There are different types of grass and it is crucial to choose the right variety if we want the grass to grow in good condition. The factors that influence the choice are diverse and should prevail over our personal taste. We cannot show any seed and think that it will sprout without problems, we have to know the characteristics of our garden when choosing the variety that we should sow. The good thing is that there are many different types (grass or grass) and surely some fit our circumstances.
The plants that form the grass are grasses, small herbs with thin, green and bushy leaves that easily cover the soil. There are different varieties of grasses and each one is specific for a specific climate or for a specific use. If you live in an area where it is hot you should not plant a lawn that does not tolerate high temperatures, if you want to cover a sports ground you must plant grass that tolerates trampling, and if you plant an area that receives little sun you must plant grass indicated for shady areas. These are just some cases.
Today we are going to talk about the types of grass that you can find at your disposal when planting your meadow and the characteristics of all of them so that this article serves as a guide when choosing the most appropriate for your garden.
Natural grass or artificial turf
You will know that currently there are synthetic grass carpets that perfectly simulate the green leaves of natural grass and although they are still artificial they are a valid option in certain cases.
Artificial grass can be useful when the ground does not allow planting natural grass but you want to have soft and visually attractive soil. Balconies, terraces and roofs are the most typical case because there is no substrate to house the seed and the plant grows. However, having a tiled, firm and flat floor, the installation of artificial turf is simple and the result can be fabulous.
It is also an appropriate lawn for sports facilities since it supports constant trampling well, it is always green, healthy and does not require much maintenance.
The opposite is true with natural grass. It is more complex to plant and care, but it is obvious that the result is more natural. If the planting and maintenance process is done correctly the garden will look green, dense, healthy and resistant. The specific case of the grass is very interesting because it is a grass that grows fast.
Choose the type of grass
When sowing natural grass there are two very important factors that you should keep in mind:
- Use: Decorative, family, sports. If you want an ornamental grass that you are not going to trample a lot you can choose a grass with a thin leaf, but the grass of a sports field must be resistant to support the continuous treads.
- Climate: There are seeds that grow well in fresh and humid climates, others are prepared for hot climates. You must choose the appropriate variety to the climate where you live and if you are wrong it is possible that after doing the planting work you will not get any results.
- Water: There are varieties of grass that require more moisture than others. In places where rainfall is scarce, it will be advisable to choose a variety of low water consumption.
- Shadow: There are grass plants that do not tolerate less sunny locations while others can grow well with a few hours of sunshine.
Lawn by a sowing seed mix
The packages of seeds that we find in stores are usually mixtures of several species that combine the advantages of each to offer the best result. It is normal to choose from among these mixtures the one that most closely matches our requirements, but you can also purchase the species separately to make the mixture that most interests one. For this, you have to know the characteristics of each species and choose the varieties according to the quality of the lawn you want.
The most common commercial mixtures are usually distinguished by their resistance to the weather or according to the use that will be given:
- Warm weather lawn
- Cold weather lawn
- Ornamental grass
- Sports lawn
Characteristics of grass seeds according to use and climate
- Quick installation: the ray-grass or English lawn ( Lolium perennial ) is a variety that germinates quickly and is covered before others. After a week of planting, it already forms a green carpet. It is usually present in almost all mixtures.
- Frequency and cutting height: All species of the genus Agrostis resist frequent and low cuts. It is the species that is used in the greens of the golf fields. Despite providing superb coverage, the great maintenance it requires does not make it advisable for playgrounds.
- Resistance to trampling: An ornamental area that is not going to tread much does not need to include species resistant to trampling, but a sports field requires a mixture that can withstand traffic. The grass common grass is quite resistant and the ray-grass also, although the latter entails very high maintenance.
- Drought resistance: Lung ( Stenotaphrum secundatum ) and thick Kikuyu grass (Pennisetum clandestinum) are much more resistant than ray-grass to lack of water.
- The fineness of the leaf: if you want an ornamental lawn you should look for a mixture of fine species. The gram has broad leaves, those of the common grass ( Cynodon dactylon ) is thin.
- Shadow tolerance: the common grass needs a sunny exposure to develop properly. There are species that tolerate it well, such as Zoysia japonica.
- Resistance to cold: All would be valid, except for the warm-weather species (Cynodon, Kikuyu, Gramon, Paspalum, and Zoysia) that turn brown in winters with frost.
Varieties of grass for warm weather
Kikuyu ( Pennisetum clandestinum )
Thick grass with broad leaves that grows rapidly. It is drought tolerant but turns brown in winter and does not tolerate much traffic.
Lung ( Stenotaphrum secundatum )
Also called San Agustín Lawn or American Grama. It is a broadleaf grass similar to Kikuyu but with the advantage of better tolerating trampling. It is the perfect green roof for a garden where you play a lot and even the best dog grass. Its growth is fast and vigorous, so it can become an invasive lawn.
Common grass or “Bermuda” grass ( Cynodon dactylon )
The common grass or fine grass is the Mediterranean lawn par excellence because it is the one that best behaves in temperate regions of low rainfall. It is a thin-leaf and drought-resistant cespitose plant that spreads rapidly. It supports the transit well and in winter it takes yellow coloration. In English, it is known as “Bermuda” for its abundance as a weed in Bermuda.
Paspalum ( Paspalum vaginatum )
A grass from South America that is naturalized throughout the world. It is similar to the common grass, a grassy grass that tolerates drought and the one that works best in saline lands.
Zoysia ( Zoysia spp. )
Grass native to Southeast Asia that develops well in hot climates. It needs less maintenance than bermudagrass and because of its growth density, it leaves less space for weeds in the grass.
Varieties of grass that endures the cold
Ray Grass ( Lolium perennial )
It is the most used variety and appears in almost all seed mixtures for sale. Although it adapts to any climatic situation, it is ideal if you are looking for a lawn that can withstand the cold. It also supports trampling well. It can tolerate poor soils but it develops better on soils rich in organic matter.
Spikelet ( Poa Pratensis )
It is an herb of temperate climates that tolerates cold and frost well. Its implantation is slow but produces stolons and creates a dense cover with great resistance to traffic.
Festuca ( Festuca arundinacea )
It is the most resistant species to diseases. It prefers fresh climates but does not support extremes: neither very dry heat nor very intense cold.
Lawn for shade ( Festuca Rubra + Festuca ovina )
There is no lawn that does not need sun, but some need it less than others and this allows us to solve the areas of the garden where the sun does not reach full intensity.
The easy to find the problem of grass that does not grow in shady areas because not all varieties of seeds develop well with little sunlight. The problem is that grass plants spike and does not provide the plant density necessary to form a dense cover.
The option is to spread a special mixture of grass that grows in the shade. It is a product that includes seeds of Festuca rubra and Festuca ovina, a combination of high horizontal growth and vertical content that generates quite dense green grass mats in shady areas.
Lawn Dichondra Repens (Mouse Ear)
Dichondra is not really a lawn, but it is a creeping species with leaves similar to the clover that covers the ground and is used as an alternative to grass. It forms a green, fluffy and dense carpet that does not grow as tall as the leaves of the cespitose grasses and requires less cutting frequency. It can grow in semi-shade but prefers sunny exposures, in temperate climates and well-drained soils.
Japanese grass is an ornamental option that mixes grass seeds with flower seeds to give more color. This type of meadow can reach more than 30 centimeters and its use is indicated for decorative areas that do not mow or cut little so as not to eliminate the flowers. Even so, it can be mowed like any other type of grass.