Lawns add beautiful lushness to a landscape. Even a small patch of grass will enhance flowerbeds and act as a focal point for the rest of the landscape. In the southeast, there are mainly four types of turf grass: Fescue, Bermuda, Zoysia and Centipede.
All grasses must have at least 6 hours of sunlight each day to perform best. A healthy turf grass will “choke out” weeds without much assistance. When weeds show up, take note of the unhealthy patches of grass. Check the water conditions, and look for insects or funguses. Keep the grass healthy by cutting it to the proper height to choke out weeds.
All information provided by Zone 7, Inc. should be considered a recommendation. The products listed have shown good results in the lawns we have designed and maintained. Every lawn has its own unique conditions, and these should be considered when choosing fertilizers and weed control products. Always read and follow label instructions when applying any product to your lawn or landscape.
Fescue is the only cool season grass for sun to light shade. Fescue stays green all year; however, it must be watered frequently in the summer months or it will turn brown, requiring overseeding yearly.
Plant fescue seed from mid-February through mid-April or mid-September through mid-November. Fescue sod is typically available from mid-January until May.
Fescue should be maintained at a mowing height of 3” to 3 ½” (in the summer months). Mow frequently, never removing more than 1/3 each time.
Fertilize fescue 3 times per year. Do not fertilize after April 15th. Use Espoma Organic® Lawn Food in September, November and February.
For weed control, apply weed preventer in October to control poa annua and in late February to prevent crabgrass.
Check your fescue lawn from March through September for brown patch, a common disease of fescue.
Bermuda grass is a warm season grass for full sun. It will go dormant, turning golden in the winter. It is a good choice for large areas and will withstand heavy traffic. It may not be the best choice for small, detailed yards, as it can invade flowerbeds. It requires frequent mowing and thatch removal.
Sow bermuda grass seed form mid-May through mid-August. Lay bermuda sod from mid-March through November. However, mid-summer is the best time for planting bermuda.
Bermuda should be kept short. Maintain a mowing height of at least ½” to 1 ½” tall.
Fertilize bermuda with Espoma Organic® Lawn Food 2 to 3 times per year during the growing season. Apply it in April when the bermuda grass is 50% green. Apply it again 6 to 8 weeks later and then again in another 6 to 8 weeks.
For control of winter weeds (poa annua), apply a weed preventer in late September or early October. Apply it again in February to prevent crabgrass.
Zoysia grass is a warm season grass. It is more shade tolerant than other warm season grasses. It goes dormant, turning golden in the winter. It forms a dense carpet that is extremely wear-resistant.
Zoysia is best laid as sod, as seed germinates very slowly. Lay sod from Mid-May until late August. However mid-summer is the best time for laying zoysia.
Zoysia should be maintained at a height of 1” to 2”.
Fertilize with Espoma Organic® Lawn Food in the spring when zoysia grass is about 50% green. Apply Milorganite® Organic Nitrogen Fertilizer (6-2-0 + 4% Iron) in July. To prevent winter weeds (poa annua), apply weed preventer in early October and again in mid-to-late February to prevent crabgrass.
Centipede is a warm season grass for sun to light shade areas. Centipede will go dormant, turning golden in the winter. It is considered a low maintenance general purpose turf. Avoid using centipede in high traffic areas, as It does not tolerate compaction. It also does not perform in heavy shade.
Plant centipede seed from mid-May until early September. Sod is typically available from May until September. However, mid-summer is the best time for planting.
Centipede should be maintained at a height of about 1”.
After centipede greens up, fertilize it in late April or early May with Espoma Phosphate Free Organic® Lawn Food. Feed it again in August if needed. Along with overfeeding, using the wrong formula will also cause damage. No phosphates is important!
For weed control, apply weed preventer in October to control poa annua and again in late February to prevent crabgrass.
Zone 7, Inc. has grasses specifically for this region's landscaping needs.