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Performance Charts Of Warm & Cool Season Grass

Helping You Choose A Type of Grass!

LawnGrasses.com - An Informational Site From Seedland.com

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GRAPHS | COOL SEASON | WARM SEASON | TROPICAL
TRANSITION | SITE PREP | CLIMATE MAPS | GRASS ALTERNATIVES

Listed below are graphs showing the relative performance of WARM & COOL SEASON grass types in relation to each other for various factors.

Comparisons include both cold & warm season grasses. You must consider your climate adaptation area in choosing a grass.

Grass Type Rankings For Various Factors

These graphs have been established from the collective opinions of various specialist in turf grasses. Different varieties of grasses do better in certain situations than others. Keep in mind that these are not precise rankings, and a variety of factors can affect the actual performance of a grass within any one area of comparison.

Mowing Heights

Mowing heights - Actual heights to mow different grasses are a factor of the how each individual grass grows and responds to mowing. Certain grasses can accept lower mowing heights better than others. Grasses below in the range toward "Low" can be mowed at lower heights than those marked "High". Many times the actual height range can at times be adjusted within a specific range based on personal preferences and a determination of the health of the grass. Remember to never remove more than 1/3 of the grass blade leaf during a single mowing.

HIGH
Mowing Height Graph By Grass Type
LOW

Pensacola Bahiagrass
Argentine Bahiagrass
Tall Fescue
St. Augustine
Rye Grasses
Ky. Bluegrass
Fescues (Fine)
Centipede Grass
Zoysia Grass
Bermuda Grass
Improved Bermuda
Bentgrass

Heat Tolerance

Heat Tolerance - Grass types that can handle high temperatures. Grass types are divided into cool season and warm season grasses. Thus the nature of a grass species determines how it is affected by high temperatures. Some improved varieties of different grasses (some hybrid Bermuda's for example) have been bred to accept higher temperatures. In general if a grass can handle hot temperatures, it cannot flourish under cold temperatures and vice versa. So.... a grass must be chosen more for your geographical weather conditions based on its performance under temperatures. Keep in mind that high or low temperatures can actually kill different types of grass. See our page on Area of Adaptation for more about temperature ranges and survivability of grasses in various climates.

High
Tolerance
Heat Tolerance Graph by Grass Type
Low
Tolerance


Zoysiagrass
Improved Bermuda
Bermudagrass
St. Augustine Grass
Argentine Bahiagrass
Pensacola Bahiagrass
Centipede Grass
Fescues
Ky. Bluegrass
Ryegrasses
Bentgrass

Cold Tolerance

Cold Tolerance - Grass types with a high tolerance of cold. See Hot graph above. Also read about Area of Adaptation for grasses suitable for warm and cold climates. Grasses listed below with High Tolerance of cold do better and can survive at lower temperatures. Winter kill can result in grasses with low tolerance to cold temperatures.

High
Tolerance
Cold Tolerance Graph By Grass Type
Low
Tolerance

Bentgrass
Bluegrass
Fescues (fine)
Tall Fescue
Ryegrass
Zoysiagrass
Bermudagrass
Pensacola Bahiagrass
Argentine Bahiagrass
Centipede Grass
St. Augustine Grass

Drought Tolerance

Drought Tolerance - Effects of lack of rain-fall or irrigation on different types of grasses. A higher tolerance means the grass will stay greener longer and be more likely to survive extended drought conditions without water.

High
Tolerance
Drought Tolerance by Grass Type
Low
Tolerance

Bermudagrass
Improved Bermuda
Pensacola Bahiagrass
Argentine Bahiagrass
Zoysia Grass
Centipede Grass
Fescues
St. Augustine Grass
Ky. Bluegrass
Ryegrasses
Bentgrass

Traffic & Wear tolerance

Traffic & Wear Tolerance - Wear and tear on grass from foot-traffic (people walking), playing (football fields) and vehicle traffic can severely damage or kill turf grasses. All grasses need a period of time to recover from the abuse suffered from traffic. High tolerance grasses can sustain more traffic before noticeable injury.

High
Tolerance
Traffic & amp Wear Tolerance By Grass Type
Low
Tolerance

Zoysia Grass
Improved Bermuda
Pensacola Bahiagrass
Argentine Bahiagrass
Bermudagrass
Ryegrass - Perennial
Tall Fescues
Ky. Bluegrass
Fine Fescues
St. Augustine Grass
Centipede Grass
Bentgrass

Fertilizer Rates

Fertilizer Rates and requirements are two different things. A properly managed lawn includes a fertilization program to provide for a proper growth and green color. Too much fertilizer can hurt grasses more than help! Look at our fertilizer rates page for more information. Low rates simply mean they require less fertilization to grow. With the environment Nitrate concerns of today's water quality, a grass that can perform well under low fertilize rates is preferable to one requiring higher rates.

Low
Ratelowrate_highrate of Fertilizer needed
High
Rate

Pensacola Bahiagrass
Argentine Bahiagrass
Fescues
Zoysia Grass
Centipede Grass
St. Augustine Grass
Ryegrasses
Bluegrass
Bermudagrass
Bentgrass

Shade Tolerance

Shade Tolerance - refers to the amount of sunlight that a lawn area (and grass plant) receives each day. In general all plants require sunlight, and if the trees are blocking your lawn from receiving a certain minimum amount of sunlight for a grass to survive, you simply will never establish a proper lawn in that area. The simple answer is to remove trees (or limbs) so that the area receives more sunlight. Grasses vary in the amount of sunlight needed to sustain growth. Selecting a grass that is tolerant of shade can help in increasing your chances of having a lawn in a shaded location. Remember that shade can also be a complimentary factor to Heat tolerance.

