Common Virginia Grasses and Their Ups and Downs

Virginia is what is known as a “transition zone” when it comes to grass. What that means is that cold winters and long dry summers don’t allow for great choices when it comes to lawn grass. This is true for most of the state.

A Virginia  lawn mowing service is probably the best option to help you to determine what is and is not the best grass for your particular area, to answer any questions you may have,  and to help you keep it looking great.

Depending on what you’re looking for, every grass has strong points and weak points. They will adapt well in many cases but they need some special considerations in order to deliver you a top quality lawn that looks great for most of the year. In addition, you do want to–where possible– also give a nod to the environment so that has been taken into account as well.

A few of the common turfgrasses that you will find  in Virginia include-

Cool-season turfgrasses. The active growing season is late supper to early winter as well as early spring to early summer. They love a temperate climate that ranges from 65-75 for their growth. In mid-summer that growth will drop off dramatically. They adapt well to the hilly regions as well as the southwestern valleys but may struggle some in the tidewater areas.

Tall fescue. The best turfgrass to adapt to anywhere across the state, tall fescue has more than a few redeeming features. It is noted for having one of the deepest roots of the cool season grasses, which makes it much more drought tolerant than many others. It germinates very rapidly and is available across the state as sod. Tall fescue can perform well in full sun as well as moderate shaded areas and is also tolerant of a broad array of different chemical conditions in the soil. It does well at cutting heights of 2-3 inches and is a great choice for lawns where you need low maintenance.

Kentucky bluegrass.   Many people love the deep green lush look of the Kentucky Bluegrass. While it does provide a very aesthetically pleasing law, in most cases it does commit you to a lawn that will be high care.Bluegrass requires good fertilization and if undernourished gets nuisance diseases. Likewise it has an aggressive creeping tendency.

 

Seed is slow to germinate (14-21 days) and complete establishment usually takes months, according to the Viriginia Cooperative Extension, which makes spring plantings a lot less successful than those that you might do in the fall.

Fine-leaf fescues.  These are some of the most under used grasses in the state which is sad because they are well adapted to both Valley and Ridge as well as Norther Piedmont regions.

They also (broken down into species such as creeping red, hard, or chewings fescues) provide some of the highest quality, low maintenance cool-season turf available in the state. They are perfect for low maintenance lawns where the minimal fertility and fewer mowing events are desired.

The only real down side is that they do tend to have poor traffic tolerance, so be wary of using them if your lawn will have lots of use from kids or pets.  The fine fescues have the best shade tolerance of the cool-season turf grasses and are very persistent in dry conditions and somewhat poor soils.

These are some of the top cool season grasses.. Next week we’ll examine the warm season grasses and their advantages and disadvantages.

If you’re looking for someone who knows their grass and can keep yours in tip top shape, Lenard’s Lawn Care has the answers. Call today at 757-613-8309

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