What Are The Different Types of Lawn Grass

What Are The Different Types of Lawn Grass?

Grass Types

Gardening in the UK presents a unique opportunity to take advantage of the rich diversity of grass types that thrive in our climate. Through personal experience and diligent research, I’ve come to appreciate the importance of understanding these various grass species. Being well-versed in the different grasses that might adorn my lawn, I’m better equipped to provide the specific care they require. This helps to maintain a lush, verdant garden, leaving visitors often impressed with the healthy state of my outdoor space.

In my journey, I’ve encountered a plethora of grass types, but there are four main varieties that frequently catch my eye. Recognising each species has enabled me to make informed decisions, not only about general lawn maintenance but also concerning soil enhancements that best support their growth. Despite the possibility that not all grass types are relevant to every UK gardener, I still find value in sharing knowledge about these grasses. After all, one never knows when it might come in handy.

Dwarf Ryegrass


I recognise Dwarf Ryegrass (Lolium perenne), also known as Perennial Ryegrass, by its deep colouration that adds an eye-catching quality to turf blends. At times, a distinctive purple or reddish tinge appears at the base of the grass, which is a hallmark of the Dwarf Amenity Ryegrass variety. This Tetraploid Amenity Ryegrass differentiates itself with a robust growth of tillers, resulting in a dense, thick lawn.

  • Colour: Very dark, with possible purple or reddish base.
  • Tillers: Abundant, contributing to thickness.
  • Texture: Withstands substantial wear, suitable for high footfall areas.
  • Maintenance: High – requires frequent mowing (~twice weekly) and generous fertilization.

Despite its need for regular upkeep, I’ve found that it’s a cost-effective option due to its relatively lower price compared to other grasses. Its resilient nature ensures quick recovery – a fitting choice for active lawns. It’s also worth noting its remarkable performance in shaded conditions, maintaining vigour where other grasses may falter.

Annual Meadow Grass


Annual meadow grass, known as Poa annua, is frequently found in well-tended areas like golf courses and bowling greens. My identification of its characteristics is backed by observing its preference for non-acidic soils rich in phosphates and its resilience to drought conditions.

In physical appearance, it stands out due to its lighter green hue, particularly under stress from infertile conditions or lack of water. I’ve noticed that all shoots sprout from the plant’s base, making the base highly visible compared to other meadow grasses. Here’s a visual representation:

annual meadow grass

Key Features:

  • Colour: Light green, especially in infertile or dry conditions.
  • Root System: Dense, shallow, which enables survival in harsh environments such as pavement cracks.
  • Reproduction: Prolific seed production during spring and summer leading to wide dispersal across lawns.

Poa annua is deemed a weed grass due to its growth pattern and the challenges it presents in maintaining a uniform lawn texture, especially post-winter when it weakens and produces a significant number of seeds.

Smooth-Stalked Meadow Grass

I appreciate the robust and resilient characteristics of smooth-stalked meadow grass, often akin to what is known in the US as Kentucky Bluegrass. My garden benefits from its rich, dark green hues and its ability to endure dry conditions due to a comprehensive root system.

  • Root System: Extensive, withstanding aridity
  • Wildlife: Encourages biodiversity in gardens

My choice to incorporate it stems from its wildlife-friendly nature, inviting an array of creatures that enhance my outdoor relaxation.

Red Fescue

I understand the benefits of red fescue (Festuca rubra) as an excellent choice for shaded gardens. Its fine leaves, slow-growth habit, and deep roots make it prevalent in places demanding durable, low-maintenance turfs, such as campsites, resorts, golf courses, and bowling greens.

