Best Lawn Grass for your area

If you choose a lawn grass type that is well suited for your particular environment, it will make life much easier for you throughout the seasons. Some grasses need just the right circumstances to grow well. If the grass type you choose is not optimal for the region you live in, you may never be able to achieve that beautiful American lawn. We did our research and divided the United States up in seven area’s, with turf type recommendations for each.

Lawn Grass Zones in the United States

Northeast Region

north east region - new england lawn
New England Lawn

Homeowners and business owners who live in the Northeast region of the United States and who are looking to improve the appearance of their lawn need to make sure that they choose a great cool-season grass that will work well in their area. Unlike warm-season grasses, these can easily withstand the cool summers, cold winters, and the high humidity that are so common in these states. It’s also important that the chosen grasses can easily withstand disease and insects, as they can be difficult to get rid of due to the humidity and water in the grass.

One great option is Kentucky Bluegrass, which does a wonderful job growing in northern states of the US. Not only is Kentucky Bluegrass hardy enough to withstand the long and cold winters that are typical in Maine, New York, and other nearby states, but it is able to keep a deep green color that is attractive and lush. While this type of grass tends to be aggressive as it grows, the root system is generally much more shallow than other types of grass. It is possible to mix Kentucky Bluegrass with perennial ryegrasses to help the lawn green faster, but the right proportion needs to be used, as ryegrass can easily overtake the Kentucky Bluegrass.

It’s important that the grasses used with Kentucky Bluegrass can easily stand up to shade and wetter conditions, as these are very common in northern states and can easily destroy less-hardy grasses that aren’t designed to withstand wetter weather and cooler temperatures. While Kentucky Bluegrass will brown over the winter, it springs back nice and lush quickly in the spring when regular watering is resumed.

Consider Kentucky Bluegrass if you live in the following states:

  • Maine
  • New Hampshire
  • Vermont
  • Massachusetts
  • Rhode Island
  • New York
  • Pennsylvania
  • Connecticut
  • New Jersey
  • Delaware
  • Maryland
  • Ohio

Midwest Region

midwest region house and lawn
Midwest Lawn – (Walter Gerts house)

Thanks to the cool growing season in these states, and the varying humidity that can occur, it’s important that homeowners and business owners work hard to find the right grass to grow. Because the humidity can fluctuate so widely in the eastern states of this area while the western states are much more arid, it’s important to consider not only local seasonal fluctuations in your own state, but also how well the type of grass that you are considering will do at your home.

The best option is Perennial Ryegrass, as this type of grass is a great option for the full sun that so many of these states experience. Unlike some other types of grass that simply can’t stand up to long and hot hours in the sun, Perennial Ryegrass is able to withstand bright sun, as well as a little shade. Because this grass grows so quickly and will germinate rapidly to create a lush and dark lawn, it is prized for its appearance. It’s important to offer additional water during dry seasons, as otherwise the grass will quickly brown.

Because Perennial Ryegrass can naturally withstand disease, as well as attacks from insects, it is generally fairly easy to take care of. Additionally, newer types of this grass are better able to withstand periods of drought without showing signs of damage and browning. Increasingly cold-tolerant types are becoming available, making it easy to have a yard that looks great all year long.

Consider Perennial Ryegrass if you live in:

  • North Dakota
  • South Dakota
  • Minnesota
  • Wisconsin
  • Iowa
  • Nebraska
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Michigan

Southeast Region

southeast region tennessee lawn
Tennessee Lawn – (John Winton house)

The main problem that people run into in the Southeast area of the United States is that the temperature is usually very warm and there is often high humidity. This means that it can be difficult to find a grass that is hardy enough to withstand the heat and humidity without wilting or otherwise being damaged. Bermuda grass has long been known as the best option for grass in this area as it is very tolerant of high heat, able to withstand periods of drought without showing a lot of damage, and can even stand up to salt blowing in off of the ocean without dying.

Bermuda grass has a fine or medium texture, and you can choose what type of texture you want based on the variety that you choose. Bermuda grass is well known for being an aggressive grass that tends to spread quickly, so it’s important that you are careful with how you are going to control the grass.

Like many other types of warm-season grasses, this type of grass will go dormant during cooler months and will also turn brown at the same time. This is not a huge problem, because as soon as the weather starts to warm back up and it rains, the grass will regrow from the crown and will be the dark green that homeowners love. There are many homeowners in the south who like to mix Perennial Ryegrass with Bermuda grass as they will go brown at different times during the year.

Read more about Bermuda grass.

Consider planting Bermuda grass if you live in these states:

  • Tennessee
  • South Carolina
  • North Carolina
  • Tennessee

Want to read more about types of lawn and turf grass? In this article we take a deeper dive into the most popular types of lawn grass used for lawns in the United States.

Deep South and Gulf Coast Region

louisiana lawn
Louisiana lawn

In the deep south homeowners have to be careful when choosing a grass for their lawn, as it has to be hardy enough to withstand high humidity and intense heat that is so common in this area of the United States. Not only is this area very humid, but it tends to be incredibly dry, which means that grass has to be able to withstand periods of drought without dying or it won’t be able to live in this area. Bahia grass is a wonderful choice for homeowners in the deep south, as is Centipede grass.

