A lawn is an open area of land covered by one or more types of grass plants. The grass family is one of the most divergent, comprising more than 10,000 known species. Their first traces date as far back as 127 million years ago. It would interest you to know that Bamboo is a type of grass and has both the fastest growth rate and height, towering about 151 feet. Grass has a cooling effect on the environment. It cools by at least twenty to twenty-five percent. They are known mainly for their aesthetic contributions and protection of the soil(ground) against degradation like soil erosion.
Grass grows differently from any other plant. Other plants like shrubs and vines are described to have new growth occurring at the stems or branches, far from the root of the plant. On the other hand, grasses present new development at the bottom’s base (the crown area) and old-growth at the plant’s top. That is why when you cut off half or part of a grass plant, the grass survives because you just cut off the old-growth of the grass while the new growth continues to shoot upwards. The fundamental growth point for grass is the crown.
Most grasses are annual or perennial. Perennial grasses living tissues are found underground and can to 10’s or 100’s of years. They are clonal and are just expansions of a single original seed and spread quickly. Contrary to thoughts that they get their food and nourishment from the soil, grasses manufacture their food through photosynthesis. Annual grasses grow fast and sprout early in their growing seasons and then dying away before the year goes by.
A significant difference among grasses is in the pathway of photosynthesis they apply to make food for themselves. Some, mostly perennials, use the method that allows for more water utilization to capture carbon dioxide as sugar and are found in hotter regions. The other pathway, known as the C3 pathways, is mostly used by annuals and is more common in colder areas.
Classification of Grasses
Grasses are commonly split into two major categories: cool-season and warm-season. You need to determine the category and growth cycles a type of grass falls into before use. The location tells hugely that a particular kind belongs to whether cold season or warm season category.
Cool-season grasses grow the fastest during rainy seasons (spring or fall). They grow well in areas where the sunlight intensity is moderate, and water from the ground is plentiful. They are the perfect choice for seasonal fluctuations of sweltering weather and winter temperatures beyond freezing.
They grow best in hot climates and high temperatures between 50 degrees to 80 degrees. They thrive best in areas with little source of water. They are often called Southern grasses. And grow best in regions with temperature ranging from 80- 95 degrees.
Types of Grass
About two-thirds of the world land’s mass comprises chiefly of grasses. They make up about 26% of plant life on earth though many species and kinds of grasses exist. If you want to know about how to care for a lawn, you will need to learn a thing or two about the individual grass plants that it comprises. For better understanding, it is relevant to classify and differentiate the types of grasses. Identifying lawn grasses for use requires the knowledge of the kinds of grasses
Tolerates poor soil condition, has a low shade tolerance, and has moderate to high foot traffic. It has a dark green color, hence forms a thick, dense lawn when used. Bermuda is a type of warm-season grass and thus has to be watered frequently. Listed below are a few of the best grasses for lawns.
Kentucky Blue Grass
It thrives in cold climates and is tolerant of sun and partial shade, however intolerant of conditions involving high heat levels unless irrigation processes are employed. They are possibly the most popular of all cool-season grasses. They are durable and resilient, especially to foot traffic, yet soft.
Perennial ryegrass has moderate shade tolerance. It is easy to spot because of its luster. Perennial ryegrasses have very slender, pointed leaves and are astoundingly resilient to foot traffic. Perennial ryegrass is common and popular because it can be mixed (often with Kentucky bluegrass), and it flourishes well in sun and shade.
Fine Fescue Grass
It is characterized by a soil type that tolerates poor soil conditions and can withstand low to moderate foot traffic. These fine grasses are famous for their high shade tolerance. It is perfect for planting under trees.
Are you looking for grass with a low-maintenance option? Then, this is for you. Centipede grasses fall under the warm-season category that grows well in hot humidity. They grow closer to the ground and are susceptible to pests, and can grow in acidic soils. It is easy to set up and maintain.
How to care for Grasses
What makes grass perfect and in good shape? A lawn that is adequately taken care of is the ideal for beautiful and lush borders of grass. Ways to maintain grasses are not exactly expensive to initiate. Knowing the right care acts will go a long way in improving the care and growth of grasses. Read on to know how to keep your lawn looking the best all year round.
