, light-green varieties such as ‘Kentucky 31’ and ‘Alta.’ Tall fescue is considered by many individuals to be incompatible with the finer-textured and darker-green Kentucky bluegrass, perennial ryegrass, and fine fescues. Tall fescue may be objectionable in a mixture with fine-textured turfgrass species because it tends to form coarse-textured clumps in an otherwise uniform stand.

Tall fescue is primarily a bunch-type grass that occasionally produces short rhizomes. It is somewhat slow to establish extensive root systems and has only fair recovery potential. This species is the most heat and drought tolerant of the cool-season turfgrasses. The increased drought tolerance is a function of its ability to produce a deep root system. Tall fescue performs well in open, sunny areas and is moderately shade tolerant. It is less suited to heavily-shaded conditions than the fine fescues, but is more shade tolerant than Kentucky bluegrass and perennial ryegrass. Tall fescue is best suited to well-drained soils.

Kentucky bluegrass – Kentucky bluegrass is a persistent and attractive species that is used in many home lawns, institutional grounds, parks, and athletic fields. This species has a medium to fine leaf texture and a medium- to dark-green color when properly fertilized. It produces extensive underground stems, called rhizomes, which provide good sod-forming characteristics and superior recuperative potential when compared to most other cool-season turfgrasses. Kentucky bluegrass is cold tolerant, wear tolerant, and moderately heat and drought tolerant. It makes optimum growth during the spring and fall and becomes semi-dormant under prolonged periods of heat and drought. It usually recovers quickly from dormancy with the advent of cooler temperatures and adequate soil moisture.

Perennial ryegrass – Ryegrass is a persistent, dark-green, fine to medium-textured turfgrass that is used for home lawns, parks, grounds, golf courses, and athletic fields. This species produces a bunch-type growth habit and does not form rhizomes or stolons. Its recuperative potential is not as strong as Kentucky bluegrass. Perennial ryegrass germinates rapidly (5 to 7 days) and establishes quickly. It is very competitive with other turfgrasses and is used extensively for overseeding thin or damaged turf. Because of its aggressive nature, perennial ryegrass is generally not used in amounts over 20 percent in a mixture with other turfgrasses. It is suitable for use alone or in combination with Kentucky bluegrass and/or fine fescues.

Perennial ryegrasses is wear tolerant and heat tolerant. It is only moderately tolerant of shade and drought. This species will withstand low temperatures, however, it tends to be susceptible to ice damage. Perennial ryegrass performs best on moderate to high-fertility soils and well-drained soils. Ryegrass is typically only used to overseed bermuda grass with in North Carolina.

Below is the USDA Zone Map for North Carolina so you can determine which zone you reside in. Below that are our picks for your state which will do best in your area. Next on this page are tables which list various grasses and their characteristics so you can compare before you decide on your purchase. Click on the product name (ie. Midnight) for more information about that grass and to make your purchase.

