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Grass seed 101

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Owning a home or becoming a new homeowner is an exciting and rewarding experience. It means having a place to call your own, where you can create memories and build a future. It also means taking on new responsibilities, such as maintaining the property and getting your yard to look its best.

When it comes to choosing grass seed, there are several factors to consider in order to make the right choice for your lawn. The first thing to think about is the climate in your area. Different grass species thrive in different temperatures and weather conditions, so it's important to choose a type of grass that will grow well where you live.

So how can you tell what kind of grass is growing in your lawn?

  • By appearance: You can tell by the look of the grass itself. Look closely and you'll notice that the turf in some areas is different in color and texture. You can also use image identifier apps. When in doubt, you can bring a sample into our store, Sutherlands experts are happy to help.
  • By the growth life cycle: You can keep track of when grass will peak and when it will go dormant. Some yards are brown in winter and some are green.

Knowing the type of grass that grows in your region can help you make informed decisions about lawn care, such as when to fertilize and how much water your lawn needs.

Here are some common grass species found in different regions of the United States:

  • Northeast: Kentucky bluegrass, fine fescue and perennial ryegrass
  • Southeast: Bermuda grass, centipede grass and St. Augustine grass
  • Midwest: Kentucky bluegrass, tall fescue and zoysia grass
  • Southwest: Buffalo grass, Bermuda grass and zoysia grass 
  • West: Kentucky bluegrass, perennial ryegrass and tall fescue

There are 3 major zones:

Northern Region

Cool Season: Kentucky Bluegrass, Tall Fescue, Ryegrass, Fine Fescue, Bentgrass

Southern Region

Warm Season: Bermudagrass, St. Augustine/Floratam, Zoysiagrass | Centipedegrass

Transitional Region

Cool season :Tall fescue and Kentucky bluegrass

Warm Season: Bermudagrass, Centipedegrass, Zoysiagrass, and St. Augustinegrass


Don’t be surprised that your lawn might have mixtures of grasses as well. That is very common. Previous home owners might have tried a different types to see what work best in random spots. The majority however always has one major type throughout.

Once you identify the type of grass, next is what to use in your lawn. There are many brands and specialized varieties to choose from.


Most homeowners make their selection based on price point and brand. You might also want to look at germination time, how fast you need it to grow.

Another important factor to consider is the amount of sunlight your lawn receives. Some types of grass need more sun than others to grow properly, so make sure to choose a species that matches the amount of sunlight your lawn gets throughout the day.

You might have problem areas where it gets lots of shade or too much sun. There are varieties that address  these specific problems as well.

Here are recommended mowing heights by grass types:

Tall Fescue 2½"–3½"

Fine Fescue 2½"–3½"

Bluegrass 2"–3"

Perennial Ryegrass 2"–3"

Annual Ryegrass 2"–3"

Bermudagrass ½"–1"

Centipede 3"

Zoysia ¾"–1½"

Bahiagrass 2"–3

The best time to put down grass seed depends on the type of grass you are planting and the climate of your region. Generally, the optimal time to seed cool-season grasses such as Kentucky bluegrass, fescue and ryegrass is in early fall or early spring when the temperatures are cooler and the soil is moist. This allows the grass to establish deep roots before the hot summer months. However, warm-season grasses like Bermuda grass, zoysia and St. Augustine should be seeded in late spring or early summer when the soil temperature has reached at least 60 degrees Fahrenheit. It is important to make sure that the soil is well-prepared and that the seeds are planted at the right depth for optimal germination. Additionally, make sure to water the seeds regularly and keep the soil moist until the grass has fully grown.

Here are a few things you will need for care to your lawn:

Maintaining a healthy and beautiful lawn requires a combination of regular maintenance, careful attention to problem areas and a commitment to natural methods of care. With the right approach, you can enjoy a lush and vibrant lawn for years to come.






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