Want to have your Garland neighbors admiring your lawn at the next outdoor barbecue? It’s time to find yourself one of the best grass types that give you the greenest and healthiest lawn. 

    Garland homeowners have plenty of factors to consider. If your family enjoys using the lawn for recreation, opt for a grass type with high foot traffic tolerance. A low traffic tolerant grass won’t recover well after damage. 

    Also, take into account how much time and energy you can afford to maintain your lawn. Some grass types have more maintenance needs than others. You won’t have a green lawn to impress the neighbors if you neglect a lawn with high maintenance needs. 

    Finally, you’ll need to consider which months you’ll want your lawn to be greenest through the year. Warm-season grass types grow best in the warm temperatures of late spring, summer, and early fall. 

    Since we’re in the South, most recommended grass types are warm-season grasses. You’ll find that warm-season grasses stay greener throughout the year than cool-season grasses. 

    Cool-season grass will brown in warm summer and freezing winter temperatures, returning to green in late fall and early spring. But, there are cool-season grasses that are more tolerant of warmer temperatures than other cool-season grasses. 

    These are the six grass types the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension recommends for the greenest and easiest-to-maintain lawn in Garland. Keep in mind that each grass type has different tolerance levels and management needs. 

    1. Bermudagrass

    This turf grows best in full sun and will thrive in hot summers. Despite its low tolerance for cooler temperatures, Bermudagrass does well in drought conditions.

    Bermudagrass creates a densely compacted ground cover and has a high salt tolerance. This dense turf is resistant to weed invasion and recovers quickly from damage. 

    Classification: Warm-season grass.

    Spreads by: Bermudagrass spreads rapidly through stolons (above-ground stems) and rhizomes (underground stems) and will invade any nearby flower beds.

    Shade tolerance: Poor. Thrives in full sun.

    Drought tolerance: High. 

    Foot traffic tolerance: High foot and vehicle tolerance, but can be damaged from traffic during the winter months. 

    Maintenance needs: High. Because of its rapid growth, this grass builds up thatch that will need removing. It can stand up to drought conditions, but not to diseases and pests. It is susceptible to patch diseases such as pink snow mold, brown patch, and spring dead spot.

    Recommended mowing height: Bermudagrass should be cut at a height of 1 to 2 inches and requires mowing one to two times per week.  

    2. Buffalograss

    This warm-season grass has excellent drought resistance. Buffalograss has a long winter dormancy and can survive with little fertilizer and mowing. It thrives best in areas with an annual rainfall of 25-inches or less. 

    Garland has an average of 40 inches of rain per year. Due to the extra rainfall, buffalograss will need more maintenance than other grasses to fight off invasive weeds. It is best not to overwater this turf. 

    This grass also has a high cold tolerance and will not enter dormancy as soon as other warm-season grasses. 

    Classification: Warm-season grass. 

    Spreads by: Stolons. 

    Shade tolerance: Low. 

    Drought tolerance: High. 

    Foot traffic tolerance: Low.

    Maintenance: Buffalograss is a low-maintenance turf unless overwatered. It will survive in severe drought conditions and recover well once irrigation has resumed.

    Recommended mowing height: In full sun, optimal turf height is 1 inch. If in the shade, mow to a height of 2 inches. Frequent mowing is not needed when given minimal fertilizer. Mow every 7 to 14 days. 

    3. Centipedegrass

    Centipedegrass is lighter in color than other lawn grasses and has low fertilizer and mowing requirements. This turf is more sensitive to cold temperatures than many other warm-season grasses. 

    Centipedegrass is prone to iron deficiency, which can lead the grass to turn light yellow. Overwatering will weaken the turf and lead to invading weeds. 

    Classification: Warm-season grass. 

    Spreads by: Stolons. 

    Shade tolerance: Moderate shade tolerance, but grows best in full sunlight. 

    Drought tolerance: Has good drought tolerance. It recovers well from severe drought conditions soon after rain or irrigation. 

    Foot traffic tolerance: Low. 

    Maintenance needs: This is a low-maintenance turf that thrives with little fertilizer. Avoid overfertilizing centipedegrass with nitrogen. Doing so will reduce the turf’s cold tolerance, lead to maintenance problems, and make it vulnerable to disease. This grass is susceptible to pests such as nematodes and ground pearls. 