USDA Zone Map For North Carolina

Compare Various Grasses For Their Characteristics
Cool Season
Grasses
Leaf
Texture
Establish
Rate
Nitrogen
Use
Water
Use
Drought
Tolerance
Salinity
Tolerance
Shade
Tolerance
Bentgrass – Creeping Fine Moderate
to Fast
Low to
Moderate
High Poor to
Moderate
High Poor to
Moderate
Bentgrass – Colonial Fine Moderate
to Fast
Low Moderate Poor to
Moderate
Moderate Moderate
Bluegrass – Kentucky Moderate
to Fine
Slow Moderate
to High
Moderate
to High
Good Moderate Poor
Bluegrass – Rough Moderate
to Fine
Slow Moderate
to High
Moderate
to High
Poor Moderate Excellent
Fescue – Chewings Fine Moderate Moderate
to Low
Moderate Good
to Excellent
Low Excellent
Fescue – Hard Fine Slow to
Moderate
Low to
Very Low
Moderate Excellent Low to
Moderate
Excellent
Fescue – Creeping Fine Moderate Low to
Moderate
Moderate Good Low Excellent
Fescue – Turf Type Moderate
to Coarse
Moderate Moderate
to High
Low to
Moderate
Excellent Low Good to
Excellent
Ryegrass – Perennial Fine to
Moderate
Very Fast Moderate
to High
Moderate
to High
Good Poor to
Moderate
Poor to
Moderate
Warm Season
Grasses
Leaf
Texture
Establish
Rate
Nitrogen
Use
Water
Use
Drought
Tolerance
Salinity
Tolerance
Shade
Tolerance
Bahiagrass Coarse
toVery Coarse
Slow to
Moderate
Low Low Excellent Excellent Moderate
to Good
Bermudagrass Fine
to Moderate
Moderate
to Fast
Moderate Moderate
to High
Excellent Very Good Poor
Blue Grama Fine
to Moderate
Slow to
Moderate
Low Low Excellent Moderate Very Poor
Buffalograss Moderate
to Coarse
Slow to
Moderate
Low Low Excellent Moderate Very Poor
Carpetgrass Coarse Moderate
to Fast
Low High Low Low Excellent
Centipedegrass Moderate
to Coarse
Slow Low Low Good Moderate Moderate
to Good
Seashore Paspalum Moderate Moderate Moderate Moderate Excellent Excellent Good
Zoysiagrass Fine
to Medium
Slow to
Moderate
Moderate Moderate Excellent Good Moderate
to Good
Compare Various Grasses For Their Characteristics – Continued
Cool Season
Grasses
Fertility
Needs
Wear
Resistance
Mowing
Height
Cold
Tolerance
Acid Soil
Tolerance
Thatching
Tendency
Heat
Tolerance
Bentgrass – Creeping High Low Low Low Medium
to High
High High
Bentgrass – Colonial High Low Low Low Medium
to High
High High
Bluegrass – Kentucky Medium Medium
to High
Medium High Medium Medium Medium
Bluegrass – Rough Medium Medium Medium High Medium Medium Medium
Fescue – Chewings Low Low Medium Medium
to High
Medium
to High
Low to
Medium
Low to
Medium
Fescue – Hard Low Low Medium Medium
to High
Medium
to High
Low to
Medium
Low to
Medium
Fescue – Creeping Low Low Medium High Medium
to High
Low to
Medium
Low to
Medium
Fescue – Turf Type Low to
Medium
Medium
to High
Medium
to High
Medium High Low High
Ryegrass – Perennial Medium High Low to
Medium
Medium Medium Low Medium
to High
Warm Season
Grasses
Fertility
Needs
Wear
Resistance
Mowing
Height
Cold
Tolerance
Acid Soil
Tolerance
Thatching
Tendency
Heat
Tolerance
Bahiagrass Low Medium
to High
High Low Low Medium
to High
High
Bermudagrass Medium High Low to
Medium
Low to
Medium
Medium Medium High
Blue Grama Low Low High High Low Low High
Buffalograss Low Low High High Low Low High
Carpetgrass Low Medium
to High
Low Medium
to High
Medium
to High
High Low
Centipedegrass Low Low Medium
to High
Medium
to High
High Medium High
Seashore Paspalum Medium
to High
Medium
to High
Low Medium Low Medium
to High
High
Zoysiagrass Low to
Medium
Medium
to High
Low to
Medium
High Low to
Medium
Medium
to High
High

BACK TO TOP

Choosing grass seed for your lawn can be a bit of a daunting task. The options are vast and depending on what type of lawn you already have or whether or not you already have existing lawn, the kind of land you are planting on, the quality of your soil and how much maintenance you want to put into growing your lawn will define the type of seed you choose, and plant.

The truth about lawn seeds is that no two are the same. Some grasses perform better in different parts of the country; some perform better closer to the ocean, some perform better in shady areas. If you are looking at planting some new lawn on your New Jersey property, here are a few tips.

What You Need To Know

Different grass seeds are suited to different areas. The type of lawn you choose will also depend on a range of other factors. What type of use will your lawn get? If your yard gets a lot of foot traffic, you need to choose a hardier lawn seed that can handle a constant pounding. Fescue is an excellent grass for this type of use as it is very robust. It also stands up very well against cold weather. Your local conditions also influence the type of seed you should grow in your yard as well, in particular, how much sun or shade your property receives.

Hardiness Zone

The hardiness zone of your area is also something you need to consider. The hardiness zone is the minimum temperature extreme that your lawn will encounter. A lot of grasses can’t survive if it gets too cold, however for the NJ area, the hardiness zone ranges from -10 to 10 degrees Fahrenheit. The range is quite broad here, which leaves you a few great options for a lawn that fits into that category of hardiness. Northern areas will be slightly different categories to southern or coastal regions of New Jersey, so find an online tool to help you work out the zone for your local area.

Warm Season Grasses & Cool Season Grasses

New Jersey Grasses are categorized into two different types.

Warm Season Grasses – These grasses thrive in southern areas of NJ. They go dormant during winter and turn brown. Their texture is coarse, and the two most common varieties are St. Augustine grass and Bermuda grass. Warm-season grasses are best planted from sod or plugs rather than seeds.

Cool Season Grasses – These grasses perform better in NJ zones north of 7. Cool season grasses handle the extreme cold temperatures very well. The most common varieties are bent grass, Kentucky bluegrass, and perennial ryegrass. Cool season grasses can be wither planted from seeds, or you can lay down sod of these particular grasses. Turf will help you to establish your lawn very quickly.

