Warm-Season Grass vs. Cool-Season Grass Comparison

If a top priority for your landscaping is maintaining a beautiful-looking lawn, one of the important factors to consider here will be grass type. There are several different individual species of grass out there, and knowing which match best with your climate, lifestyle and needs can go a long way to attaining the proper lawn care.

At Professional Yard Services, we’re proud to be your top contact source for lawn care services and several other landscaping areas. Generally speaking, lawn grass is grouped into two types: Warm-season grass and cool-season grass. Let’s go over some basics and examples of each, plus some in-between areas to consider as well.

warm-season cool-season grass

Warm-Season Grass

Warm-season grasses, those you’re likely a bit more familiar with, generally show growth between the months of April and October in most temperate climates. During the winter, most of these species will enter their standard dormancy period, during which they may brown and will not look their proper green color until the temperatures turn back to the warm end of the spectrum.

Warm-season grasses are almost all heat-tolerant, and drought-tolerant as well. Some common examples of warm-season grasses include the following:

  • Bahia grass
  • Bermuda grass
  • Buffalo grass
  • Centipede grass
  • Augustine grass
  • Zoysia grass

Cool-Season Grass

Cool-season grasses, on the other hand, are those that tend to grow most during spring and fall, or when temperatures sit between 60 and 75 degrees for most of the day. These grasses may or may not go dormant during the winter, and also may or may not do so during the hottest summer months.

For a climate like Utah’s, which has significant fluctuations in temperature between seasons, cool-season grasses can be highly valuable. They can help supplement the look of a given landscape during the early spring and late fall months, periods where other grasses will still be in their dormancy stages or just coming out of them. When planted in proper coordination with warm-season grasses, they’ll help you maintain strong green areas within the landscape during all the non-winter months of the year.

Some examples of cool-season grasses include the following:

  • Ryegrass – either annual or perennial options are available
  • Bentgrass
  • Fescue – tall or fine varieties available
  • Kentucky bluegrass

Cool-season grasses may require different kinds of soil maintenance or conditions than warm-season grasses, so be aware here.

Transition Zones

In many cases, particularly in climates like Utah, you need overlap between warm-season and cool-season grass areas. There are several grass types out there that endure a wide range of temperatures, and as we noted above, you can take steps to mix warm- and cool-season grasses within your lawn for great year-round growth.

For more on the kinds of grasses you may want to consider for your landscaping, or to learn about any of our additional grass maintenance services, speak to the staff at Professional Yard Services today.