Bahia grass is a wonderful option because it is very low maintenance and is great for multiple purposes. It tends to be very coarse, and this is partly what makes it so resistant to disease and to pests. In addition, Bahia grass is very easy to establish, which is important for homeowners who live in a very hot part of the United States and may otherwise have problems getting grass to grow. Not only does it have a deep color, but tends to hold that deep green even through droughts.

Centipede grass, on the other hand, tends to take a much longer time to establish and is much lighter in color, but is also a great option for homeowners who don’t want to have to put in a lot of work to maintain their lawn. While these grasses prefer to be in full sun, they can tolerate some shade. Additionally, Centipede grass never goes fully dormant, so as long as the temperature doesn’t drop too low, it will stay green all year long. Because of its slow growing and how low it grows, this grass does exceptionally well in drought conditions and it is dense enough to stand up to a lot of foot traffic without being pressed flat into the dirt.

Bahia grass or Centipede grass is your best bet if you live in:

  • Louisiana
  • Mississippi
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Alabama
  • Arkansas

Southwest Region

arizona lawn
Arizona lawn

Many turf grasses struggle to survive in this region due to how hot and how dry it is. Both high- and low-desert climates are often too harsh for grasses to easily survive, which is why residents need to be especially careful when choosing the best type of grass for their homes. Not only do residents have to take into consideration the fact that there is saline water with alkaline soil, but that the varying elevations and high heat and sun can easily kill grass.

Bermuda grass is highly resilient, which is why it is such a wonderful choice for use in this area of the country. The main problem that people run into when they have Bermuda grass is that they don’t provide it enough water to keep it looking green and fresh. Sufficient watering is necessary to keep Bermuda grass looking healthy, even though it does require a lot less watering than other types of tall fescue grasses sown in the same area of the country.

Some Bermuda grasses are very dense and thick, allowing them to easily stand up to heavy foot traffic without being damaged. Additionally, these types of Bermuda grass are dark green in color, which is not only attractive, but will do an amazing job at helping to hide any damage done to the grass while people are using the lawn. Look for a specific Bermuda grass that is ideal for your area, and consider strongly what kind of diseases and insects are common in your area, as these will have a major impact on how well the grass is able to survive and what it looks like.

Bermuda grass is the best option for residents in:

  • Arizona
  • New Mexico
  • California
  • Nevada
  • Utah
  • Colorado
  • Texas
  • Oklahoma

Pacific Northwest Region

pacific northwest lawn
Pacific Northwest lawn – (Quinault lodge)

Unfortunately, the Pacific Northwest region of the country is not without its own set of problems to overcome when trying to start a lawn. With incredibly diverse growing areas and conditions, it can be difficult to pin down exactly what kind of grass is the right option for this area of the country. Depending on what area of the Pacific Northwest you live in, you will probably be better off with fine Fescues or Ryegrasses.

Two great options for this area are Tall Fescue and certain types of bluegrasses. People who live on the east side of the Cascade Mountains will do better with these two types of grasses, as they are much better suited to the environment and will be able to survive the type of weather. The arid areas are much cooler, and it’s important to pick a grass that can easily withstand the lower temperatures without dying or showing signs of disease.

Residents who live west of this mountain range are going to have better luck with certain ryegrasses. As the environment here is going to be much cooler and wetter, it’s important to choose a type of grass that can easily withstand the difference in temperature and humidity. Because grasses in this area are going to have to be able to withstand disease, as well as attack from insects, it’s important to choose a type of grass that can easily stand up to the temperature and weather conditions without constant care and maintenance. This will prevent homeowners and business owners to constantly feel like they are fighting to keep their grass alive and looking its best.

Tall Fescues, bluegrasses, and ryegrasses are going to be able to best withstand the cooler temperatures and diverse growing conditions in these states:

  • Oregon
  • Washington
  • Idaho
  • Montana
  • Wyoming

Transition Region

The transition zone of the United States can make it very difficult for homeowners to choose the right type of grass for their lawn. There are many different types of climate zones here, and they all collide at once, making it difficult to pick the right grass.

While there is a lot of research being done to produce grasses that can withstand the rigors of transition zones, there are also two great choices for people to choose from: Tall Fescue and Zoysia grass.

Because Tall Fescue is so low maintenance and does a great job standing up to heat even though it is a cool-season grass, it’s an obvious choice for use in this area. Thanks to its deep roots and attractive color, it is a welcome and hardy addition to any landscape.

zoysia grass - Zoysia japonica
Zoysia grass

Zoysia grass is a great warm-season grass to use in this area, as it has a much better cold tolerance than other warm-season grasses. It grows low to the ground, has deep roots, and conserves water, making it a great choice in high-traffic areas. Additionally, it stays green for much longer than other types of grasses do and turns green early in the spring, a welcome sight after cold winters. For the best appearance, look for Zoysia grass that is designed to retain its green color for longer into the fall and winter.

Tall Fescue and Zoysia grass are great options to withstand the special growing challenges present in:

  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Virginia
  • West Virginia

1 thought on “Best Lawn Grass for your area”

  1. Rough bluegrass is great in parts of the Pacific NW that have shade, acidic clay, and lots of winter rain–hard to maintain a lawn since easily compacted and drainage is a problem. It loves water.

    That said, would advise against anyone using a traditional bluegrass west of the Cascades; all the extension material advises that it usually falls victim to funguses/blights here. Just doesn’t work.

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