When you’re driving through your neighborhood here in the Triad, have you noticed how some lawns look different than others? You may think it’s because of their lawn maintenance or the health of their grass. And in some cases that’s true, but there are actually many different lawn grass varieties growing all over the United States!

Lawn care experts divide grass varieties into two general groups: warm season and cool season grass.

Cool Season

Cool season grasses do better in places with more regular seasons. The Northern United States is a great place for cool season grass because of its regular seasons, consistent rainfall, and comparatively mild summers. Cool season grasses go dormant in warm weather and drought.

Warm Season

In contrast, warm season grasses do well in hotter weather and thrive in the Southern region of the U.S. They’re better at staying strong through longer periods of drought than cool season grasses. They go dormant in cold weather.

The Transition Zone

Did you know there’s a barrier climate region in the United States between the North and South? This is called the transition zone. Neither warm or cool season grasses thrive in the transition zone because of the variable weather. Without attentive care, warm season grasses will go dormant all winter and cool season grasses will go dormant all summer! And yes, North Carolina is in the transition zone!

lawn grasses

So how do you choose the best grass variety for your lawn in the transition zone?

It all depends on the unique qualities of your property and geographic area.

Below you’ll find a few characteristics of popular transition zone grasses here in the Triad. Use this simple list to help you narrow down the best type of grass for your property if you’re planning on planting a new lawn.

lawn grasses

Kentucky Bluegrass

  • Cool season grass
  • Goes dormant during periods of drought
  • Needs sunlight – avoid planting in shaded areas
  • Should be fertilized regularly


Tall Fescue

  • Cool season grass
  • Thrives in spring and fall
  • Does well in shaded areas
  • May require herbicide to control weeds

Perennial Ryegrass

  • Cool season grass
  • Grows rapidly in the right conditions
  • Poor drought tolerance – must be watered
  • High maintenance – requires regular mowing, fertilizer, and pesticides



  • Warm season grass
  • Slow growth
  • Drought and salt tolerant
  • Fertilize regularly and avoid overseeding

This is by no means an exhaustive list of lawn grasses. We’ve only covered a few of the most popular lawn grasses here in the Triad. Other issues like soil quality and altitude can factor into how well a particular type of grass performs on your property.

In the transition zone, lawn care can pose extra challenges because of the unpredictable climate. Remember, if you want your lawn to look healthy and beautiful, it’s best to leave it to the professionals.

If you live in North Carolina, you’re in the transition zone! Triad Weed Free will come to your Winston Salem, Greensboro, or Burlington property and perform a free lawn analysis. Whether your grass is warm or cold season, we’ll find the right treatment program for you.


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