The type of lawn that does well in a homeowner’s particular lawn depends on the climate, the soil, whether there’s going to be a lot of traffic in the form of kids, pets and guests and how much work the homeowner is willing to do to keep the lawn green and lush. Some types of grass need a good amount of water and fertilizer, while others don’t need much fertilizer and can tolerate periods of drought. Some types of grass dislike heavy traffic, while others tolerate it.

Grasses are designated as cool season or warm season. Cool season grasses grow best in the spring and the fall, while warm season grasses do best in the warmer months. The hardiness zones that determine where other plants grow best don’t really apply to grasses. Instead, the map is divided into areas that are cool and dry, cool and humid, warm and dry, warm and humid or arid. Some grasses thrive in more than one zone or only in parts of one zone. At the borders of some zones, both cool and warm season grasses can be grown successfully.

Lawns are obtained in a few ways:

• Sod
These are blankets of grass that can be cut, much like carpeting, to the specifications of an area. The advantages of starting a lawn this way is that the homeowner has an instant lawn, even though it needs to be protected and watered frequently until it’s established.

• Plugs
These are bunches of grass that are simply inserted into the soil.

• Seed
Grass seed, like Kentucky bluegrass seed, is broadcast over the area by hand or with a spreader. Seed is also used to fill in bare spots on the lawn.

Among the most popular grasses are:
Kentucky Bluegrass
This is a medium green grass with a medium to fine blade. It tolerates some drought and some heat. As a cool season grass it has a high tolerance for cold and does best in full sun, though it can stand some light shade. It needs moderate fertilizing and can stand a good deal of traffic.

St. Augustine Grass This is a warm season grass with a coarse, blue-green blade. It has a moderate tolerance for drought and a high tolerance for heat, though it does not perform well in cold weather. It needs full sun to part-shade and moderate fertilizing. St. Augustine grass has a moderate tolerance for traffic.

Perennial Ryegrass This cool season grass has shiny, dark green blades. It has little tolerance for drought or heat and moderate tolerance for cold. It needs full sun to light shade, and needs a lot of fertilizing. One of its advantages is that it can stand a great deal of traffic.

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