Choosing the Right Grass For Your Lawn

Grass is often a mystery to many homeowners. While they can identify every tree in their yard, they very often have no clue what type of grass is growing. There is an art to growing grass successfully, and choosing the right grass has a lot to do with it. Across the country there are over 8 types of common grasses being grown in different regions.

Different Types of Grass

The main types of grass can be categorized as either creeping or bunch grasses. Bunch grasses such as Fescue and Ryegrass spread from the crown of the plant. Mowing high protects the crown and ensures the life of the grass. Creeping grasses like Bluegrass, Bermuda and most warm-season grasses spread by above- or below-ground runners. Creeping varieties are more prone to problems with thatch. To read more about grass and thatch, check out our previous post:

Keep Your Lawn Soft: Don’t Forget to Dethatch!

In addition, cool season grasses grow in the northern United States, while warm season grasses are perfect in the southern United States. The following map is found on the Sports Turf Managers Association.

Types of grass for Oregon

Common Cool Season Grasses

  • Bentgrass
    • tolerates acidic soil
  • Bluegrass
    • the most common lawn grass in the Northern United Sates and in the transition zone
    • beautiful color, texture and density
    • not tolerant to shade or drought
    • can require more maintenance
  • Perennial Ryegrass
    • desirable for its rapid germination rates
    • good for high traffic areas, fairly wear resistant
    • can be used to overseed dormant southern lawns throughout the winter
  • Fescue Varieties
    • very shade and drought tolerant
    • Can survive cold winters well
    • Tolerance for heat, drought, shade and wear varies by variety

Perennial Ryegrass is the most widespread grass planted throughout Oregon. Although it has many upsides, its’ downsides are its susceptibility to certain diseases such as red thread, rust, and brown blight.

Common Warm Season Grasses

  • Bahia
    • highly resistant to drought, disease, and insects
    • does well in  many different soils
  • Bermuda
    • drought resistant
    • prefers full sun
  • Centipede
    • will grow in low fertility soils
    • generally low maintenance
  • St. Augustine
    • very popular in the southern United States
    • very tolerant to high heat
  • Zoysia
    • a popular transition zone grass
    • heat and drought tolerant

Transitional Areas

The transitional areas on the map can successfully grow either cool season or warm season grasses. All Oregon Landscaping usually recommends cool season grasses in a transitional area. They have a tendency to perform better overall in the transitional areas.

Grass Experts at All Oregon Landscaping

The team at All Oregon Landscaping are grass experts. It doesn’t matter what type of grass you have or want to have, All Oregon Landscaping can help you make an informed choice. Call us today with questions about grass, or to get a quote on your next landscaping project. We handle all sorts of landscaping projects from planting grass, to custom concrete and outdoor kitchens. We work throughout Portland, Oregon including Beaverton, Hillsboro, Wilsonville, Sherwood, Happy Valley, Oregon City, Lake Oswego, Gresham and any of the surrounding areas. Get in touch today!

2 Comments

  • Mary Ann Thornton

    I have a type of grass in my yard that has seed pods with tiny barbs on them that get in my skin, and my animals feet. I am wondering if I can kill it and plant a more animal/human friendly type of grass?

    I have looked on the internet and it looks some what like silver grass, blue grass, or rye grass but don’t know really.

    Thank you for your time,
    Mary Ann

  • Cliff Schooling

    Thanks much for the info

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