Buying Guide

Types of Grass

How To Choose Grass Seed
Brick home with sprinklers running on a grass lawn.

Two main types of grass for turf are warm-season grass and cool-season grass. Pick the species of grass seed that matches your climate and your yard’s sun exposure. Also consider how much moisture your lawn will get. You may need a grass that resists drought. Finally, pick a type of grass seed that can stand up to the amount of foot traffic your lawn receives.


Warm-season grass originates in the South and grows best in hot weather. Most warm-season grass goes dormant and turns brown in cool temperatures. It should be planted in late spring. Some warm-season grass seeds, such as Zoysia, should be planted at least 90 days before the last frost in your area or the seed may not survive the winter.


Cool-season grass generally originates in the North and is characterized by rapid growth in the spring and fall. Cool-season grass types often turns brown during periods of high summer heat. The best time to plant cool-season grass seed is in late summer or early fall. 


(W) = warm season grass

(C) = cool season grass

Bahia Grass (W)
Home and driveway with a green grass lawn.

Bahia grass is a moderately aggressive grass that can be found on some lawns from Florida through the southern Coastal Plans and the Texas Gulf Coast, where resilience in turf grass is needed.


  • Drought Resistance: High
  • Need for Water: Low
  • Texture: Coarse
  • Traffic Level: High
  • Sun exposure: Full sun to partial shade
Bermuda Grass (W)
Bermuda grass.

Bermuda grass fills in quickly and its aggressive growth is helpful to resist weeds. It flourishes with the full sunlight in the warmer regions of the Southeast United States.


  • Drought Resistance: High
  • Need for Water: Medium 
  • Texture: Fine to Medium 
  • Traffic Level: Fine to Medium High 
  • Sun exposure: Full sun 
Buffalo Grass (W)
Buffalo grass.

Low-maintenance Buffalo grass is a tough turf grass found in the Great Plains from Montana to Mexico.


  • Drought Resistance: High 
  • Need for Water: Low 
  • Texture: Fine 
  • Traffic Level: High 
  • Sun exposure: Full sun 
Centipede Grass (W)
Centipede grass.

Centipede grass is popular throughout the Southern United States for its slow-growing and low-maintenance traits, even in poor soil.


  • Drought Resistance: Medium 
  • Need for Water: Medium 
  • Texture: Coarse
  • Traffic Level: Low 
  • Sun exposure: Full sun to partial shade 
Creeping Bentgrass (C)
Creeping bent grass.

Creeping Bentgrass provides a soft, dense, carpet-like lawn. It is commonly found on golf course putting greens and requires significant maintenance.


  • Drought Resistance: Low 
  • Need for Water: High 
  • Texture: Fine 
  • Traffic Level: High
  • Sun exposure: Full sun to partial shade
Fescue Grass (C)
Fescue grass.

Fescue has many varieties and textures that can thrive in mild winters and warm summers.


  • Drought Resistance: High 
  • Need for Water: Low 
  • Texture: Coarse 
  • Traffic Level: Medium 
  • Sun exposure: Full sun to partial shade 
Kentucky Bluegrass (C)
Kentucky blue grass.

Kentucky bluegrass is a lush, dense and durable lawn grass. This self-spreading variety withstands cold and is resistant to disease.


  • Drought Resistance: Medium 
  • Need for Water: Medium to high 
  • Texture: Fine to medium
  • Traffic Level: Medium to high 
  • Sun exposure: Full sun to partial shade 
Perennial Ryegrass (C)
Perennial rye grass.

Ryegrass is intolerant of extreme heat or cold. It’s commonly used for overseeding a warm season lawn.


  • Drought Resistance: Low 
  • Need for Water: High 
  • Texture: Medium to coarse 
  • Traffic Level: Medium to high 
  • Sun exposure: Full sun to partial shade 
St. Augustine Grass (W)
St. Augustine grass.

St. Augustine grass grows quickly and tolerates the heat and humidity of the South. It also isn’t bothered much by salt, making it a good choice for coastal lawns.


  • Drought Resistance: Low to medium 
  • Need for Water: Medium to high 
  • Texture: Coarse 
  • Traffic Level: Medium 
  • Sun exposure: Full sun to partial shade
Zoysia Grass (W)
Zoysia grass.

Zoysia grass spreads by stolons and rhizomes to create a dense lawn that can handle heavy foot traffic in warmer regions.

 

  • Drought Resistance: Medium to high 
  • Need for Water: Medium 
  • Texture: Fine to medium 
  • Traffic Level: High 
  • Sun exposure: Full sun to partial shade 
Grass Seen Blends and Mixes
Man pushing grass seed spreader over a lawn.

You can purchase mixed grass seed that is designed to meet specific needs, such as drought-resistant grasses or mixes that you can grow to repair damaged lawns. 


Seed mixtures: Some seed mixtures combine several different grass types in one seed package. The strengths and weaknesses of each offset the others to keep your lawn green and healthy. This type of grass seed often contains disease- and drought-resistant properties. 


Blended-seed mixtures: Blended-seed mixtures combine several different kinds of the same grass species to capitalize on the strengths of each variety. By using varieties within the same species, you can ensure a more consistent appearance in your lawn. 


Lawn repair mix: These products combine grass seed, starter fertilizer and mulch in a single package. This all-purpose mixture is used for reseeding bare areas in your lawn and prevents you from having to buy all the items separately. Also, the fertilizer and mulch are optimized for the particular seed you choose. Most of these mixes also contain technology that helps with water absorption and retention to improve growth. Some grass seed mixes formulated for spot repair replace mulch with soil improvers to help roots develop. Rather than cover bare spots, these mixes quickly thicken up thinning patches. 


Straight seed: Warm-season grass is usually sold as single or “straight” seed. These packages contain only one variety of grass seed. Tips on how to plant, grow and maintain the grass are included on the back of the package.

Planting Tips
Grass seedlings emerging from soil.

Plan ahead before planting grass seed. Have all of the necessary materials and tools available, including a water sprinkler and a garden hose long enough to reach the planting area. The amount of time needed for the project depends on the size of the lawn being planted.


  • Before you plant in a new area, prepare the soil by removing existing plants, weeds and stones. 
  • Mix in organic material, such as compost, and rake it smooth. 
  • Use a lawn spreader or, for smaller areas, sow seed by hand. 
  • Cover the seeds to a depth of about 1/4-inch by raking dirt over them.
  • Mulch the seeded area with landscape fabric or straw to retain moisture. 
  • Water daily until germination occurs, then less often but more heavily. 
  • When new grass is three-inches high, remove the mulch and lightly mow. 
  • Protect the lawn from people or animals by roping it off until the grass is established. 
  • Always follow the directions on your product when using fertilizer. Using more than the recommended amount can cause more harm than good for the new grass.


Discontinue use of any weed control products before planting new grass. Residue from extended-release products can remain in the ground many weeks and prevent grass seed germination and damage young grass.


Wait until the new grass has been mowed a few times before applying any herbicides. Meanwhile, pull any visible weeds by hand to help prevent an invasion of weeds that take moisture from the soil and absorb the nutrients and fertilizers that are essential for successfully growing grass.

Different types of grass will thrive in different conditions. Identifying grass that will grow hearty in your region with the sun exposure in your yard is crucial for creating a beautiful landscape for your home. Ready to plant grass seed for your lawn? Get your online orders delivered. Just say when, where and how.