Whether you are looking to grow a bright, lush front yard to enter a competition or want to have a beautiful backyard for your kids to play in– we all love the idea of lush, healthy green grass at home! If you think this is impossible for you (given you weren't born with a green thumb), we will help you reach your Georgia landscaping goals!
The first step is to narrow down the options for suitable grass varieties.
The Best Grass Seeds for Georgia Climate
The climate in Georgia makes it a challenge for homeowners to achieve that picture-perfect green lawn. Keep in mind that the state may have different weather and climate, so you must choose the suitable lawn grass that will thrive in such conditions.
Northern Georgia will require specific grass varieties than areas closer to Georgia's coast or the border. You will also need to consider the mountains and other unique environments in the state, such as the temperature range and rainfall.
Generally, grasses in Georgia can be divided into two groups: warm-season and cool-season grasses. That said, choose grass that is likely to thrive in the local climate.
Let's break down the difference between both cool-season and warm-season grass types:
Best Warm Season Grass for Georgia
Here we go...
1. Bermuda Grass
Considered a common warm-season grass in Georgia, Bermuda grass is a crowd-favorite option to consider. It is available in different subtypes, so there's undoubtedly something that will suit the climate in your area and the lawn type you have at home.
If you want a uniform look, you may want to look into Arden 15. Meanwhile, Oasis offers a much healthier and sturdy lawn using different Bermuda varieties (Oasis and Blackjack). This proves to be a quick solution to transform your bare or patchy lawn.
Homeowners in the colder parts of Georgia may want to consider Yukon varieties, as they are notably tolerant to cold temperatures. Remember that the Bermudas can survive in hot weather, but they will deteriorate in the shade. They can spread fast in both above-and-below-ground runners, so it will be challenging to control near flower beds or on walks.
Given proper fertilization, Bermuda grasses will need regular mowing. Most Bermuda varieties are highly adaptable to Bermuda weather and are also tolerant toward vast wide soil pH.
2. Carpet Grass
If you live in the central and southern Georgia areas, you may want to look into carpet grass. It is a creeping grass– so it will gradually grow and fill in the nearby areas (if overlooked). Many consider carpet grass a low-maintenance type since it doesn't require fertilization. Moreover, this grass type thrives well in heavy or sandy soils.
As this grass type tends to seed rather quickly, you will need to mow it frequently. However, carpet grass goes to seed quickly so it may need more frequent mowing in ideal growing conditions.
Important Note: Carpet grass is ideal for properties located in the wetter Georgia areas, given it has higher moisture tolerance than other varieties.
You can expect no problems planting carpet areas even in low or moist soils with inadequate drainage.
3. Zoysia Grass
Another beautiful grass option in Georgia is Zoysia grass, which remains popular among locals for its stunning yard possibilities. Additionally, the grass is softer than other varieties, and they can notably thrive similar to another crowd-favorite, Bermuda grass.
It's easy to notice how well-maintained Zoysia grass tends to be thick. This grass type is usually paired with a cool-season grass variety. This grass is highly resistant to weeds; you can count on your lawn to maintain itself virtually.
Consider looking into Fescue grasses if you're looking for a good pairing for Zoysia grass.
4. Centipede Grass
Centipede grass is the next warm-season grass, a low-maintenance variety that thrives well in low-fertile, sandy soils such as that in Georgia.
It is an Asian variety that only gained popularity in the early 90s. You don't have to worry about heat and shade, as it is known to tolerate both relatively well. If you have a partially-shaded yard, centipede grass is an excellent all-purpose grass to consider.
Additionally, it has low nutrient needs, so you won't need to fertilize it regularly. But, it thrives better in highly acidic soil than other types of grass. If you put it in soils with high pH levels, it may suffer from an iron deficiency.
Best Cool Season Grass for Georgia
Here's a list of the most popular cool-season grasses in Georgia as a companion to their warm-season counterparts.
1. Fescue (Fescue Blend Grasses)
Fescue grasses are considered one of Georgia's most popular cool-season grass types. As they are notably heat-hardy, Fescue grasses can take over the warm season grass once it grows dormant. Compared to other lawn grass types, Fescue has more varieties for you to consider. The species have grown to meet various demands nowadays.
Important note: If you're purchasing grass seeds online, ensure that you aren't buying Fescue grasses for Northern states. This will save you from dealing with headaches in the long run.
2. Kentucky Bluegrass
Another cool-season grass that thrives well in northern Georgia areas is Kentucky bluegrass. It can survive in areas with frequent rainfall and cool temperatures. Fortunately, there are plenty of Kentucky bluegrass varieties known to be heat-tolerant. This grass type may also accommodate many shades, but not drought conditions.
For your Georgia home lawn, ensure that you get a bluegrass variety that is highly heat and sun tolerant. Like Fescue, this grass type has been developed for notable characteristics such as high SPF and tolerance to sunlight.
Ideally, consider bluegrass varieties designed for Southern Georgia states with high sun exposure. Even those with high sun tolerance may struggle in the southern regions unless kept under a shade. You may help bluegrass survive by giving additional watering to last through the hot, dry weather conditions. Be careful not to overwater, though. That may just be another problem.
3. Perennial Ryegrass
The next cool-season grass seed type for Georgia lawns is ryegrass, used for overseeding. This provides a green cover for your warm-season grass during the fall and winter.
This grass type notably germinates faster than other common lawn grass. You can use it for permanent and temporary lawns (winter cover on budding residential lawns that are not yet permanently established).
Important Note: Overseeding may damage your warm-season grass if managed incorrectly in the spring. You will need to ensure your ryegrass has adequate moisture, nutrients, and sunlight for it to thrive well.
The most important thing in picking grass seeds for your Georgia property is to know the type of grass you're planning to grow, the soil in your lawn/yard, and the sunny or shady area of the home. This allows you to maintain a lush, green lawn so much easier!
Georgia Soil and Weather Conditions
Georgia's soil and weather conditions can make it difficult for locals to grow beautiful, green lawns. Georgia has high humidity and scorching heat, making it difficult for many grass species to thrive. Furthermore, Georgia's soil is mostly sandy. The soil on the coastline is typically sandy and clay-based, while inland soils are low in fertility and acidic (source). For most grasses, neither kind is ideal.
Acidic, sandy-clay soil comprises over half of Georgia. This kind of soil can be thick, making grass growth difficult. It also has trouble retaining the water and nutrients required to produce grass in fertile, suitable soil.
Growing grass in Georgia might also be complicated due to the weather. Several grass species are unable to survive in Georgia's intense heat. Furthermore, Georgia has a broad range of temperatures throughout the year and across its various regions, making it difficult to predict which grass will flourish.