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Choose Type of Grass Based on Location & Climate - Step 1

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

STEP 1 | STEP 2 | STEP 3 | STEP 4

USA Transition Zones MapGrass types are classified as Warm season or Cool season by the season of that grass type's active growth period. The USA Transition Zone Map to the right here, is divided into three areas to help you determine if you need a warm season grass, cool season grass or a grass seed mixture of both for a successful lawn, turf or pasture grass. Look at the map and determine the area that your grass type will live in.

Warm Season Transition Area Cool Season

Selecting a type of la wn grass, pasture or turf grass is a long term decision as grass can live a long time -- perhaps even decades. So selecting the best type of grass available is an important choice to make. Here in Step 1 we have provided a selection of maps as well as a chart of grass types to assist you in your lawn grass, sports turf or pasture grass selection.

View the Transition map above. Are you in a Warm Season grass area? A Cool Season grass area? Or perhaps in the area we call the the transition zone which is suitable for a mix of Warm and Cool Season types of grass. Note which area your grass will be grown in and and then proceed to look at the climate map next. We also have a detailed map of the five USA climate zones below to assist you in selecting your climate zone with suggestions for the types of grass planted in each zone.

Climate Zone Map For Grass Types

The Climate Zone Map is a color coded map for the selection of grass types based on CLIMATE (rainfall, etc) and TEMPERATURE. Each zone color in this map will correspond with a number located on the chart beside the map. This number will be used in the grass zone chart below to indicate the best types of grass for the location selected. NOTE: THIS IS NOT A USDA Temperature Zone Map*. See the USDA map here.


Climate Map For Selecting Type of GrassClimate Map Legend
  • Locate your area from the Climate shown above. This should be where your grass will be planted.
  • Match your location color with the Number from the chart, on the right of the map.
  • Then locate your area on the grass type table below.

Grass Type Table

The grass type table below contains warm season and cool season grass types. Using the number obtained from the climate map above, determine the grass type for your location. Red colors represent Warm Season grasses and Blue colors are Cool season in the Zone Table below.

Note that you must have already determined your type of grass by the area of the USA you live in using the transition zone map first. Warm Season, Cool Season or Transition zone grass.

For more information and pricing on a particular grass species in the chart below, please click on a link for the grass type.

Lawn Grasses - Zone Table - Select grass by the numbers from climate map
GRASS TYPE CLIMATE
MAP ZONE #
SEED RATE
for Lawns
@ LBS per 1000 sq. ft.
Planting Depth When to Plant Best USDA*
Zones
Bahiagrass:
Pensacola
9 5-10 1/4" to 1/2" Spring / Summer 7 to 11
Bahiagrass:
Argentine
9-10 5-10 1/4" to 1/2" Spring / Summer Lower 8 to 11
Bentgrass 1 thru 9 & 11-12 1/2-1 1/4" to 1/2" Spring or Fall
(Fall is Best)
4 to 6
Bermuda
Grass
9-10-11-12 2-3 1/4" March - August 7 to10
Bluegrass 1-3-4-5-6-7-8 1-3 1/4" to 1/2" Feb-May
Sept - Nov
2 to 6
Carpetgrass 9 4-5 1/4" to 1/2" Spring / Summer Coastal 8-9
Centipede 9 1/4 - 1 1/4" Spring / Summer 7 to 10
Fescue:
Tall & KY-31
1-3-5-6-7-8-12 5-10 1/4" to 1/2" Spring or Fall
(Fall is Best)
4 to 7
Fescue:
Creeping Red
1-3-4-5-6-7-8 3-5 1/4" to 1/2" Spring or Fall
(Fall is Best)
3 to 7
Buffalo Grass - A Native Grass 5
Expanded across USA to other areas of low humidity
1-2 1/4" to 1/2" Spring 5 to 8
Ryegrass:
Annual
All zones 5-10 1/4" to 1/2" Fall All Zones (Seasonal)
Ryegrass:
Perennial
2 to 8
+All zones for overseeding
1-10 1/4" to 1/2" Spring or Fall
(Fall is Best)
3-6 Perennial.
7-10 to Overseed.
St. Augustine 9-10 1/2 - 1 1/4" to 1/2" Spring & April-August 8 to 10
Zoysiagrass 8-9-10-11-12 1-2 (raw seed)
2-3 (coated)
1/4" to 1/2" Spring & April-August The lower 5,  to zone 10
(tip of fla.)
 

