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Choosing the Best Type of Grass for your Backyard

Selecting the best type of grass for your backyard is much like choosing carpet for your home. You want it to look good, be durable and easy to maintain.

But before you can decide on a type of grass you first need to know your hardiness zone, this helps in determining whether you will plant or sod a cool or warm season grass. If you are in a transition zone you can choose to have either a cool or warm season grass due to the climate.

When choosing a grass seed be sure to by a well known blend because you will need to reseed and you want the same type and blend you started with.

There are many different types of seed that will produce a different texture of grass. Which will give you a different look and feel.

Types of Grass

Warm Season Grasses

  • Bermuda grass
  • Buffalo grass
  • Zoysia grass
Bermuda or Zoysia grass is known as being a tougher more durable grass.

Cool Season Grasses

  • Bent grasses
  • Bluegrasses
  • Fescue's
  • Rye grasses

Sunlight or Shade

Next you need to look at the amount of sun or shade your backyard gets. Most grasses do not perform well in shaded areas, there is however some cool season grass seeds that are only for shaded areas. My experience with these have not been the best.

If you have areas in your yard that are heavily shaded I would suggest some type of landscaping under it with shade plants and/or some hardscapes.


Backyards with heavy traffic from children or pets will be the hardest to maintain for wear. Warm season grasses will hold up better with foot traffic than cool season. But even the toughest of grasses will wear down with constant foot traffic.

If you have certain areas in the backyard that are used as paths why not install a rock or stone path which will eliminate the wore down grass and possible dirt or mud area when it is wet.

Lawn Care

Then there is the maintenance of the grass that needs to be consider. Mowing, fertilizing and aerating all are factors that come into play for a healthy green lawn. Warm season grasses usually require a little less maintenance.


Cool season grasses will require more water than warm season grasses. Which could play a big role in your choice because of the cost of watering, especially if you do not have a water well.

Living in the transition zone, fescue grass is my choice. I like a blend of tall and thin bladed fescue with a small percentage of bluegrass. The yard looks great and when you walk on it in your bare feet it is like a carpet. The bluegrass gives a much more fuller and dense look to the turf.

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