Aside from regular maintenance, soil nutrition upkeep and constant mowing, the type of grass you choose for your lawn plays an important role in establishing a healthy and good-looking lawn. However, the grass market is flooded with a variety of grasses that may complicate your search. Therefore, the question becomes, how do you choose the best grass for your lawn?
Your location is also among the determining factors that allow you to choose the right grass type for your lawn. There are two categories of grasses that cool season grasses and warm season grasses. Cool season grasses grow better in northern regions which have moderate summers and chilly springs and fall times. On the other hand, warm season grasses yield better in Southern regions where there are high temperatures in the summer but cannot really survive in the cold northern winters.
In this article we look at the various characteristics of the Ryegrass and the Bermuda grass and how they would fit into your lawn.
Ryegrass vs. Bermuda grass
Ryegrass has a dark color and are of a fine texture which makes it attractive for your lawn. It is used for turfs and as pasture for livestock. There are two types; annual and perennial. The annual ryegrass is used temporary control of erosion, to give your lawn quick color and to provide short term stability for one season for a short period of time. The perennial type performs the same functions however it is used to set up a more permanent lawn that regrows throughout the year across different climates.
It fits in the category of cool season grasses and it flourishes better in the cool seasons that are from fall to spring. Also in low temperature summers and in cool winters it is seen to flourish. In the hot summers of the Southern region where warm season grasses are used, ryegrass is used for over seeding a lawn that is thinning and it is used to give temporary color in the winter months in the southern side and then it fades away when the heat comes back as the warm season grasses go back to being green again.
It germinates and well however it does not spread so it may not be able to fill in bare spaces of your lawn on its own.
Bermuda grass is among the grasses that are found in tropical areas. It fits into the category of warm season grasses. It yields from the late spring times throughout the hot summer season. It does better in areas that have direct sunlight, high temperatures and soils with good drainage. It has an extensive root network that gives it adaptability during times of environmental stress.
Bermuda grass is sensitive to cold temperatures, it is prone to thatch and it is known to invade flower beds. The common Bermuda grass has a rough texture and can be planted from seed. The hybrid kind have finer textures and make better lawns. The hybrid type requires sprigs for their planting.
It is drought and wear resistant and has high resistance to weeds. During the fall season, the Bermuda grass is over seeded with Ryegrass to bring out winter color.
How do the characteristics of these two grasses compare?
Water and growth requirements
When ryegrass is growing, it requires plenty of water for it to yield perfectly. If you want to maintain its color during times of low rainfall and heat, you need to carry out continual irrigation. Additionally, you need to grow it in soils with medium to high fertility. Also, you need to frequently fertilize it with nitrogen meaning that you can grow it alongside legumes, especially during the spring season to allow for growth immediately after harvesting.
You will need to water Bermuda grass routinely to prevent its dehydration because desiccation is a problem that may affect its development during dry winter seasons. Where there is no rainfall, irrigate to increase moisture into the soil. It grows better in clay soils as they hold moisture for a longer period of time.
Weather and temperature tolerance
Low temperatures kill the leaves and sometimes the Bermuda starts to discolor making it dormant however its root continue to tap water and grow. Bermuda grass does not grow well in areas with shade as it has high light requirements for it to yield. It may grow in areas of both rainfall and arid areas but still requires irrigation for its survival. It is able to withstand extreme or prolonged droughts due to the nature of its root system.
Ryegrass thrives in areas that are not prone to prolonged periods of dryness and high temperatures. It has a shallow root system there it needs routine irrigation for it to flourish.
Bermuda grass fits well into high traffic areas such as golf courses, playgrounds and sports fields.it is able to tolerate wear and tear and recovers very fast from this. It forms a dense turf with a fine texture when it is fertilized properly, irrigated and properly mowed. It can only not grow well in areas that are heavily shaded.
When compared to other cool season grass, ryegrass has a higher traffic tolerance and can be used around parks, homes or schools.
Bermuda grass grows and spreads rapidly therefore it needs frequent maintenance. When at its peak growth, it requires monthly fertilization and should be mowed at least twice a week when used for home lawns.
Ryegrass germinates fast but grows in clusters thus should be mowed to a height of one and a half to two and a half inches.
Ryegrass germinates very fast in proper conditions but it spreads slowly. It is known to form bunches as it grows and often vertically.
Bermuda grass, on the other hand, spreads very quickly horizontally and germinates at a fast rate given the right conditions.
To enjoy a lawn that matches your appearance desires, your maintenance preference and your utility needs, the grass you use should match your location and climate. No matter what side you find yourself in, a little knowledge of grass growth care and function would also be a great addition to your great lawn.