    Recommended mowing height: This turf needs mowing every 7 to 14 days to a height of 1.5 to 2.5 inches. 

    4. St. Augustine grass 

    St. Augustine grass originated in the coastal regions of the Gulf of Mexico and the Mediterranean Sea. This turf has a good tolerance for salt and shade. It does need a lot of water to remain healthy and will need extra irrigation during periods of drought. 

    With its coarse, wide leaves and stems, the grass does not grow quite as dense as some species. It grows quickly during the warm summer months and enters dormancy when soil temperatures fall below 55 degrees.

    Classification: Warm-season grass.

    Spreads by: Stolons. This grass spreads aggressively and can invade your flower beds. 

    Shade tolerance: Good. 

    Drought tolerance: Low to Moderate. Needs additional irrigation during times of drought.

    Foot traffic tolerance: Low foot traffic tolerance.

    Maintenance needs: St. Augustine grass produces thatch when over-fertilized or over-watered. The grass is vulnerable to weeds and disease. A major insect threat is the southern chinch bug. The pest causes wilting and brownish patches to appear in the grass. Other diseases to watch for: large patch and gray leaf spot are two diseases. 

    Recommended mowing height: Mow St. Augustine grass at a height of 3.5 to 4 inches. Mowing the grass at lower heights will stress the lawn and limit any deep root development.

    5. Zoysiagrass

    Zoysiagrass has a high salt tolerance and can be used in a variety of soil types. It varies in texture and works great in residential and commercial landscapes as well as athletic fields. This grass also has a higher tolerance for cooler temperatures than most warm-season grasses. 

    Improved varieties of Zoysia require less nitrogen fertilizer than Bermudagrass. 

    Classification: Warm-season grass.

    Spreads by: Stolons and rhizomes.

    Shade tolerance: High.

    Drought tolerance: Moderate. Will turn brown sooner than Bermudagrass during an extended drought.

    Foot traffic tolerance: High foot traffic tolerance.

    Maintenance needs: Zoysia requires fertilizer to thrive. The grass responds best to small amounts of fertilizer at frequent intervals rather than a heavy application once a year. It does need frequent watering in drought conditions.

    Zoysia will begin to develop heavy thatch buildup and will need core aeration every one or two years. Due to its thick growth pattern, the grass can defend itself against invading weeds. But, it is vulnerable to harmful insects that feed on the grass’s roots.

    Zoysia grass is also susceptible to large patch disease. The disease becomes active when soil temperatures are between 65 and 75 degrees.

    Recommended mowing height:  Mow Zoysia once a week or when the height has reached 3 to 4 inches. The grass should be mowed to an optimal height of 2 to 2.5 inches. 

    6. Tall fescue

    Although a cool-season grass, tall fescue tolerates warm summer temperatures. It stays green during cool seasons but will enter dormancy in severe hot and cold temperatures. Well adapted to both sunny and shady areas, the turf creates a coarse-textured lawn with good weed and disease resistance.

    Classification: Cool-season grass. 

    Spreads by: Unlike most grasses that spread by horizontal stolons and rhizomes, tall fescue is a bunch-forming grass. It spreads in clumps and through tillers, vertical shoots that grow from the grass’s base. This makes the grass easy to contain, but it limits the turf’s ability to repair itself.

    Shade tolerance: Moderate.

    Drought tolerance: Moderate. 

    Foot traffic tolerance: Moderate to high. 

    Maintenance needs: Low. It doesn’t need frequent mowing and will not invade nearby flower beds. Because the turf is a bunch-forming grass, its growth habit may develop open areas that will need reseeding. Pesticide applications are often needed to control brown patch, white grubs, crabgrasses, and goosegrass. 

    Recommended mowing height: Optimal mowing height is 1.5 to 3 inches. Mowing below 1.5 inches will cause thinning.

    Choosing any of these grass types for Garland lawns will help ensure your family or neighbors admire your lawn the next time they come over for a barbecue.

    If you’d rather have a hand mowing and maintaining your lawn — and more time to spend with family and friends, or just relaxing — find a lawn care pro in Garland to take that chore off your hands.

    Main Photo Credit: Garland Landmark Museum / Michael Barera / CC BY-SA