Which Types of Grass Seed Grow Best in Colorado Springs

Today I want you to ask yourself a question. Do you know what type of grass you have on your property? Have you ever given it much thought? Unless you are a landscaper or mow lawns for a living, you probably don’t think much about the grass that covers your landscape. It may have been there when you moved in, or perhaps your landscapers planted it. But choosing the right grass seed for your lawn is the most crucial element to a good landscape.

Here in Colorado Springs, there is a lot to consider when choosing grass seed. Because of the elevation, temperatures, and climate, many types of plants and turf grasses do not grow well in the area, especially on larger landscapes. For the most part, our landscapes are more suited for cool-season grasses, but there are a few instances where warm-season grasses work too. If all of this sounds overwhelming, stay tuned, we are going to break down the different types of grasses and what grows best in Colorado Springs.

Two Types of Grasses, Cool-Season & Warm-Season

All turf types can be divided into two groups, cool-season, and warm-season grasses. Cool-season is best grown in northern climates with moderate summers and cold winters. Warm-season grasses thrive in southern regions with hot summers and moderate winters. A few cool-season types of grass include Kentucky bluegrass, tall fescue, and perennial ryegrass. A few of the most common warm-season grasses include St. AugustineBermudagrasszoysia, and centipede. The biggest difference between the two types is how low the temperature drops before they go dormant. While warm-season grasses tend to go dormant when the temperatures dip below 65 degrees, cool-season turfs continue to grow until the temperatures consistently fall below 45 degrees.

Additionally, you might need to combine different types of grasses or even pick out specific grasses for certain parts of your lawn that have different conditions, such as those under a shade tree or in the path of pond drainage.

Most Common Types of Grass Grown in Colorado Springs

Now, let’s talk about the most common types of grasses grown here in Colorado Springs. Colorado Springs is a beautiful location. The climate in Colorado Springs can be both picture-perfect and less than ideal for plants, including your lawn. It has a cooler, dry winter, a semi-arid climate, and weather conditions constantly vary. This can make growing a lawn or any other vegetation a challenge. Here are the most common and easy to grow grasses for our area:

Kentucky bluegrass is popular here in Colorado Springs due to its beauty and attractiveness. It is used throughout the area on homes, lawns, parks, athletic fields, and campuses. It is extremely cold-tolerant, can withstand heavy foot traffic, and moderately tolerant of heat and drought. Its dark-green leaves with a medium to fine texture make it quite appealing. It prefers partial sun but can withstand some shade. The underground rhizomes it produces help encourage turf density and help it to repair itself after damage.

Unfortunately, it requires frequent irrigation, which is even more so here in our dry climate, and it has a tendency to form thatch. It is somewhat disease and insect-prone. With a little maintenance and care, this cool-season grass may be the perfect choice for your Colorado Springs home.

Tall Fescue
Tall fescue is another popular choice for Colorado Springs due to its tolerance for cold, heat, and drought.  In fact, it is the most heat and drought-resistant of all the cool-season grasses. It is less susceptible to insects and disease problems, is slow to form thatch, and does well in both sun and shade. It is also considered a natural weed controller because it helps block out the sunlight weeds need to grow. With its wide, dark green grass blades, it is commonly used in low-maintenance situations such as utility areas, fairgrounds, and airstrips. So far, tall fescue sounds the perfect turfgrass, so what are its downfalls?

It grows super fast, which can require more mowing and upkeep. It also tends to grow clumps and is slower than Kentucky bluegrass to recover when damaged. The clumps make it harder to mix with other grass seeds. Still, if the benefits outweigh the cons, tall fescue may be the right grass seed of choice for your business or home.

Fine Fescue
Fine fescues are divided into chewing fescues, hard fescues, red fescues, and sheep fescues. They are bunching cool-season grasses with a fine leaf texture, are highly adaptable to all sorts of conditions, and do not require tons of attention. They offer good shade and cold tolerance and adapt to poor soil conditions. Unfortunately, they are not heat tolerant, do not do well in high-trafficked areas, are susceptible to diseases, can become thatch, and are difficult to mow. The good news, however, is that fine fescues recover quickly with cooler temperatures and adequate soil moisture.

Perennial ryegrasses
Ryegrass is a hardy, dark-green, fine to medium textured grass used for homes, parks, golf courses, and athletic fields throughout the Colorado Springs area. A bunching grass, ryegrass, is often mixed with Kentucky bluegrass because it is fast-growing and can quickly repair and restore a thinning lawn. Ryegrasses have a lot of good qualities, including the lack of maintenance required, is heat tolerant, and drought-resistant. Ryegrass is also less prone to insects and diseases. Unfortunately, it grows in clumps and can often appear patchy and bare spots regularly need to be re-seeded. It is also susceptible to ice damage if the temperatures drop too low in the winter. 

Native to Colorado, buffalograss is actually a warm-season grass but is often used in southern parts of Colorado because it does extremely well in areas that receive little water. It becomes green in mid to late May and becomes dormant again around late September when the night temperatures begin to freeze. It is a low-growing grass requiring little mowing, is attractive, and is quite resistant to insects and diseases. So why is this not the grass of choice for all of Colorado Springs?

Our cooler fall and winter temperatures may prevent this sod-forming turf from performing its best, but if you have a home or business on the south-facing location, it could be worth trying. 

Don’t Leave It Up to Chance! Contact the Professionals at Green Vision for Your Full Lawn Renovation or Overseeding Today

Trying to determine what type of grass seed to use on a new or existing lawn can be challenging and time-consuming. Leave it up to the professionals who are trained and knowledgeable on the types of grass that work best with different landscapes throughout Colorado Springs. Your friends at Green Vision Lawn Tree and Pest have you covered. We offer the best in lawn care, including overseeding and full lawn renovations. We can help you determine the best type of turf right for you. We provide a highly-effective lawn renovation that restores the health and life into your roots, improving the overall look and feel of your lawn.

A full renovation not needed? Our overseeding service can help fill in thin and bare patches to boost your lawn’s overall health. Call us today to find out which service works best for you.

You can learn more now by filling out the contact form below or giving us a call at 719-453-2000.

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