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Choosing the Right Lawn & Shrubbery for Your Landscape

With spring looming, it’s time to start thinking about your lawn, shrubbery and garden. However, your local climate and soil conditions can affect your selections. Here is an overview of what grass and shrubbery are ideal for your location.

Grass

Your general location and soil composition are both crucial factors when deciding what grass seed to plant for your home lawn. Before going out and purchasing your grass seed, it’s important to test your soil. No matter how great of a grass seed you select, if the soil pH is incorrect – it will affect your overall growth. Test your soil’s pH a few weeks before you plan to place your seed – you’ll want to allow for enough time to get the results.

If you’re new to planting your own grass – then keep in mind there are two general categories when it comes to grass: warm-season and cool-season. Warm-season grasses tend to include St. Augustine, Bermuda, Buffalo, and Zoysia, whereas, cool-season grasses can include Kentucky bluegrass, and perennial ryegrass. Outlined below is a more detailed explanation of the type of grass seed you should be purchasing for your home based on your location, climate and typical soil composition. Another factor to consider when determining what grass is best for your home, is how much foot traffic your lawn will experience – you’ll want to select a variety that can withstand the wear and tear of active families.

Source: This Old House

Use the above shown above as a template for determining which grass traits and types would thrive in your climate and location. For zone 1 – it is recommended that you find a perennial grass variety with deep roots to compensate for foot traffic and droughts. Then for zone 2 and 4 – it is recommended for a Bermuda grass, something that can withstand insects, and dryness – but does not fare well with chilly weather. Now, as you head even further south to zone 3 – a St. Augustine grass would be ideal, since it grows best in sandy soil and bright sun. Just keep the foot traffic to a minimum. Head out to zone 5 – where Buffalo grass would grow the best with little water and fertilizer. Lastly, for zone 6 – Kentucky bluegrass is one of your better options, with the ability to handle drought, cold weather and lots of foot traffic.

Shrubbery

Shrubbery may seem like an unnecessary accessory to your home and garden, something to add value to your curb appeal. But, in addition to that, shrubbery can add privacy to your home, create a clear walking path and cover additional ground where your grass may not be cutting it. The right plants and shrubs can also add some beautiful colors to your lawn during the warm summer months. Similar enough to grass, there will be certain shrubs that thrive better in warmer climates and others who fare better up north in the colder climates.

  • South: Oakleaf hydrangea – great for all seasons – just needs well-drained soil and sunlight!

  • Midwest Regions: Bottlebrush buckeye – needs plenty of room to grow as it can reach 12 feet tall.

  • Northeast: Summersweet – a summer-blooming shrub provides heavy shade and changes colors in the fall.

  • West Coast: “Wynyabbie Gem” is ideal for coastal winds and handles drought well.

Of course, there are additional varieties specific to your location. Consult a local expert to help determine what shrubs would be the best addition to your home.

Now that you have a clearer understanding of what grass seed and shrubbery makes the most sense for your area, make sure you have the necessary tools to keep your grass looking impeccable. Be prepared with the appropriate lawn care tools and accessories to keep your lawn in top shape.