The right grass for hot Maryland days
I have lived in Maryland all my life. Now retired I still try to grow and maintain a simple green lawn. I have sunk a lot of $$$ into my lawn over the years with little to no great result. I certainly don’t have a green thumb. What grass seed would you suggest to plant just to get something green to grow in Maryland climate? Buffalo, Bermuda, Hard Fescues… etc??? The hot humid summers. I have tried a lot of different seeds over the years with a great grown spurt but quickly dies out. I’ve had the dirt tested (by MD extension & others) and have tired to follow the advice given. Still I come up short? I have a neighbor that does nothing to the lawn, not even water, cuts the lawn in the heat of the day short even and it’s always green. I am dumbfounded. My wife says I try to hard and I must agree with her. But all I want is green. Don’t care about the quality of the grass anymore, so long as it grows. Got any advice? Thanks….
Anne Arundel County Maryland
Don't be too hard on yourself. Maryland is not the easiest place to grow a green lawn year round. We are located in what is referred to as the transition zone. Meaning that it is too hot and humid for cool-season grasses like fescue to be green year round and too cold for warm season grass like zoysia to remain green.
That is good you have tested your soil. The pH should be between 6.0 and 6.8.
The recommended cool season grass is tall fescue and because it seems our summers are getting hotter and drier a number of folks are planting zoysia (but as you know it will be brown from the first frost until green-up in May). We have a lot of information on our website about grass and have attached what will be most helpful to you, http://extension.umd.edu/sites/extension.umd.edu/files/_docs/programs/hgic/HGIC_Pubs/lawn_pubs/HG112...
The following is the list of recommended turf cultivars for Maryland. When you are buying grass seed look on the label for some of the recommended turf-type tall fescue cultivars. Sometimes farm supply stores have a better selection of grass seed than the big box stores. Also look at the information from our website on lawncare,