With ever-changing climatic conditions, it’s vital to grow grass that can withstand a range of weather changes and environmental conditions. Some grasses have very specific conditions to be met for them to thrive. Other grasses will do well in diverse climates. Finding grass that will thrive anywhere will save you maintenance costs.
Before you pick grass that will grow anywhere, you must determine if they’re cool-season or warm-season grasses. Grasses such as Kentucky bluegrass, Perennial Ryegrass, and fescues are cool-season grasses that grow anywhere. Bermuda grass, St. Augustine, Zoysia grass, and Buffalo grass are warm-season grasses highly adaptable in various conditions.
Is there grass guaranteed to grow anywhere?
Most turfgrasses can only withstand certain conditions. There is hardly any grass that will do well in all geographical areas. However, certain species will outdo others in different regions and conditions. These conditions include sun exposure, shade, soil type, soil salinity, area temperature, and seasons.
Let’s talk examples.
Kentucky Blue Grass is the best option for the northern states because of its cold tolerance. Tall Fescues are best for transition zones such as Tennessee, Missouri, and Carolina because of their adaptability to sunny and partially shaded areas. On the other hand, Bermuda Grass is best in the southern zones because of its resistance to heat and drought.
These are the best choices if you live in a region with harsh conditions. You can also mix and blend similar-season grasses to get more success.
Types of grass that grow anywhere
Some turfgrass species adapt to different conditions and even develop a resistance to extreme changes. Some are suited for cool climates, while others thrive in the southern climate. Still, some grasses thrive in transition zones.
Here are the grass species that are highly tolerant of adverse conditions.
Kentucky bluegrass is a perennial cool-season turfgrass that grows in about 75% of the United States. It can grow in hot summers and cold winters. It gained popularity in the US because of its winter hardiness.
This cool-season grass grows more vigorously during fall and spring. It can grow in the northern and western states but does not do well in the southern states. Kentucky bluegrass tolerates moderate traffic and is resistant to pests. It survives in poor soils with minimum moisture. However, like other cool-season grasses, it doesn’t tolerate drought and heat. It has different cultivars such as Midnight, Award, Shamrock, and Skye.
This is a warm-season grass popular in tropical and subtropical regions. Extremely drought tolerant, it’s among grass the best at withstanding extended periods of drought. Bermuda grass grows in various soils, from deep sandy to heavy clay soils. It withstands wear and traffic, recovering quickly from injury.
This turfgrass tolerates cold conditions and is resistant to diseases and pests. It survives in hot and dry climates, waterways, and irrigated areas.
Bermuda grass survives in acidic and alkaline soils. Furthermore, it tolerates saline soils. It is one of the grasses that survive in low fertility soils.
Perennial ryegrass is a cool-season perennial lawn grass mainly referred to as an ‘all-rounder’ grass because it can do well in problematic areas. Although this turf grass does well in the northern regions, it is also planted in the southern regions. The improved cultivars have better cold and drought tolerance than the old varieties. It recovers well from grazing and traffic.
It is a warm-season grass species that can tolerate cold weather. Zoysia grass usually does well in the southern and transition regions. Zoysia grass is one of the turfgrasses that can adapt to a wide range of soils, from sandy to clay soil. It has good wear tolerance and drought resistance.
This turfgrass does well in full sun and partial shade. It spreads aggressively to choke weeds. It is highly resistant to diseases, insects, and pests. The newer cultivars are quicker to establish and recover from injury than the older ones.
St Augustine grass
St Augustine is a warm-season grass that can withstand high temperatures and drought. It thrives in soils with a pH of 5.0 to 8.5. It tolerates moderate shade better than other warm-season grass. St Augustine survives better in highly saline soils than Bermuda grass and Zoysia grass, making it preferable in coastal regions.
Common St Augustine cultivars include Palmetto, Citrablue, and Floratam.
This is a warm-season perennial native grass. Buffalo grass tolerates cold, high temperatures, and extended drought periods. Buffalo grass also tolerates dry, compacted clay soils. This turf grass requires low management, thriving with minimum fertilization and low irrigation. It readily seeds itself; thus, it can survive adverse environmental conditions. Buffalo grass does not thrive in sandy soils and goes dormant during the cold season.
Tall fescue is a cool-season perennial grass that also thrives in warm areas with partial shade. The grass has a deeper dense root system than other cool-season grasses, making it easy to penetrate clay soils and sustainable during drought conditions.
Tall fescue stays green all year long. It performs well in the upper areas and the transition zones with cool temperatures. It is more shade tolerant than Kentucky bluegrass and Perennial ryegrass.
Tall Fescue is classified as hardy grass because it can still grow in poorly drained, acidic, and low fertility soils. It can withstand bad management practices like grazing and frequent mowing.
Tall Fescue has a more extensive root system than 19 other species, so it can withstand heat and survive in areas prone to soil erosion.
This is the toughest of all fescues. It tolerates adverse drought conditions and disease. It’s also a shade-tolerant grass and stays green longer. Hard fescue is the only fescue variety that is salt tolerant. It grows in soils with low fertility hence low maintenance. This is a turfgrass that can handle minimal mowing. Warwick Hard Fescue is a popular cultivar that survives in extreme conditions.
The grasses mentioned provide are great options for lawns, sports fields, and golf courses. Additionally, continuous extensive research and breeding of these species lead to improved and hardy grass. University extensions and plant stores are the best places to get grass that can withstand most climatic conditions.
You can choose combinations that guarantee optimal growth in any environmental setting. Some mixtures combine permanent and temporary turf grasses or slow-growing with their fast-growing counterparts.
Kentucky bluegrass or Perennial ryegrass and Tall fescue grass are a common combination. These mixtures are more tolerant of different conditions such as drought, shade, and different soils.
Note: Scotts Ez Seed is arguably the best brand for growing all year round. It grows in tough conditions such as harsh sun and dense shade. It is a versatile mix that stays green in poor soil conditions and water-scarce areas. This seed is a mixture of Green star Kentucky Bluegrass, Avalanche Kentucky Bluegrass, Silver Dollar Perennial Ryegrass, Majesty Perennial ryegrass, Wendy Jean Creeping Fescue, and Shade Master III Creeping Red Fescue.