Here are the key points about red fescue:

  • Maintenance: Red fescue requires less mowing, watering, and fertiliser, making it a convenient option for gardeners with limited time.
  • Tolerance: It thrives in cool climates but may struggle in warmer temperatures.
  • Recovery and Wear: As it is not as wear-resistant as other grass types, it needs careful consideration if the area will experience heavy foot traffic.
  • Germination: Patience is required, as red fescue takes longer to germinate.
TypeMaintenanceClimate ToleranceWear ResistanceGermination Time
Red FescueLowCoolLowLonger

Knowing these traits helps me ascertain its suitability for a specific environment and my lifestyle needs. While I may opt for alternatives like Chewings fescue or sheep’s fescue, red fescue remains among my considerations due to its adaptability to shaded areas and ease of care.

Note: When purchasing seeds, make an informed decision by checking the latest updates and reviews.

Last update on 2024-07-15 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Slender Creeping Red Fescue

  • Growth: I find that it thrives even in challenging weather.
  • Maintenance: I notice it requires minimal care, though prefers well-drained soils.
  • Shade Tolerance: It can prosper in shaded areas.
  • Speed of Spread: I observe a quick growth and spread rate, ideal for new lawns.

Common Bent

As I consider the variety of bent grasses, it’s clear that the common bent is particularly resilient. Acknowledged for its extensive root system and impressive longevity, the common bent thrives even in poor soils. Its ability to prosper in diverse regions—from wetlands to acidic grasslands—demonstrates its adaptability. Bentgrass species, including creeping bent and velvet bent, exhibit similar robustness, cementing their presence across the UK’s diverse landscapes.

  • Extensive root system: Enables survival in nutrient-deficient soils.
  • Long lifespan: Often exceeds two years.
HabitatCommon Bent Presence
Damp soilsFrequent
Acidic grasslandPrevalent
Rough groundOften Found

This species’ capability to endure challenging conditions undoubtedly contributes to its widespread occurrence throughout the UK.

How to Select the Correct Lawn Grass for Your Garden

Ornamental or Durable Grass?

When planting grass, it’s essential to consider its purpose in your garden. For high traffic lawns due to pets or children playing, choose a tough and fast-recovering species like Bermuda grass, known for its durability and ability to quickly bounce back. For less trodden areas, an ornamental grass can enhance the garden’s aesthetics without the need for high resilience.

Mowing Schedule

Mowing Grass

Your mowing routine is a crucial aspect of lawn maintenance. Grasses like Kentucky bluegrass demand regular mowing for an optimal appearance, while others, such as tall fescue, maintain their condition with less frequent cuts. Evaluate your availability to mow and choose grass types accordingly, keeping in mind that immaculate grass types may require extensive upkeep.

Soil Condition

Carefully assess your soil to ensure it’s suitable for your chosen grass type. Factors such as soil type (clay, sandy, loamy), pH (acidic or alkaline), and nutrient levels play a significant role in the health of grasses like perennial ryegrass and fine fescues. If you wish for low-maintenance lawns, opt for grass types that adapt to your soil condition rather than altering the soil to fit a particular grass.


The UK climate varies; thus, the selected grass should withstand local weather conditions. Cool-season grasses like hard fescue flourish in northern climates, while warm-season grasses, such as zoysia grass, prefer more temperate locations. Consider the typical rain patterns and temperatures in your area to ensure your turf thrives.


Shaded areas in gardens challenge certain grass species, especially those demanding full sun. For such spots, opt for shade-tolerant options like St. Augustine grass or fine fescues that can prosper even with limited sunlight. Remember, adequate watering and fertilizing are still crucial to support the growth of shaded grasses.

By considering these factors, I’m confident in my ability to maintain a healthy, attractive lawn that suits both my garden’s conditions and my lifestyle. Whether the goal is a pristine ornamental lawn or a sturdy, hard-wearing play area, selecting the right grass is fundamental to achieving a beautiful British lawn.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the optimal grass species for Southern California lawns?

For Southern California lawns, where the climate is typically warm and dry, I recommend the following grass species:

  • Tall Fescue: Resilient to heat and drought
  • Bermuda Grass: Thrives in full sunlight and withstands heavy foot traffic
  • Buffalo Grass: Ideal for low-maintenance gardens
  • Zoysia Grass: Offers a dense and durable lawn

Which grass varieties are best suited for creating lawns in the UK?