The principle is never to cut the grass too short at once because it causes the grass to lose most of its photosynthesizing power that way. It is recommended to cut grasses at least once a week in summer and bi-weekly during autumn or winter periods. Mowing decreases the load on the grass plants’ root system and gives room for the grass to expand. When mowing occurs, the grass is cut, thereby providing space for new areas to grow and providing a thicker, more massive lawn that is not susceptible to weeds and pests. It is proper to keep the grass at lengths 2-2.5 inches (for warm-season grasses) and 3 inches or higher for cool-season grasses.
Choosing a mower can involve quite a several factors, most being a case of personal preference. To know more about lawnmowers and the types, see Different types of Lawn Mowers . Also see, Best Lawnmowers For Small Yards
Heavy soils such as clay soils are characterized by compact, and this prevents grass from sprouting well, causing patches in summer and mud dumps in Winter, respectively. When soil becomes compacted from foot traffic causes, oxygen is deficient in the microbes that decompose organic matter to enrich the soil. It is necessary to aerate it to open up the compacted grounds. Aeration is achieved by thrusting a garden fork and 10cm deep into the earth and moving forward and backward on the fork’s handle. That way, the soil is opened up, enhancing the growth of the grass. Manual and core-aerators are some of the types of lawn aerators. To learn more, check out Lawn Aerators and Types.
The rule of thumb is not to overwater, only water until it is 2.5cm above the ground surface. Water heavily when needed, rather than frequently. Watering lightly won’t penetrate down the grassroots, as this can cause them to grow poorly. Hoses are the medium in which grasses are watered. The best time to water is in the morning because the rate of evaporation is lower compared to afternoons. Don’t be worried when the grass changes color. It merely implies that it needs watering.
Weeding is a continuous process in lawn care but requires less time when a healthy lawn has been put in place after a while. The grass is naturally intolerant of weeds and will throng them out. A way to know if your grass is weaker than it is meant to be or too short, the weeds will visibly show. It is noteworthy that weeds will, however, still show up. It is often not a cause to worry as they don’t cause too much harm in little numbers. If there is a more significant weed issue that involves the entire lawn, then spraying with an herbicide that is low in toxicity is the solution.
Fertilizing- Feeding the Grass
Nourishing the grass plants with fertilizers is an excellent way to keep grass healthy and maintained. Fertilizers add nutrients to the soil. That way, the ground enriches the grass plants. Although the soil is designed to provide almost all grasses nutrients, it may need help in feeding the grass, significantly if the grass multiplies and requires extra nutrients than a typical grass plant. Fertilizers are useful in strengthening grasses’ root system, making it irrepressible to extreme conditions like drought and pests. There are different types of fertilizers and their applications.
A healthy, maintained lawn adds a touch of increased value to the property. Starting a yard for the first time can be overwhelming if you haven’t contemplated what types of lawn grasses there are to select from. It should be noted the information on the two categories of grasses, i.e., the warm-season and the cool-season grasses are not only peculiar to North America, where it is popularly known but also pertinent to other locations in the world that has similar climate conditions. The information about grasses provides a basis for the management of garden and landscape. The importance of grass cannot be overemphasized- from being sources of shade and protection to constituting a fundamental part of the earth’s water and air filtration system.
Reseeding is a low maintenance way of taking care of grasses. This is because older grasses might not withstand the heat and grow patches and thin blades, but new grass has been advanced to withstand extreme heat and still look presentable. The best times to reseed are in wet seasons, which are most advantageous for grass growth. Adding clover to the grasses is a substantial low- maintenance technique. Clovers are known to help roots stay greener and help retain water longer for dry weather times.
Keeping your lawn mower blades sharp is very important because dull blades can expand the grass’s spread of diseases. Electric lawnmowers are susceptible to damage; this happens when water gets into the electrical components but can be repaired. To learn more about fixing electric land mowers, see How to fix an Electric Landmower‘.