We started off spring in a hurry here in the New River Valley of Virginia. That, along with the stay-at-home requirements in this time of COVID-19, has many people doing yard and landscaping work whenever the weather has allowed for it. Spending all this time in own backyards may have many homeowners noticing the bare and dead spots in their lawns, some of which may be the result of the drought conditions we experienced last fall.
This may have you thinking now is a good time to seed those spots. However, if you’ve followed along with us for very long on our blog and social media, you know that we generally recommend fall, not spring, as the best time to seed your lawn. We say this because most lawns in our area consist of cool season grass, which are better established in the fall. See this post for more on why that is.
Because the current conditions may have many people searching for what kind of grass is best for their lawn, we decided to put together this post about the differences between cool season and warm season grass. We thought we would give a little more detail about the pros and cons of each, and why most people in our area ultimately opt for cool season grass.
In an upcoming blog post, we’ll talk a little bit more about the different types of cool season grasses that we usually see here in our area, and the pros and cons of those. So stay tuned for that!
The Main Difference Between Cool Season Grasses and Warm Season Grasses
As implied in their names, the main difference between cool season grasses and warm season grasses is the temperature ranges that best suit their growth patterns, allowing for their best chance to survive and thrive.
Cool season grasses (tall fescue, Kentucky bluegrass, perennial ryegrass, etc.) do their best growing at temperatures between 60 and 75°F. Warm season grasses (bermudagrass, zoysiagrass, etc.) prefer temperatures of 80 to 95°F to achieve their best growth. These graphs from Virginia Cooperative Extension show the active growing periods of both types: