Many homeowners in Georgia want to have lush, healthy lawns, but they don’t really know much about what type of grass their yards contain. Grasses fall into two categories: warm-season and cool-season. The species within the cool- or warm-season grass types differ in appearance, growth habits, and climate locations.

We are the expert, family-owned lawn care company in Woodstock, Roswell, Alpharetta, and nearby cities in Georgia. Understanding the differences between warm- and cool-season turfgrasses will help you know the best way to maintain and care for your lawn.

Warm-Season vs. Cool-Season Grasses

The terms warm-season and cool-season grasses refer to specific regions in the U.S. where specific grass types are most likely to grow. Cool-season grasses thrive in the Northern states and areas above the New York/San Francisco line. For warm-season grasses, the best places are the Southern states, from the Gulf Coast into South Carolina.

Warm-season grasses grow best when temperatures consistently fall around 85 to 98 degrees Fahrenheit. The plants’ peak growing season is summer, and they retain their green color in regions with mild temperatures. However, after the first frost, the turfgrasses will go dormant in areas with moderate winters.

Average temperatures between 65 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit are ideal for cool-season turfgrass, meaning they grow the best during the spring and fall. Once temperatures reach 80 degrees Fahrenheit, their growth slows.

Types of Warm and Cool-Season Grasses in Georgia

Warm-season Bermuda grass growing on a lawn in Woodstock, Georgia.

Properties with warm-season lawns may have the following grass species:

  • Bermuda: Unlike many other types of turfgrasses, Bermuda grass works well on residential lawns and golf courses because the plant’s leaves can withstand short mowing heights. The pointed leaves are deep green and grow densely enough to handle heavy use. Its growing conditions require plenty of sunlight and adequate soil drainage, making it a top choice for the Southern region.
  • St. Augustine: This turfgrass type is best suited for drier climates with temperatures between 75 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit, like Florida and some parts of California and Georgia. St. Augustine grasses grow quickly and have blue-green leaves with rounded tips, creating a dense, coarsely textured turf. The leaves will retain their color during droughts.
  • Zoysia: Zoysia is a turfgrass that feels like a thick carpet underfoot thanks to its stiff, needle-like leaves. It can take up to a year to establish a lawn with healthy zoysia because it grows slowly. Despite its slow growth and prickly feel, the grass can withstand heavy foot traffic, heat, and drought.

Examples of common cool-season grasses in Georgia include:

Cool-season Kentucky Bluegrass growing at a property in Alpharetta, Georgia.

  • Tall Fescue: This grass type has exceptional heat tolerance, which is why it’s prevalent in warmer regions, like the Southeast, but it grows in various regions throughout the U.S. It's coarse with dark green coloration and typically grows pointed blades with visible veins. Tall fescue grows in dense bunches and is durable enough to withstand heavy foot traffic.
  • Kentucky Bluegrass: Kentucky Bluegrass is the preference of many property owners because the grass grows to be dense, soft, and durable with a deep green color under the right growing conditions. Its visual appeal is a popular choice for sod farms, but this grass doesn’t grow well in the shade.
  • Perennial Ryegrass: This plant is similar to tall fescue because it is a bunch-type turfgrass. Seeds take little time to germinate in soil, producing fine-bladed leaves that won’t discolor in the winter and can reduce soil erosion. The northern regions of the country are best for perennial ryegrasses, but Southern property owners plant them because of their quick germination and attractiveness.

Contact Our Team Today to Request a Quote for Lawn Services in the Woodstock Area

Whether your property has warm- or cool-season grass, you can rely on TurfXpert to care for your lawn. While serving the Woodstock, Roswell, & Alpharetta Georgia, areas, we have gained years of experience providing exceptional lawn care services. Contact our team at (833) 444-8873 receive your estimate today.