I was inspired recently to write a short post about lawns in the Charlotte area as I was out showing homes to a couple from the Northeast. A few of the yards we were viewing over the holidays had brown grass and my clients commented that it would be a lot of work to get the grass healthy again. Sometimes, when you are used to seeing things every day, it is hard to remember that it might be unusual from the standpoint of others. Grass is a good example. The brown lawn they were seeing as “dead” was actually a nice Bermuda lawn that was dormant from the cold weather. Most homes here either have a type of tall fescue or a Bermuda grass lawn. There are pros and cons to each of them as our area is right in the middle of growing zones.
Bermuda is more heat and drought tolerant than fescue. It does not need to be mowed in the winter months, but the tradeoff is the brown appearance which some homeowners don’t prefer. There is always the option of over-seeding with ryegrass in the fall to keep the green look all year but that does require more upkeep.
Fescue keeps its green color and grows almost all year. It is a wider blade grass that has a nice lush appearance. The drawback to fescue is the over-seeding and constant watering in the summer heat. Most everyone around here with fescue will aerate and over-seed in the fall to make up for any spots that showed up during the dog days of summer. Check into some hybrid blends to cut down on maintenance.
When purchasing a new home, check the lawns you see in that subdivision if there is a homeowners association. Many times, there are guidelines on allowable grass types so that the neighborhood is consistent. If you see both types of grasses in the neighborhood then there may not be restrictions but keep in mind it can be difficult to make a change from the current lawn type to the other.
Here is a link for more information on the different lawns in our area…