Everyone’s definition of a perfect lawn is different, as each area has different needs. People in the desert won’t use the same kinds of grass as people in cold temperatures. That’s why it’s important to know what grass to use for the area you’re living in, and how to take care of it. Memphis, Tennessee is in the USDA Hardiness Zone 7b. This means that the extremely cold temperature is 5 degrees Fahrenheit, which is right in the middle of the scale. With this information, here is a quick guide on the best grass types for Memphis homes.
Bermuda grass is known for its ability to withstand high temperatures and foot traffic without much damage. This makes it a go-to grass in areas where the summers are hot. It grows quickly, has a rich color in its leaf, and doesn’t require a lot of maintenance. Mowing should be done at 1½” – 2½” to avoid scalping your lawn. Moreover, watering should be done at roughly an inch of water a week. An important note with Bermuda grass and most warm-season grasses is that it will go dormant in the winter and require reseeding. Doing this with a cold season grass will ensure your lawn looks green year round.
A grass originated in Asia, Zoysia grass is more tolerant of colder temperatures and shade. This allows it to survive in the transition areas of the country, like Memphis, without a problem. Similar to Bermuda grass, it can handle a great deal of foot traffic without much damage. It has the same watering requirements as Bermuda, though you’ll need to mow at a height of 2” to 3”. However, Zoysia has the same problem as most warm-season grasses; that is, needing to be overseeded in the winter.
If you need something low maintenance and tough, look no further than Centipede grass. They don’t require as many nutrients and can survive in acidic soil. They handle shade better than both Zoysia and Bermuda, making it ideal if your lawn has a lot of shade. Growing grass in a metropolitan area can be tough, but Centipede grass may be what you’re looking for. It can’t handle as much foot traffic as Bermuda, but it requires far less maintenance. It has to be mowed at 1½” – 2”, and water at a rate of an inch a week.
The cool season grass of choice, overseeding with Perennial Ryegrass ensures your lawn will have that green color in the cool months ahead. This grass handles foot traffic far better than its counterparts and is often seen used on golf courses and schoolyards. Caring for your winter lawn is different than you’d handle your summer lawn. Lightly water 2-3 times a day for a week, giving your grass time to germinate. After the week is up, change watering to once a day for 2-3 weeks. After this time period is up, you can water normally and continue mowing. Mowing should be done at 1½” – 2½” to ensure the healthiness and longevity of your winter lawn. An important note is that this grass won’t survive the summer, and should only be used in the fall and winter.
Whether you’re on the outskirts of Memphis or in the city, following these guidelines will ensure a healthy and robust looking grass. Taking into account the foot traffic you get and the amount of shade your lawn has is key to picking which grass to use, so be sure to observe your yard before you buy anything. With some hard work, your lawn will in tip-top shape in no time.
Need help choosing the right grass for your lawn? Visit our Memphis lawn care page for more information!