Picking and Caring For The Best Type of Grass in The South

Transitional Zone


Best Grass Picks for the South

Well as we said in our last blog post  The Importance of Gaining the Right pH for Growing a Beautiful Lawn Spring has sprung here in the South and we are in the full swing of preparing our lawns for the warm summer season ahead.  I am sure wherever you are you are probably doing the same.

No matter what turf you are preparing for there is always a need to know your pH level.  It may be the difference between your grass surviving or thriving in the hot summer months ahead.  So, if you didn’t get a chance to read our last post you may want to read it now and if you already have, continue on.

In this blog, we will be talking about picking and caring for the best type grass in the (transitional areas) of the South and sharing our personal Bermudagrass Lawn Management Guide for Spring.  Let’s get started!


In the southern  (transitional zone) states of the United States, (shown below) It is not unusual to find several different types of grass.

Grass ZonesWe have found in our area which is in the (transitional zone) cool season grass has been widely used with Tall Fescue and Kentucky Bluegrass being the most popular over the 20+ years. But, in the past few years, we are seeing many people switching from cool season grass to warm season grass.

You might be asking why?  I believe there are several reasons.  First, cool season grass thrives in temperatures between 50 and 75 degrees.  Conditions that are only present during the spring and fall month in the South.  This means that during the hot summer months the grass will become very slow growing.  Second, if you have dry conditions with long stretches of extended heat it will go dormant.  That means yellow grass for most of the summer months.  Third, grass that is dormant in the summer is no competition for weeds.

So, to sum it up, if you are growing cool season grass is the southern (transitional zone) states where we have been experiencing more extreme heat, you have probably felt like pulling your hair out.  Here is a great example:

We have a neighbor that built his home and put in a new fescue lawn about 5 years ago.  His house is on a hill so the lawn is on a slope with no irrigation and new trees that don’t provide the shade that cool season grass needs.  So, you can imagine our surprise when he planted fescue.  It is bad enough planting a cool season grass in the south but to plant a shade and water-loving grass on a dry slope with no irrigation or shade from trees seemed crazy because it is crazy!

After five long years of watching him struggle to keep his lawn growing or even green during the hot summer months, he has finally decided to give up the fight and switch to Bermudagrass.  He made a great decision. Bermudagrass thrives in the hot dry summer months.  In fact, we have no irrigation at our home and our grass thrives even in the dryest months of summer.

If you would like more information on the transitional zones you can visit the Lawn Institute website.

Does this mean you shouldn’t have a cool season grass in the southern transitional zone? No, In fact, it is the right decision if you have a yard that has more shade than sunlight.  Although, if you do have a desire to have Bermudagrass in a yard with shade there is a new shade tolerant hybrid called TifGrand Bermudagrass you can read more about it at SuperSod or TifGrand.com.

We moved into our current home over 11 years ago.  When we moved in we had Tall Fescue.  We liked the grass but it did not do well without an irrigation system during long hot, dry spells.  So about 2 years after moving in we decided to switch over to Bermudagrass.  We will be sharing our best tips on switching from a cool season grass to warm without tearing out the entire yard in the future, so be on the lookout.  It was the best decision we could have made

By now, I bet you have figured out our #1 turf pick for the transitional zone in the southern states would be Bermudagrass for full sun property and Bermudagrass TifGrand hybrid for a property with 60% to 70% continuous shade.  If you have more than 70% shade then you will have to go to a cool season grass like Fescue or Kentucky Bluegrass.


Now that we have given you our #1 picks for the transitional states lets talk to you about the care and maintenance for it.  Bermudagrass is probably one of the easiest lawns to care for after it is established. Because it is disease resistant, drought, heat, and traffic tolerance is great and you don’t have to overseed because it spreads. So no overseeding necessary for problem areas.  However, You will have to overseed with cool season grass as it does not spread.

During the spring months, it is essential for you to provide Nitrogen, Phosphorous, and Potassium for green, healthy turf.  We again highly recommend that you get your soil tested to determine your lawn nutrient levels.  Read our previous blog for more information on testing.

Whether you have an established lawn that you are going to change over or you are looking to put in a brand new lawn we hope this information helps you to pick the best grass if you live in the transitional zone in the South.

Oh, and don’t forget to download our free personal Bermudagrass Lawn Management Guide for Spring. If you are caring for a cool season grass mentioned above you may want to visit Pennington.com website and check out their month by month cool season grass management care calendar.

We hope the information we have shared here helps you to get your grass off to a great start this spring!

Blessings from our home to yours!


Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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