Two Questions to Ask Before Selecting a New Turfgrass

Two Questions to Ask Before Selecting a New Turfgrass

Sod University

Two Questions to Ask Before Selecting a New Turfgrass

So, you’ve decided to re-sod the yard. Before you decide which turfgrass to purchase, there are two questions you should answer to select the best grass for your landscape and lifestyle.

Questions #1: What is your  primary landscape challenge?

In other words, why are you having to replace your grass in the first place? Too much shade? Disease pressure? Insect damage? Excessive wear? Insufficient irrigation? Poor soils? Damage from pet urine? Out of control weeds? All of the above? The point of this particular exercise is for you to not invest in re-sodding your yard only to end up having to replace it again in a few years.

Before you re-sod, take the time to make the necessary changes to address any of the above challenges. For example, your soil can be improved. Trees can be thinned. Committing to a program to treat your lawn for insects or diseases can help. Installing an irrigation system is a good idea. Once you have done what you can to address your challenges, then select a turfgrass that best overcomes the primary challenge in your landscape.

At Sod Solutions, we have created an online tool that allows you to select a grass based on three of the biggest landscape challenges: wear, shade, and drought. The Sod Selector Tool should help you make a decision. However, one last factor to consider is maintenance. Specifically, you need to consider how much time and resources you want to put into maintaining your yard.

Question #2: How much time and resources do I want to invest in my yard?

Having a beautiful lawn can be very satisfying and has several benefits, but the truth of the matter is that either you are going to maintain your lawn, or you are going to pay someone else to maintain it for you. Make sure that when you select a certain grass­—perhaps to address a certain landscape challenge—that you understand and accept the maintenance requirements that come with it.

For instance, if shade is a primary landscape challenge and you select a shade tolerant grass type, understand that you may need to budget for one to two applications of fungicide per year in order to maintain a healthy lawn. Lawns in shady landscapes often fail not because of low sunlight, but because they succumb to disease pressures. Read more about growing grass in shaded areas here.

If, however, your primary landscape challenge is drought or wear, you might consider one of the most drought hardy, wear tolerant of all turfgrass types: bermudagrass. There is a reason you see bermudagrass on sports fields and golf courses throughout the southern half of the country—they can recover quickly from damage, they are very drought hardy, and when groomed correctly, they can create a beautiful lawn. This, of course, requires a certain maintenance schedule including weekly mowing during the growing season. You also need to know that the mechanism that allows bermudagrasses to recover from wear so quickly (spreading rhizomes and stolons) also enables it to creep into flower beds. Our blog on Stolons and Rhizomes discusses this in greater detail.

Taking the time to thoughtfully consider the two questions posed in this article before selecting a turfgrass will ensure the best possible outcome and success of your new lawn. It will also unquestionably improve the value of your home.

For more information on bermudagrass, check out this blog post: Bermudagrass 101.

To read more about the benefits of a beautiful lawn or how great landscaping can improve the value of your home, check out these two blog posts: Benefits of Turfgrass, and Great Landscaping Improves the Value of Your Home.

Want to learn more about achieving a great lawn? Check out our other Sod University tips here.