Knowing how to identify your lawn grass is an important step in meeting its needs and growing a beautiful, sustainable lawn. If you're starting a new lawn from scratch, knowing what grass you have is easy. But when your lawn came with your home, lawn grass I.D. can be a guessing game. These steps to grass identification can help you narrow the field, identify your lawn grass, and put you and your lawn on the path to success:
- Know Your Grass Growing Region
- Observe Lawn Grass Features
- Identify Common Cool-Season Lawn Grasses
- Identify Common Warm-Season Lawn Grasses
Most common perennial lawn grasses grown in the northern half of the United States are cool-season grasses. They get that name because their peak growth happens during the cool seasons of fall and spring. These common lawn grasses flourish in cool northern climates and die out in hot southern lawns.
Common lawn grasses in the country's southern half are warm-season grasses, which peak in growth during hot summer months. The cold temperatures found in northern lawns cause these grasses to die over winter.
If your lawn grass survives from year to year, identification starts with cool- or warm-season. In the transition zone, the region where northern and southern grasses hit their limits, your lawn may have cool- or warm-season grasses.
Grass types vary in the width of their blades and whether blade tips are sharp-pointed, rounded or boat-shaped. The arrangement of grass leaves in new shoots, called vernation, may be V-shaped and folded or circular and rolled. Your grass's growth habit also provides grass I.D. clues. Some types form clump-like bunches. Others spread via above-ground stems known as stolons, below-ground stems known as rhizomes or both. Investigating these features closely lays the groundwork for identifying your lawn grass type. yards with dense shade. Fine fescues include creeping, spreading types and types with upright, clumping growth.
The following are some of the most common warm-season lawn grasses found in U.S. lawns. These characteristics and features can help you identify your grass:Bahiagrass – Rarely found in lawns outside the heat- and humidity-prone Southeast, Bahiagrass has excellent heat and drought tolerance. This coarse-textured grass does best in sandy, acidic soils, but its open growth habit often invites common lawn weeds.
Once you've identified the grass in your lawn, you can take steps to improve on what you have. Backed by years of research and breeding, water-conserving Pennington Smart Seed grasses build on grass strengths and beauty with improved tolerances for stresses such as heat, drought, diseases and insects. Once established, these grasses require up to 30 percent less water than ordinary grasses—that's year after year, for the life of your lawn.
By learning how to identify your lawn grass, you can give it the care and maintenance it needs to become the lawn you've desired to own. Pennington is here to help with expert advice, premium lawn care products, and the finest grass seed possible.
Pennington and Smart Seed are trademarks of Pennington Seed, Inc. Source:
1. North Carolina State University Center for Turfgrass Environmental Research and Education, "NCSU TurfFiles Grass Identification."