Clemson University's Cooperative Extension Service lists seven grasses common to South Carolina and explains how the variation in environmental and soil conditions throughout the state make some locations more hospitable to certain grasses. South Carolina's grasses range from expensive, fine-textured turfgrasses to hardy, low-maintenance grasses.
Ryegrass is used to overseed dormant lawns, providing a green winter cover for warm-season lawns. The two types of ryegrass, perennial and annual, helps prevent brown lawns during winter and erosion while new lawns are established. Ryegrass is suitable for sun and shade. The Clemson Cooperative Extension Service recommends using ryegrass for overseeding only in the fall in South Carolina.
Bermudagrass, used throughout the state, is also called devilgrass and wiregrass. These grasses are found on golf courses, tennis courts, athletic fields and high-quality lawns. Bermudagrasses provide fine-textured turf and are well-suited for oceanfront property. Bermudagrass falls dormant in most of South Carolina during cold weather.
Centipedegrass was first used for cemeteries because of its low maintenance properties. It adapts well to the coastal plains and the south's lower piedmont areas. Low-growing and medium-textured, it is the South's most common turfgrass used for home lawns, according to the Clemson Extension Service.
Tall fescue, a cool-season grass, is popular in South Carolina's mountains and upper piedmont areas. Tall fescue remains green long after warm-weather grasses have turned brown. This and other cool-season grasses won't grow along coastal areas. Tall fescue grows quickly in the spring and fall.
St. Augustinegrass is best suited for warm weather and grows quickly from spring to early fall, turning brown during winter. The shade-tolerant grass forms a dense turf and spreads quickly. It is often used as borders and grows well in coastal areas.
Zoysiagrass, a warm-season grass, grows well from spring to early fall and turns brown in winter. Zoysiagrasses grow well all over the South and are very cold-tolerant.These slow-growing grasses are usually established by plugging or sprigging.
Carpetgrass, also called Louisianagrass, does not tolerate cold and drought well. This creeping, warm-season grass can have a ragged appearance like crabgrass and grows well in poorly drained soil.
- Photo Credit grass image by Brett Bouwer from Fotolia.com