Alabama is located in the southern United States, and it has mild winters and hot summers with drought conditions. There is some variation throughout the state, however, and both warm-season and cool-season grasses are cultivated. Cool-season grass seed types like tall fescue and hybrid bluegrass cannot survive the hot summers in many areas and die off. Warm-season grasses grow best in hot weather and are generally used throughout the state.
Bermuda grass is a medium-textured turf found throughout Alabama and used as an all-purpose grass seed for residential lawns, sports fields, parks and golf courses. It is drought-resistant, can withstand heavy traffic, and is one of the South's favorite types of grass, according to the American-Lawns website. Bermuda is a very aggressive grass that takes over areas if not controlled. It turns brown easily in cold temperatures, but re-greens when temperatures warm. It is a fast-growing grass that needs frequent mowing.
Centipede grass is valued for its slow-growing, weed-resistant characteristics. It is more shade-tolerant than Bermuda grass and well-adapted to sandy soils and those with low fertility. Centipede grass seed varieties cannot withstand cold weather and will die off, but they recover when warmer temperatures return. It does not require a lot of mowing or fertilizing, and so is good for areas where low-maintenance grass is desirable. It is also resistant to many diseases and pests. Centipede grass is subject to a condition called centipede grass decline.
Buffalo grass is a native species used in Alabama. It is a hardy turf that tolerates moderate foot traffic and is both cold- and drought-tolerant, according to the Wildflowers website. Buffalo grass seed is germinated after all danger of frost has passed. It has large seeds that make even distribution of the seed easier. Weed control in new seedbeds is crucial to establishment of buffalo grass lawns.
Zoysia is another lawn grass found throughout Alabama. According to the Alabama Cooperative Extension website, zoysia grass is both drought-resistant and wear-resistant. It also resists cold temperatures better than other warm-season grasses used in the state. It prefers sun and has good salt-tolerance for coastal areas. Thatch buildup is a problem with this type of grass and has to be removed periodically. Though many types of zoysia grass lawns are started with sod or sprigs, zoysia japonica can be established by seed.
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