Growing a lawn from scratch is not easy but it gives you the chance to get a perfect lawn suitable for your local conditions. Finding the right grass can be a harder task than expected, you have a lot of different possibilities. Lawn grass comes in various blends, mixtures and varieties.
Check the labels carefully for the words blends, mixtures and straights. Straights contain only one single variety of grass. Blend means that the bag contains several varieties of the same grass type. Mixtures contain different types of grass, sometimes one good grass type is mixed together with inferior types.
Obviously, just finding the right grass is not enough to get a great looking lawn. It is a good idea to check the quality of your soil before you plant your new lawn. It may be necessary to add six to eight inches of fertile soil. Since grass roots seldom go deeper than six inches, it is not necessary to add more soil. It is also a good time to get rid of any dips in the garden, a good looking lawn should be even. It also prevents problems with water ending up in the lowest part of the lawn.
Lawn grass is divided into two main groups, cool season grass and warm season grass. As you have already guessed, cool season grass is meant for cool climates while warm season grass is meant for mild climates. Warm season grass have trouble surviving cold winters while cool season grass go dormant if it gets too hot.
Most grass types can be grown from seeds, with the exception of a few warm season grass types are generally sold only as sods or plugs. Using seeds is cheaper than sods but it takes longer time and requires more work to grow a lawn. Regardless if you grow your lawn from seeds or sods you need to select a grass type that suits your local conditions. This is unlikely to be a problem if you go a garden center in your neighborhood, they probably only sell grass types that are suitable for your location. If you use mail-order, you need to do some research on your own you before you buy.
Cool season grass from seeds should typically be sowed in early fall. This gives the grass a lot of time to settle in before the summer heat arrives. It is possible to sow cool season grass in the spring as well, but the grass will not have much time to settle in before the heat arrives and once it gets hot, cool season grass grows very slowly.
Warm season grasses should generally be planted in the late spring. They like it hot but need to get started before the real heat sets in. When it gets cold, they don’t grow much at all.