Special Notes: The planting rates listed above are approximate guides. Higher seeding rates generally result in faster establishment times for most types of grass. There is no warranty or guarantee expressed or implied in information provided based on using the above rates for planting your lawn. Different aspects, including soil, weather, seed quality, planting procedures, and other variables will determine the actual rate needed to seed your lawn.

*NOT all USDA zones listed are suitable for determining grass types due to RAINFALL amounts & SOIL type considerations in various locations. That is why the Turf Selection zone map is more suited for selecting a grass for your area than using just the USDA map.

Write down the grass type names and information for your location and then proceed to Step 2 of the grass type selection process or review additional maps below.

STEP 2 OF GRASS TYPE SELECTION

Detailed Transition map of USA Map

You may want to look at this alternative climate map that displays the five primary climate regions of the USA for a more detailed view of the transitional areas of the USA.

Detailed USA Transition Map
  • Cool/Humid - This zone includes Northeast, a few of the Midwest states, and much of the Pacific Northwest. Any of the cool season species can be grown here. In addition to cool season grass, some warm season grasses such as Buffalo Grass (in areas of less humidity) have been planted here.
  • Cool/Arid - This zone includes much of the dryer areas of the Midwest and West. Cool season grass species are best adapted to this area when irrigation is available; however, Buffalo grass is becoming widely used in the warmer areas, such as Kansas, Nebraska, and Colorado for non-irrigated sites or low rainfall areas. Zoysia grass is also grown in the western and most southern parts of this zone.
  • Warm/Arid - This zone includes the Southwest states. Use warm season grass species, same as for warm/humid -- see below.
  • Warm/Humid - This zone includes the Southeast and Gulf states. Warm season grasses are best adapted to this zone. Bermuda grass is the most common species used but can suffer winter damage in the most northern areas. Zoysia grass is widely used here and in the northern parts of this zone. For the Gulf Coast states, centipede grass, carpetgrass, bahia grass, St. Augustine and Seashore Paspalum are also widely used.
  • Transition Zone - This zone extends through the central part of the United States and includes parts of each of the other four zones. Because the transition zone has cold winters that can kill warm-season grasses and hot summers that can kill cool-season species, this zone is the most challenging in which to grow turf grass. Many turf experts recommend tall turf type fescue grass for the transition zone as it is the most drought tolerant of the cool season grasses, and it is tolerant of cold winters as well. Other experts recommend using the most cold tolerant warm season grasses such as Yukon Bermuda Grass, Riviera Bermuda Grass and Zoysia Grass. A mixture or blend of grass types is often used in the transition zone, especially in the most northern areas, these grass seed mixtures are usually comprised of tall fescue grass and bluegrass or a blend of fescue grass types.

USDA Hardiness Zones Map - For Reference

We have provided here an image of the USDA Zone Map to be used for reference when choosing a grass from the grass type table shown above. Note that the USDA map is a Cold tolerance or Hardiness map.

USDA Hardiness Zone Map 2012

GO TO STEP 2 OF GRASS TYPE SELECTION

Additionally... you may want to look at our pages with the grass type information by USA states at our info site www.Lawngrass.com.

Write down the grass type names and information for your location and then proceed to Step 2 of the grass type selection process.

STEP 2 OF GRASS TYPE SELECTION

Lawns: Choices | States | Diseases | Fertilizers | Irrigation | Mowing | Pests | Weeds

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