What Type of Grass Do You Have?
April 26 by Anthony D'Atri

What type of grass do you have? chances are you aren't aware that you have a variety of grasses growing in your turf. This article is meant to inform you of the different types of grass that are grown most prominently here in Canada. Before I delve into the different types of grass, first and foremost you should analyze what type of soil you're growing it in and what type of sun exposure your grass gets, because all the different types thrive in different scenarios.

Kentucky Blue Grass

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Kentucky Bluegrass is among the most popular cool-season grass types. It has a nice colour, texture, and density and can be easily established from seed, forming one of the highest quality lawns. Kentucky Bluegrass is good for homes, parks, golf courses and cemetaries. Kentucky Bluegrass can handle moderate shade and is durable as they come due to their protect rhizomes. This grass holds up well in the summer as a trusty drought resistant grass. The safest mowing height is generally 2-4 inches.

Characteristics: V-shape blade, boat shaped tip, folded in cross section and has rhizomes




landscape designRyegrass is a cool-season grass that does well in cooler parts of the transition zone like Toronto and New York as it can sustain itself through dry spells and winter seasons. Ryegrass is a good selection for home lawns, sports fields and high traffic areas, such as playgrounds. It has a relatively good shade tolerance and good wear resistance. Ryegrass has a normal feeding schedule, in that it like 3 to 5 fertilizings a year. Ryegrass needs it's water but can survive dry spells and generally stands well at a 2-4 inch mowing height.

Characteristics: Shiny back side of leaf, pointed tip, broad collar and also folded in cross-section.


Tall Fescue

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Tall fescue is a cool-season grass but does tolerate hot, dry conditions better than other cool-season species. Tall fescue being as durable as it is, is generally used on high traffic areas like playgrounds and sports fields, it even tolerates the shade much better than fine fescue. Tall fescue's maintenance schedule is moderate in that it grows rather quickly while nourished with water, but only needs 2-4 fertilizings a year. The mowing height for tall fescue is around 2.5-4 inches in height but on the bright side, few insects bother it.

Characteristics: Coarse texture, pointed tip, wider leafs, rolled in cross-section and has rhizomes




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As you could or couldn't tell by the name of the grass, Bermudagrass likes it's warm, hot weather. Thus requiring quite a bit of water to stay green and growing. Bermudagrass isn't a very good grass for the shade but is quite durable. This grass is for those of you who like a REALLY short lawn, as this grass can be cut as low as 1/2 and inch or as high as 2 inches (some new hybrid species can be cut as low as 1/8th of an inch, good enough for putting greens).

Characteristics: Has hair fringes on ligule, has rhizomes and stolons, dense, deep root system.




These are the 4 most used grasses in the Southern Ontario regions by my experience. When you go to buy a bag of grass seed for your house, the bag usually contains all these different types of seed to foolproof the planting process in the case that you don't know your soil make-up or sun conditions. If you don't care to know the difference between the grasses then you could easily go to the store and buy a "shade seed" or a "sun seed", just don't complaining when your turf doesn't look exactly uniform. ;)