You probably see the title of this article and may or may not know what I mean by cool season lawn. Different grasses grow better in different parts of the country, see the map below to see what zone you fall in. Note, the Transition Zone which is where I live here in TN has the climate to support both cool and warm season grass types. Cool Season Lawns are generally for areas with temperatures that fall between 60º and 70º F. Prime cool season locations are parts of the Midwest, the Pacific Northwest, and most of the Northeastern regions of the United States. Cool, humid weather is the perfect climate for cool season varieties to flourish. Grasses that are suited for cool weather include bluegrasses, ryegrasses and fescues. Unlike warm season varieties, cool season varieties do not go dormant in the winter.
Warm Season Lawns are generally for hot, humid areas that experience temperatures between 80º and 95º F. Warm Season grass types are Zoysia, St. Augustine, bahiagrass and centipedegrass and they perform well in humid regions like the Southeast and Gulf while Bermudagrass thrives in warm, arid climates. Warm season grasses do go dormant in the winter when temperatures drop below 65º F. Dormancy means the grass goes to sleep and all growing stops and will notable turn brown. For this reason, many homeowners choose to overseed with cool season varieties to ensure that a beautiful lawn is achieved year-round.
As you can see below the transition zone is represented by a ribbon of “in-between” climates stretching across the midsection of the United States. In many ways, the transition zone is the most complicated area to select a grass variety because of the extreme temperature swings that occur throughout the year. Cool Season lawns can survive in the transition zone if good horticultural practices are used in mowing and an irrigation system is very helpful.
Let’s get to the topic of this article. The single most important thing you can do for your cool season lawn, regardless of location is to mow it high and by high I mean 3 1/2″-4 1/2″. The saying “The More You Mow, The More it Grows” absolutely rings true. When mowing, only 1/3 of the grass blade should be removed to reduce the chances of stress and disease. Mowing high also helps to shade the roots during hot summer months to keep moisture in the soil longer fighting against weed and grub infestation.
Mowing high also makes the lawn appear more lush and also is a big contribution to how well your lawn will stripe because the longer the blade, the better it will lay over and reflect the sun or cast the shadow depending on which direction you are looking from, making those stripes really pop. If you have a Cool Season lawn and are mowing lower than 3 1/2″ today, I high suggest you raise that deck up a couple of notches and see what a difference it makes in the health of your lawn and of course, those stripes. Contact us for all of your lawn care needs in Mount Juliet, TN.