Best Grass For New Jersey

As most of the state is in hardiness zone 7, cool season grasses are the best option for New Jersey. Cool season grasses aren’t as vulnerable to the lower extreme temperatures as warm season grasses, and you’ll be far better off after winter retreats, by not having to replant your warm season grass again every year. If you live in southern or coastal areas, you could get away with either option. However, you should check the individual hardiness zone for your zip.

Happy planting!

Why Have a Lawn?

You may have asked yourself this question at one time or another: why do we have lawns? It’s like a child’s question such as: why is the sky blue? The fact is that lawns appeal to an entire range of sensibilities.

Whether the lawn is a playground for the kids and pets, or just a relaxing haven for us to stroll across, the lawn can can handle a variety of chores.

The lawn is one element in the landscape that you can easily walk on without causing damage. Try walking across a bed of tulips sometime. We often undervalue the lowly grass plant as just a flat green surface that goes underfoot.

The lawn makes a natural complement to the rest of the landscape; imagine your entire backyard filled with roses, no grass, just roses. To some that may be appealing, but in reality, the roses would get lost in a sea of roses. Having wide expanses of green leading up to the roses, makes just a single rose bush stand out. That’s just one of many things a lawn is good at doing.

Your lawn helps unify the entire landscape. It’s like the canvas a painter uses. In some places in the painting, you can actually see the texture of the canvas, but in other places all you see is the beauty of the individual brush strokes, all together and you have a painting or in this metaphor, a beautiful landscape.

So the real question is: why do we grow grass in our lawns instead of something else?

We grow grass for one reason: we can mow it and it survives, even thrives. Any other plant, even most other grasses would die after being mowed with any regularity. There are over 10,000 species of grass, yet only about 50 of those are suitable for use in a lawn.

Why can lawn grasses be regularly mown without dying, and still maintain a healthy and attractive appearance? Unlike most plants, lawn grasses grow from the base of the plant, well below the sharpened rotating lawn mower blade. Other plants grow at the tips that don’t respond well to being repeatedly cut.

The process of mowing is actually reducing the plants leaves and cutting down its ability to use photosynthesis. Photosynthesis is the process that takes carbon dioxide from the air and turns it into carbohydrates that the plant uses for food. When the plant looses some of this ability, it overcompensates by producing additional leaves. The result: an even thicker, denser lawn.

So, the answer to the question “why grow grass?” is: because it’s the one plant that adapts best for the environment we’ve created for ourselves.

Turfgrass types

See also: Cool Season | Transitional | Warm Season

Although there are a multitude of turfgrass brands, there are basically 2 types of grass: Cool and Warm Season Grasses with each type better suited to particular climates in North America. See the MOWING section for mowing recommendations. Also see the HISTORY section for a brief history of lawns in American culture.

ZONE SUITABLE GRASS TYPE
1

Kentucky bluegrass, perennial ryegrass, red fescue, turf-type tall fescue

1A

Irrigated: same as Zone 1 / Un-irrigated: buffalo grass

2

Tall fescue, Bermuda grass, Zoysia

2A

Irrigated: same as Zone 2 / Un-irrigated: Buffalo grass

3

Bermudagrass, Centipede grass and Zoysia

3A

Irrigated: same as Zone 3 / Un-irrigated: Buffalo grass

4

St. Augustine grasses, Zoysia grass , Centipede grass

Cool season grasses

On average, these climates have cold winters and warm/hot summers. Usually they also have regular intervals of rain throughout the summer months, but grasses will tolerate some extended periods of draught by going dormant. Zones 1 & 1A.

Transition zone turfs

There is a “transition zone” between northern and southern turf regions, which follows the lower elevations of Virginia and North Carolina west through West Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee and Arkansas and includes southern Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Missouri and Kansas. In this transition zone, neither warm nor cool season grasses are uniformly successful. However, several of the northern or “cool season” grasses, such as Kentucky bluegrass and perennial ryegrass and tall fescue, do well across Kentucky, Virginia, West Virginia and Missouri. Tall fescue is the best choice in Tennessee, North Carolina, northern Georgia, northern Alabama and the Texas panhandle. In the lower elevations of these latter states warm season grasses do well too. Zone 2, 2A

Warm season lawns

In some ways, growing and maintaining a good-looking lawn in the South is more involved than in the North. Choosing grass varieties is trickier; many grass varieties do much better when started as plugs or sod than from seed, as is usually done in the North. Good soil is critically important for growing a low maintenance lawn in this region.

Most all warm weather grasses will turn brown when cooler temperatures arrive. Some southern gardeners seed their existing lawns with ryegrass each fall to maintain green color during the winter months. This is called “winter overseeding.” Zones 2A, 3, 3A, 4

Maintaining ideal growing conditions for your particular grass type is critical, otherwise unwanted grass varieties will start popping up and will be extremely difficult to remove. For example, St. Augustine grass being invaded by Bermuda and vice versa.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *