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November 19, 2018 | Grass Seed

Cycling through the complete list of warm-season grasses

Cycling through the complete list of warm-season grasses

Increased salt tolerance, low-water requirements as well as high heat tolerance – all of this makes southern lawn grasses an ideal choice for low-maintenance lawns. These plants grow best in summer temperatures 80-95 degrees Fahrenheit. Therefore, if you’re eager to have a healthy, thick lawn, you require planting the right type of warm-season grass for the climate you live in.

Types of summer season grasses

If you reside in the southern half of America, then the vast majority of the plants observed by you in parks, lawns, and athletic fields can be regarded as warm-season plants. They’re considered to be warm-season due to the fact their most active surge takes place exactly during warm seasons. These seasons start in late spring and last till early fall. Their preferences for warm soil temperatures and growing cycles keep lawns in southern as well as southwestern climates green and thriving in the summer heat.

Despite warm-season plants have much in common, they also greatly differ. Some of them can only be grown from grass or sod pieces dubbed plugs or sprigs. By simply understanding the characteristics of these perennial plants, you can pick up the best warm-season plant seed to meet your individual lawn maintenance as well as enjoyment objectives.

Growing regions

Grass experts divide America into separate grass-growing areas depending on warm and cool climates, aridity and humidity. Warm-season lawn plants fit the country’s southern states and also the challenging midsection dubbed the transition zone, where warm, cool, arid and humid areas meet and merge. However, picking the right warm-season plant seed for your garden actually goes beyond these climate basics to extra regional differences affecting lawn health as well as maintenance.

Regional norms for soil pH are very crucial, as soil pH has an impact on your lawn’s ability to utilize soil nutrients, in particular, those added through fertilizers. The vast majority of lawn plants appreciate areas where soil testing disclosed pH in a bit acidic to the neutral range of 5.8- 7, exactly where crucial nutrients stay ready to use. Gardens with soil pH outside this array might require other soil amendments or applications of lime to regain pH balance as well as nutrient availability.

Matching your plants to soil conditions enables to diminish labor and also the need for extra amendments and fertilizers. For example, Centipede plants thrive in low-pH, acidic soil typical to the Southeast, although it can’t stand high-alkaline soils of the Southwest. Bahiagrass, belonging to Centipede plants faces iron deficiencies in the alkaline soil. Therefore, Zoysia grass and Bermuda grass that both get along with higher salinity and soil pH appear to be an ideal choice for such areas.

Maintenance needs

All lawn plants can’t do without fertilization and mowing. However, in these needs, they greatly vary. Matching your plants to desired maintenance levels will enable you to keep your lawn in a good condition effortlessly, without making it a tough burden. Bermuda grass appears to be the fastest growing common warm-season plant. Its vigorous, aggressive surge creates a durable, dense lawn, but get ready to have it mown twice a week and fertilize every month during peak summer growth.

Zoysia grass requires fertilizers and mowing. However, thatch buildup should be dethatched, especially on fertilized areas.  Centipede plants have the slowest surge rate of all warm-season lawn plants and extremely low fertilizer needs.

For any type of lawn plants, mowing needs to be carried out as required to keep the plants at their recommended height for good health and growth above and also below ground. To put that another way, you shouldn’t remove more than 1/3 of the blade for one mowing. It’s clear that the faster your plants grow, the more frequently you need to mow them.

Heat tolerance

Common warm-season lawn plants in America came from subtropical and tropical regions around the globe. As a result, these plants tolerate high air and soil temperatures. They keep growing in hot weather, which would cause cool-season ones to turn brown and dormant.

Bermudagrass is exceptionally good in terms of heat tolerance. For this plant, daytime temperatures of 95-100 degrees Fahrenheit would be optimal. Centipede grass, Bahia grass, and Zoysia grass get along with high heat too.

Cold tolerance

Some gardeners think that warm-season plants are absolutely cold-intolerant, but it’s not true. Zoysia grass turns out to be extremely cold tolerant compared to other warm-season plants. It makes it especially suitable for transition zone lawns. Additionally, Pennington Zenith Zoysia boasts improved cold tolerance. The given plant is capable of staying green much longer than Bermuda grass as well as other Zoysia plants. Besides this, you can opt for Pennington TifBlair Centipede & Mulch and Pennington Bermudagrass because they boast exceptional cold tolerance.

Shade tolerance

As a rule, warm-season plants enjoy 6-8 hours of direct sunlight every day because it makes them healthy. Of course, some warm-season plants tolerate less sun. However, more shade can result in poor, growth and attract lawn mosses. In terms of shade tolerance, you need to stick with Bahiagrass, Centipede grass, and Zoysia grass.

Traffic tolerance

When you utilize your lawn for various activities, including pet play, games or any other entertaining, your plants are expected to tolerate traffic. You certainly want to plant grasses, capable of rapidly recuperating from wear as well as other damage.

Zoysia grass and Bermudagrass rapidly recuperate after any damage. That’s why they’re often chosen for golf fairways and athletic fields.

The best warm-season grass seed

If you reside in the southern or western regions of America, or in the transition zone, the following plants would be a nice choice:

  • Bahiagrass: Despite it needs greater maintenance than other warm-season plants, it’s heat and drought tolerant. What’s more, it has low nutrient and water requirements.
  • Centipede grass: Being moderately shade tolerant, it also has low nutrient and maintenance requirements.
  • Bermudagrass: It’s a drought, heat, salt, and traffic tolerant plant. Just don’t plant it under shade conditions.
  • Zoysia grass:It’s wear, salt, and drought tolerant plant. Additionally, it has low water and maintenance requirements and gets along with light shade.

How to properly treat your hot weather seed

When taking care of your warm-season plants, don’t forget to do the following vital things:

  • Ensure enough sunlight: Even shade tolerant warm-season plants can’t do without sunlight. To improve the growing conditions for your plants in shady areas, don’t forget to mow on a regular basis.
  • Protect plants against winterkill: Your plants can become victims of harsh winds and low temperatures. If you don’t want your plants to suddenly die off during a cold period, take care of it in advance. In the fall you require making a sand top-dressing for your plants. It’s a thin layer of sand.
  • Water your law properly: You’d better stay away from over-watering as well as nighttime watering because it can provoke excels moisture in turn, causing disease development. Instead, you should have your plants watered in the morning.