Do You Know What Grass Type Your Lawn is Made Of?
As spring gets underway, it’s crucial to assess your lawn and know what type of grass you have so you know how to properly care for it during the growing—and mowing—season. It’s also important to see if you might need to reseed or overseed with a different species of grass that will better suit your expectations for your lawn.
Today’s post takes a closer look at some of the most popular—and easy-care—grass types that thrive in Pennsylvania lawns like those of our PowerPro Equipment customers. Read on to learn more.
First Things First—Do You Really Love to Mow?
Here at PowerPro, many of our customers are diehard mowing fans. However, we understand that not every property owner is. And at the same time, you may not feel like hiring a lawn service to take over your mowing is worth the added ongoing expense. If this sounds like you, optimizing your lawn grass by replacing sections with slower-growing or better-adapted species of grass could be an excellent alternative.
Of course, you may just need a new lawn mower to help you enjoy mowing that much more! If you haven’t already, check out our previous article on why it may be time to transition to a zero-turn mower—especially if you would like to spend more time relaxing over the spring and summer months than mowing your lawn!
Cool-Season Grass Types
Fact: your Pennsylvania lawn is almost certainly made up of cool-season turfgrass. Penn State University’s Extension service describes cool-season grass this way: “species that are adapted to the cooler portions of the United States and make maximum growth during cool spring and fall weather. They may become semi-dormant during hot and/or dry periods of summer.”
The most popular cool-season lawn grass types in Pennsylvania include:
- Kentucky bluegrass
- Rough bluegrass
- Perennial ryegrass
- Fine fescues and tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea)
Kentucky Bluegrass is Common
Among this list of grass species that are suitable for PA lawns, Kentucky bluegrass (Poa pratensis) is probably the most common. It tends to establish itself and grow quickly, and it thrives when mowed to an average height of about 2 inches.
The main problem with Kentucky bluegrass is that it doesn’t necessarily perform very well in wet locations or under shade trees. If these conditions exist in your yard, you will need to consider growing a different grass species or looking for Kentucky bluegrass varieties that have been bred to withstand these conditions better.
Identifying the exact type of cool-season grass that makes up your lawn can be a bit difficult if you’re not well-versed in the vocabulary of plant structure definitions. This article from PennState Extension can help you easily identify whether you have a Kentucky bluegrass lawn or some other type.
Warm-Season Grass Types
It’s important to note that Pennsylvania’s southern-most counties fall partially in the so-called “transitional” growing zone for grass types. What this means is that planting warm-season grasses in your southern Pennsylvania lawn could potentially be successful, but you need to pay close attention to the exact species you plant—and prepare for your lawn to look “dead” through the winter months!
According to our friends at PennState Extension, Zoysiagrass is the only warm-season grass type truly suitable for southern PA lawns. Other popular warm-season turfgrasses—Bahiagrass, bermudagrass, carpetgrass, and St. Augustine—do not have the cold hardiness necessary to survive our typical winters.
My Lawn is Patchy and Not All Grass…
Especially if you practice an organic approach to lawn care, you may have issues with weeds like dandelions and crabgrass creeping in. While these turfgrass weeds are not inherently harmful, they certainly don’t look nice!
As we touched on earlier, patchy lawns may need to be overseeded with another species of grass that is more suitable to the growing conditions in that part of the yard. For instance, in areas under large shade trees, where Kentucky bluegrass probably won’t thrive, you may consider trying rough bluegrass instead.
You may also need to take more extreme measures like entirely removing grass and replacing with planting beds or even gravel areas that can drain well but don’t require mowing at all.
Get the Lawn Care Equipment You Need For Any Type of Grass at PowerPro!
No matter what type of grass your lawn has today, PowerPro Equipment is here to help you keep it healthy and well-maintained with all the best mowers from Hustler, Spartan, and more! Also discover our grounds care equipment, chainsaws, and other tree care machinery.
Browse online now, give us a call, or stop by one of our many Pennsylvania locations to shop today!