Most of us never give much thought to the type of grass that resides outside our front doors. For the most part, it’s simply there. But the truth is, there is so much more to the turf that grows on your home or residential property that meets the eye. Here along the Coastal Regions of North and South Carolina, with our sandy soil, not just any type of grass will grow. While any type of grass seed can be planted, some varieties may struggle to germinate. This is because sandy soil drains fast and doesn’t hold in nutrients as long as other types. Let’s take a look at the five most common types of grasses grown here along the Grand Strand and which may be best for your home or business property.
Cool Season and Warm Season Grasses
First, it’s important to note that there are two different types of grass, cool-season, and warm-season. Cool-season grasses grow best in the northern climates and areas with milder summers and cool winters. They include varieties such as Kentucky bluegrass, zoysia, fescue, and ryegrass. Warm-season grasses thrive more in the southern regions with hot summers and mild winters and include grass types such as Bermudagrass, St. Augustine, centipede, buffalograss, and bahiagrass. Cool-season grasses will go dormant when the soil temperatures fall consistently below 45 degrees. Warm-season grasses typically do not go dormant until temperatures fall consistently below 70.
Now let’s talk about the different warm and cool-season grasses that grow well along the North and South Carolina coast.
Common Cool-Season Grasses That Grow in Coastal North and South Carolina
Zoysia grass grows well in sandy soils and near beaches because it develops roots that help it absorb nutrients and water in fast-draining soil types. It is well-liked in our region because it stands up well to heat and drought. The blades of zoysia grass are dense and light green in color. It is a slow-growing, tough grass with a finite texture that doesn’t require much water. It is often used for its ability to prevent weeds and lawn fungi. Unfortunately, it can often crowd out other species of turf on your lawn. It is also prone to thatch and is not a fan of heavy foot traffic, making it the last choice for golf courses, playgrounds, and athletic fields.
Common Warm Season Grasses That Grow in Coastal North and South Carolina
Bermudagrass grows well in sandy soil because it thrives well in areas that have great drainage. If you live near the beach, Bermudagrass is one of the better options to choose. It is a fast-growing turf with a medium to dark green color and a smooth texture that is both heat and drought-resistant. It is resilient to traffic and tolerates salt well, something to take into consideration with our ocean air. It is popular here in the Grand Strand on golf courses, athletic fields, and high-profile residential and commercial properties. It does not do well in the shade requiring full sun and can be invasive and aggressive in terms of growth, crowding out other grasses and vegetation. Therefore, just be ready to regularly maintain, mow and weed your lawn.
Another warm-season grass that does well in sandy conditions is St. Augustine. It is also quite salt-tolerant, so much so that it has been nicknamed, “Charleston grass” for its ability to thrive in coastal conditions. This dark green grass is easily distinguishable by its wider blades. While it grows well in full sun, unlike bermudagrass, it is also quite tolerant of shade. It is a fairly low-maintenance turf but doesn’t fare well in high-traffic areas. Its grass blades also become flattened and compacted easily. St. Augustine can also fall prone to turf fungi and common lawn pests, so fungicides and pesticides may need to be used annually.
If you are looking for a grass seed that doesn’t require a lot of maintenance, centipede grass is for you. It is a very common grass used for homes in the state of both North and South Carolina and works well for people who want an aesthetically appealing lawn with little labor. It is a slow-growing, light green colored grass with coarse leaves. It grows well in both sun and shade. It is, however, not tolerant to heavy foot traffic, and when damaged, it takes a long time to recover.
Another great turf for growing amongst our sandy soil is bahiagrass. It is well adapted to sandy areas, including beaches, due to its deep root system. It, too, has outstanding heat and drought tolerance. Bahiagrass has a coarse texture with light-colored blades. So what is bahiagrass’s downfall? It forms tall, unsightly seed heads throughout the spring, summer, and fall months that many find ugly. This requires a lot of mowing, which can wear out the mower’s blades and need frequent sharpening. And though it fairs well in sandy soil, it does not have a good tolerance for salty air, which can make it quite difficult if you live along the coastline.
Protect Your Lawn With Impeccable Lawns Fertilization Services
When it comes to deciding which type of grass to use on your North or South Carolina lawn, contact the professionals at Impeccable Lawns. We offer customized sod installation and turf replacement throughout the Sunset Beach area. Our team of specialists can help you determine the right kind of grasses to choose from to build a good foundation for your lawn. We also provide a 7-step comprehensive lawn fertilization program to help keep your lawn healthy, weed-free, and in perfect condition, regardless of what type of grass you have.
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