If you’re considering a new lawn in Wichita, here are some good choices for grass types. According to the USDA Hardiness Zone Map, Wichita, Kansas is considered to be in hardiness zone 7a, which makes it somewhat on the borderline between cool-season grasses and warm-season grasses, making it an ideal climate for a whole variety of grass types.
Most grasses are categorized in this manner, and it refers to their ability to thrive in each of these two climate types. Not surprisingly, three of the best grasses to grow in southern Kansas are warm-season grasses: Bermuda, buffalograss, and zoysia, and the other is a cool-season grass: tall fescue.
Bermuda grass is one of the most popular of the warm-season grasses, and it can be planted in a variety of ways – including seed, sod, and grass plugs. Since it is primarily grown in southern climates it will turn brown and go dormant when the temperature dips to near the freezing point. That doesn’t mean it isn’t a hardy grass. It is a beautiful-looking grass commonly used on golf courses, athletic fields, residential grass lawns and even pasture land. This varietal’s level of hardiness and tolerance to cold are being improved constantly through developing hybrids like the Yukon Bermuda Grass Seed. The level of maintenance Bermuda grass requires depends on how much sun it gets, what kind of soil it’s planted in, the slope of the land itself and other factors, but for most residential lawns it’s a fairly low-maintenance grass.
Buffalograss is one of the hardiest of the warm-season grasses, being tolerant to heat, cold, drought, and humidity. It can be grown as forage for livestock and un-domesticated animals, and its dense sod was once used by settlers in the construction of their homes on the Great Plains. It thrives with relatively little maintenance, requiring very little fertilizer, water or mowing, but does not tolerate constant shade very well. Buffalograss survives cold winters by going into a dormant state, and when warmer weather wakes it up again it will appear as a fine-textured, grayish-green grass.
Zoysia is an extremely fine-textured to somewhat coarse grass with very stiff blades due to a high silica content. This is a hardy grass, ideal for lawns, parks and golf courses because it prefers plenty of open sunshine and traffic that is not confined to specific areas. It is not tolerant of persistent shadiness, which will cause it to grow dull and lose color. If winters are long and dry, zoysia often requires irrigation in order to prevent it from drying out. Maintenance needs include regular fertilizing and close, frequent mowing in order to keep it healthy and to prevent the accumulation of thatch in the grass.
Tall fescue is a broad-leafed, bunching grass that develops a deep root system and is tolerant of heat, cold, shade and drought. While this grass insn’t native to the area, it is a sustainable choice Wichita because it retains the characteristics of both cool-season and warm-season grasses. Tall fescues will often remain green the entire year since they have very high tolerance to cold and hot weather, although they may turn a paler green during these periods. It requires little fertilizer and only occasional watering and mowing in order to retain its lively green color.
If you live in the Wichita area, any of these species of grass would make a great choice for your home’s lawn.
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