Tolerant
tolerant_intolerant.gif (3944 bytes)
Intolerant

St. Augustine Grass
Fine Fescues
Tall Fescue
Ryegrasses
Bentgrass
Centipede Grass
Pensacola Bahiagrass
Argentine Bahiagrass
Zoysia Grass
Ky. Bluegrass
Bermudagrass

Establishment Time

Establishment time - refers to how long it takes to establish a grass from sprigs or seed. Sodding of course is instantaneous (at least in looks) and is not considered in this graph. Time also depends on what use you want the lawn to perform for you. Is it for looks, soil establishment, or for a Turfgrass quality sod? Many grass types can be established from both Seeds and Sprigs (vegetative establishment from stolons). Others only from stolons.

Quick
Grass Eastablishment Rate by Type
Slow

Improved Bermuda
Bermudagrass
Ryegrasses
Fescues
Pensacola Bahiagrass
Argentine Bahiagrass
Ky. Bluegrass
St. Augustine Grass
Centipede Grass
Bentgrass
Zoysia Grass

Insect Resistance

Insect Resistance - Warm Season grasses only. All grasses have some insect problems - none are resistant. The actual problems can vary depending on location, time of year, insecticide treatment (if any), fertilization rates (higher rates can result in more insect damage), and other factors. Some grasses inherently have more problems with specific insects than others.

High
Resistance
Insect Resistance Graph by Type of Grass
Low
Resistance

Zoysia Grass
Pensacola Bahiagrass
Bermudagrass
Argentine Bahiagrass
Centipede Grass
St. Augustine Grass

Disease Resistance

Diseases - Different grasses are affected by different diseases. Some though have more diseases that affect them than others.

High
Resistance
Disease Resistance Graph By Grass Type
Low
Resistance

Ryegrasses
Bluegrass
Pensacola Bahiagrass
Argentine Bahiagrass
Bermudagrass
Bentgrass
Centipede Grass
Zoysia Grass
St. Augustine Grass
Fescues

Salt Water Tolerance

Salt Water Tolerance - Some grasses are more suitable for planting near the sea coast than others. This is due to the individual grasses tolerance of salt in the water and soil from ocean water.

High
Tolerance
Salt Water Tolerance Graph By Grass Type
Low
Tolerance



St. Augustine Grass

Zoysiagrass
Bermudagrass




Centipede Grass
Pensacola Bahiagrass
Argentine Bahiagrass

Seeding Rates

Seeding Rates - Higher rates of seed (lbs. per sq.ft.) are needed for some grasses versus others. High rates do not necessarily mean higher costs, as the per lb. cost for low rates of seed often are much higher than the high rate seed. This is all a factor of economics and costs in the harvesting/producing of the various seeds.

Low
RateSeeding Rate Graph By Grass Type
High
Rate

Zoysia Grass
Centipede Grass
Ryegrasses
Fescues
Bluegrass
Bentgrass
Bermudagrass
Pensacola Bahiagrass
Argentine Bahiagrass

St. Augustine Grass is established from sod/sprigs. there is not a consistent, quality supply of St. Augustine seeds available so St Augustine Grass is available from Seedland as 3" X 3" Plugs.

Cost of Establishment

Cost Of Establishment - The dollars actually expended can vary considerably depending on the site preparation, cost of seeds, who does the work (yourself or a landscape contractor) and other factors. The cost range below is based on seed or sprig costs for the various grasses and a combination of what is required to prepare the area for seeding. Prices can vary considerably for the same services in different cities and localities.

Low
Cost Of Establishment of Grass by Type
High

Ryegrasses
Bentgrass
Bluegrass
Fescues
Pensacola Bahiagrass
Bermudagrass
Argentine Bahiagrass
Centipede Grass
Zoysia Grass
St. Augustine Grass

Soil pH For Various Types of Lawn Grass

Soil pH - pH is a factor that affects how your grass will grow. It refers to the the acid content of your soil. Before planting any turf or lawn grass you should perform a soil test to determine what organic amendments or fertilizers, if any, may be needed. Soils in different areas and locations have different pH rates. Rates can be adjusted through the use of acidic amendments and limes applied to the soil. Some grasses do better than others at different pH rates.  Most Grass types will grow fine in soils with pH levels ranging from 5.5 to 6.5.

  • BAHIAGRASS - ARGENTINE, PENSACOLA, TIFTON

    pH Low 6.0

    pH High 7.5

    pH Ideal 6.8

  • BENTGRASS - COLONIAL & CREEPING

    pH Low 5.6

    pH High 7.0

    pH Ideal 6.3

  • BERMUDA GRASS HYBRIDS & COMMON

    pH Low 5.6

    pH High 7.0

    pH Ideal 6.3

  • BLUEGRASS

    pH Low 5.7

    pH High 7.4

    pH Ideal 6.5

  • BUFFALO GRASS

    pH Low 5.6

    pH High 7.0

    pH Ideal 6.3

  • CARPETGRASS

    pH Low 4.5

    pH High 5.5

    pH Ideal 5.3

  • FESCUE GRASS -  RED & CREEPING (Fine Fescue)

    pH Low 5.6

    pH High 6.8

    pH Ideal 6.2
     
  • FESCUE GRASS - TALL

    pH Low 5.6

    pH High 7.0

    pH Ideal 6.3

  • RYEGRASS - PERENNIAL

    optimum = 5.5-6.5
     
  • ST. AUGUSTINE GRASS

    pH Low 6.3

    pH High 7.8

    pH Ideal 7.0

  • ZOYSIA GRASS

    pH Low 5.5

    pH High 7.0

    pH Ideal 6.2

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