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What Type of Grass To Plant in Your Area

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Determining the type of grass for your region with the Turfgrass Adaptation Map and the Plant Hardiness Zone Map. These maps provide two different ways of determining which grasses generally will flourish in a given area. If you still have questions about the best grass types for your area after looking at the maps, contact your local county extension agent for additional input and guidance.

Turfgrass Adaptation Map

Grass Adaptation Map

The United States generally is divided into four separate climatic zones of grass adaptation, as shown in the map above and one "transition zone".

Included are the the following zones:

  • Cool/humid zone that encompasses the Northeast, several states of the Midwest and much of the Pacific Northwest.
  • Warm/humid zone that includes the Southeast and extends into Texas.
  • Warm/arid zone that extends from Texas into Southern California.
  • Cool/arid zone that includes the dryer areas of the Midwest and West.
  • Transition zone - In addition, there is a region known in the turf industry as the transition zone, which extends through the central part of the country and includes parts of each of the other four zones. This is the most difficult region in which to manage grasses. In the transition zone, it is cool enough in the winter to make it difficult to maintain many warm-season grasses, yet it is warm enough in the summer to make it difficult to successfully grow cool-season grasses. The following table provides a general summary of which grasses are best adapted to each zone.

Grass Adaptation Table By Grass Type

Best Adapted Grasses
Cool/Humid Zone Bluegrasses, fescues, ryegrasses and bentgrasses are best adapted to this zone. Buffalograsses and zoysiagrasses also are found in the western and southern parts of this region, even though the growing period for these species is relatively short in these areas.
Warm/Humid Zone Bermudagrass is the most widely used species in this zone, although it sometimes can be subject to winter damage in the northern parts of the zone. Zoysiagrass is widely used in the upper part of the zone, whereas carpetgrass, centipede, bahiagrass and St. Augustine are more common in the Gulf Coast region. Perennial ryegrass, rough bluegrass and other cool-season grasses are used to overseed bermuda in areas where winter color is desirable.
Warm/Arid Zone Bermudagrass is the most commonly used species in this zone, although any of the warm-season grasses can be used if irrigation is available. Buffalograss is becoming more important in the most arid parts of the region. As is the case in the warm/humid zone, cool-season grasses can be used for winter overseeding.
Cool/Arid Zone Any cool-season grasses can be used in this zone if irrigation is available. Buffalograss is widely used in the warmer parts of the region, such as Kansas, Nebraska and Colorado, on non-irrigated sites.
Transition Zone The grasses used in the transition zone vary widely. Zoysiagrass is the best adapted grass to this region and can be found on lawns, golf course fairways and tees, and some athletic fields. Tall fescue has become one of the most popular lawn species throughout the central and northern parts of the zone. Kentucky bluegrass and perennial ryegrass also are widely used in the northern part of the zone. Bermudagrass is more common to the southern part of the zone.

Source: Fundamentals of Turfgrass Management  by Nick Christians

Plant Hardiness Zone Map

Plant Hardiness Map

This is a slightly simplified version of the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map. It is used primarily to determine the winter survivability of plants, based on the average lowest temperatures in a given zone.

This map is useful in determining whether a certain turfgrass can survive the coldest temperatures that can be expected in a given area; however, there are many other factors to consider when determining the ultimate survivability of turfgrass or any other plants. For instance, Tallahassee, Florida and Seattle, Washington both are in Zone 8, but have very different climates and are in different turfgrass Adaptation zones.

The turf adaptation map and the plant hardiness zone map, used together, should give a pretty good idea of whether a certain grass will thrive in your area. Again, if you still aren't sure after consulting the maps, call your local extension agent for additional advice.

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Important Shipping Information About Grass Plugs

*Subject to any ship delay caused by adverse weather (rain just prior to shipment)
Orders placed after 10 AM Friday will be scheduled for shipment on the next cycle (2nd Monday).

Important - Shipping Restrictions: Due to state agricultural regulations on soils, we can not ship our Grass Plugs to the following states: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, & Wyoming. Due to shipping time constraints we do not ship any plugs outside USA mainland States. (IE: Puerto Rico, Hawaii, Alaska, US Islands). There are no restrictions on seeds shipped to these states.

Shipment Dates: Our grass plugs ship seasonally* every Monday for all orders placed the previous week. Orders must be placed by 10 am EST on Friday in order to ship the following week. Occasionally shipments may be delayed due to weather issues (heavy rains result in plugs too wet to ship). Since we ship orders ASAP once they are placed, please order only if you are ready to plant.

*Note: Seedland only ships Grass Plugs during the spring months of February, March, April, and May.  Some varieties may also ship in September and October - Call for availability.  We do not ship during summer months as the heat during transit can damage the plugs. - Growing a beautiful tomorrow!®
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