There are about a dozen different species of grass commonly used in North American lawns; some lawns may even contain a mixture of two or more varieties. Lawns in the U.S tend to fall into two distinct categories, warm-season grasses, and cool-season grasses.
Warm-season grass – Grass types that thrive in the south, southeast, and southwest where the temperature is over 75 degrees.
Cool-season grass – Grass types that thrive exceptionally well in cooler climates. States in the northern half of the U.S would benefit from cool-season grass.
If you choose grass that isn’t a right fit for your climate, you might have some problems keeping your lawn healthy. First, We recommend choosing a grass type that best fits your environment and then selecting a grass in that category that matches the look and maintenance level you want.
6 Common Types of Grass in the U.S
Now that we’ve gone over the basics, we can get into the types of grass commonly used in the U.S.
Centipede grass is a slow-growing, apple-green colored, coarse-leaved type of grass adapted for use as a low-maintenance, general-purpose turf. This grass requires little fertilizer, infrequent mowing, and tolerates moderate shade. For centipede grass to thrive, it needs at least 6 hours of full sun. It doesn’t tolerate traffic, compaction, drought, or heavy shade.
Texture and color: Short, thick, light green
Bentgrass is a cool-season grass that grows rapidly in cool and wet conditions. You’ll see it often on golf courses because it tolerates very low mowing. The maintenance required to maintain this type of grass usually eliminates it as a possible home lawn turf. Bentgrass requires frequent mowing, watering, aerating, dethatching, and high fertilizer levels.
Texture and color: Soft, dense, medium green
Bermuda grass is a popular grass type for lawns, golf courses, and athletic fields. It has a low, dense growth habit. Bermuda grass is another high-maintenance grass. It requires frequent mowing and doesn’t tolerate shade. This grass does tolerate traffic in the yards for those with pets and kids.
Texture and color: Dense, deep green
Zoysia grass is turfgrass used throughout the southern regions of the U.S. There are two types of leaf blade textures: fine and coarse bladed. Because of its leaf blade stiffness, zoysia can be difficult to mow, and mower blades will need to be sharpened frequently. Zoysia can tolerate heat, drought, and heavy foot traffic, and it only requires water on an as-needed basis or as a supplement to rainfall.
Texture and color: Stiff, medium green
Tall fescue grass is valued for its adaptability to a wide range of climates and tolerances for cold, heat, drought, and shade. It can take on a weed-like quality instead of being found in residential areas. It’s used more often on athletic fields and other places with high traffic and a need for heavy use.
Texture and color: Course, dark green
This is a popular grass type for northern lawns. Bluegrass grows well from both seed and sod and can tolerate cooler temperatures. When given its preferred growing conditions and proper care, this grass produces a dense, lush, durable lawn that lives up to its reputation.
Texture and color: Soft, deep green