In the UK, where the weather can be quite variable, these grass varieties perform well:

  • Perennial Ryegrass: Quick to establish and hardy
  • Fine Fescue: Tolerant to shade and low fertility soil
  • Kentucky Bluegrass: Recovers well from wear and provides a lush appearance

What are the prevalent types of grass found in South African gardens?

South African gardens often feature grass types that can tolerate variable climates:

  • Kikuyu Grass: Grows quickly and copes well with heat
  • Buffalo Grass: Shade-tolerant and hardy
  • Cynodon Species: Known as Bermuda Grass, good for warm climates

Could you list some of the most common turf grasses used in domestic gardens?

Certainly, common turf grasses in domestic gardens include:

  • Perennial Ryegrass: Popular for its rapid growth and lush colour
  • Kentucky Bluegrass: Known for its texture and resilience
  • Fescues: Great for shady or less fertile areas
  • Bermuda Grass: Excellent in warm climates with high wear resistance

Which species of grass are recommended for lawns in Pakistan?

In Pakistan, homeowners should consider these species for their lawns:

  • Bermuda Grass: Handles heat well and is drought-tolerant
  • Zoysia Grass: Resists heat and requires infrequent mowing
  • Buffalo Grass: Has good drought tolerance and is low maintenance

How can one identify different types of lawn grass?

To identify various lawn grass types, I focus on the following characteristics:

  • Blade Shape and Width: Fine blades typically indicate Fescues, while wide blades are often Bermuda Grass.
  • Growth Pattern: Rhizomes suggest Kentucky Bluegrass, whereas stolons are indicative of Bermuda Grass.
  • Colour and Texture: Dark green, soft blades are usually Kentucky Bluegrass, whereas light green, coarse blades are often Bermuda Grass.
  • Season of Growth: Cool-season grass like Ryegrass grows in spring and fall, while warm-season grass like Bermuda Grass grows in summer.


Mark Haley Author
Lawnmower Product Expert, Reviewer and Author at EasyLawnMowing.co.uk | 01284 615144 | info@easylawnmowing.co.uk | Website

As a seasoned expert in the field of garden power tools, I have dedicated over a decade to working with and reviewing a wide variety of lawn mowers. My extensive experience has allowed me to gain a deep understanding of the benefits and limitations of different types of mowers and garden tools.

Over the years, I have honed my skills in writing informative articles and creating helpful videos for various blogs and publications. This has given me the ability to not only recognise what makes a good lawn mower, but also to help you choose the perfect garden tool for your specific needs and requirements.

With my wealth of knowledge and expertise, I am confident that I can provide you with valuable insights and recommendations when it comes to selecting the right lawn mower for your lawn. So, whether you're looking for a battery cordless, electric, petrol, or robotic mower, you can trust in my expertise to guide you towards the best option for your garden.

6 thoughts on “What Are The Different Types of Lawn Grass?”

  1. I live in the United States and was wondering if the Red Fescue can be grown here? I am in the southern state of Georgia, zone 8.

    I know you say that it won’t do well in warm weather, we do get pretty warm here. I’m just curious because that grass is very lovely!

    Thank you for sharing the information, it’s very hard to find good information when it comes to selecting grass for ones landscaping needs!

  2. Well I’ve learnt something new!
    I’ve either ryegrass or common bent as it grows quickly and is a very rich green colour. It also grows extremely quickly.
    I think this guide is great as a lot of people don’t actually give it a second thought about the types of grass or how to maintain it.

  3. Hello,

    I loved reading your article on the different types of lawn grass.

    I never would have guessed that there could be so many different kinds. I am definitely a beginner when growing grass.

    Where would you suggest I start? I have bookmarked your website and I will be a continuing reader.


    1. First I would start off with a soil test to understand the conditions of your lawn and which type of grass is best suited to it. This ensures you don’t add the wrong mix and cause any problems.

      Then just make amendments whenever needed (usually after winter).

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