Here in Greenville, South Carolina, we have the luxury of a mostly mild climate, which makes it easier to landscape a yard. But picking the right grass for your lawn can be a challenge. Fortunately, there are several options to fit your needs, so consider one of the four best grass types in Greenville, S.C.
Two categories of grass are prevalent in South Carolina: cool-season grasses and warm-season grasses. The best grass types for Greenville, South Carolina, cover both categories.
Centipedegrass is one of the most popular grass types in South Carolina. It is an excellent choice for homeowners seeking thick, healthy-looking lawns that require minimal mowing and fertilizing. It grows slowly and prefers full sun, but it can handle moderate shade.
Often called “lazy man’s grass,” centipedegrass only produces above-ground runners and can, therefore, be easily controlled near flower beds and other structures. This eliminates the need for herbicide or constant weeding in these areas. The color is sometimes described as “apple green.”
Spreads by: Stolons
Shade tolerance: Needs at least six hours of full sun but will tolerate moderate shade
Drought tolerance: Low to moderate
Traffic tolerance: Poor
Maintenance needs: Low fertilization requirements (0-2 pounds of nitrogen per 1,000 square feet per year); water only when it shows signs of drought stress (wilting, footprints on the lawn)
Mowing height: 1 ½ to 2 inches
Soil type: Acidic
Another warm-season grass, Bermudagrass grows rapidly, producing a nice-looking lawn in less than a year. This drought-tolerant grass also tolerates salt spray and foot traffic well and can grow in any sunny location. Bermuda does not tolerate shade well and requires frequent fertilizing and mowing to stay lush.
Spreads by: Stolons and rhizomes
Shade tolerance: Low, needs full sun
Drought tolerance: High
Traffic tolerance: High
Maintenance needs: High, especially for hybrid cultivars. Bermuda requires you to mow, fertilize, and dethatch regularly. Plan to aerate if you have compacted or heavy clay soil.
Mowing height: ¾ to 1 ½ inches (depending on the cultivar)
Soil type: Bermudagrass adapts to a wide range of soil types.
3. Tall Fescue
Tall fescue is one of the most popular cool-season grasses in the northern Piedmont and mountain regions, as it stays green during the winter and is easy to overseed or establish from seed. Most new tall fescues (“turf-type”) are designed for lawns, offering a dark green color, thick blades, and moderate shade tolerance.
It’s best to overseed with other grass types when planting tall fescue, as it can thin considerably and become quite clumpy after summer dry spells. You may find that you need to reseed this grass type often to have a consistently attractive lawn.
Spreads by: Bunch-type grass
Shade tolerance: Needs at least 4 hours of sun per day
Drought tolerance: Moderate
Traffic tolerance: Fair to good, overseed if wear occurs
Maintenance needs: Mow often, especially during fall and spring. Low to moderate fertilization needs.
Mowing height: 2½ to 3½ inches
Soil type: Any, but grows best on well-drained soil
Zoysiagrass grows well (although slowly) and stands up to traffic, making it a good choice for golf courses, athletic fields, and parks, as well as your lawn. As a warm-season grass, Zoysia produces a dense, green mat that grows best in spring, summer, and early fall. While it goes dormant during the winter, it has good cold tolerance.
If cared for as a high-maintenance grass, Zoysia requires 3-5 pounds of nitrogen per 1,000 square feet per year. When properly fertilized, it needs weekly mowing to look its best.
Spreads by: Stolons and rhizomes
Shade tolerance: Full sun to partial shade
Drought tolerance: Moderate to high
Traffic tolerance: High
Maintenance needs: Weekly mowing, moderate fertilization, dethatching
Mowing height: 1-2 inches
Soil type: Adapts to a wide range of soils
How to Choose the Best Grass for Your Greenville Lawn
In your quest for the perfect lawn, you may be tempted to dig up your existing turf and start from scratch. But you don’t have to go that far: You can develop a beautiful yard by gradually overseeding and reseeding sections of your lawn with one of these Greenville-ready grass types.
So, which grass type should you choose? Answer a few questions to discover the best grass type for your lawn and lifestyle.
What Kind of Lawn Do You Want?
- Do you have children or pets (or both)? Do you host impromptu touch-football games on your lawn? Your best choices would be Bermudagrass or Zoysiagrass, which stand up to wear and tear. Both are used for athletic fields, so they can stand up to your team.
- Does your lawn see little foot traffic, save for mowing? Or are you somewhere in the middle? Tall fescue grass may work best for you. Centipede is a possibility if your lawn sees next-to-no footprints, but it has a poor tolerance for traffic overall.
What’s Your Maintenance Style?
- Do you look forward to yardwork? Then Bermudagrass is your choice. This high-maintenance grass will need to be mowed at least twice a week and could require frequent fertilizing.
- Is yardwork usually last on your to-do list? Consider centipede. This low-maintenance grass produces a good-looking lawn and needs little mowing or fertilizing.
How Much Sun Does Your Yard Get?
- Does your yard face south with lots of sun? Bermuda and centipede are good choices. But if your yard faces north or has some shade, then Zoysia and tall fescue will grow well.
When to Call in the Pros
If you don’t have time to choose a grass for your Upstate South Carolina yard, or you’d prefer that someone else handle the yardwork, consider calling a local lawn care professional. A local pro can help you choose the best grass for your yard and keep it in top shape.
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