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Understanding the different types of grasses found in lawns across the UK (or which ever country you live in) can go a long way in helping you ensure you’re taking proper care of your garden.
With this knowledge you’ll find it easier to identify which grasses you actually have in your own garden, therefore you’ll know how to treat your lawn more effectively and you’ll be able to make better judgements when making soil amendments.
All the grasses may not apply to you but I think they’re worth learning anyway… you know, just in case.
Below I’ve ran through 4 main grass types found in the UK.
This particular strain of perennial ryegrass has a short growth period and has the ability to grow more tillers (stem of the grass shoots) which make for a thicker lawn. Not only that but it’s cheaper than most other types of grass and it’s very resistant to wear so it can be used by a variety of different homeowners.
Although, it does come with a few downsides.
It requires quite a bit of mowing each week (at least 2x per week), you need to apply a substantial amount of fertiliser to keep it growing healthily and it produces loads of clippings which as I’m sure you know, are a pain to deal with.
It also does cope very well in shade.
So you are going to need to commit some effort to reap the benefits of this grass but it could be totally worth it!
It’s very dark in colour, which makes it a very attractive addition to any turf mix, and you can sometimes see a purple or reddish colouration at its base.
Annual Meadow Grass
You’ll most often see this type of grass on golf courses and bowling greens. It tends to avoid acidic soils, as well as soils that are low in phosphate, and is particularly sensitive to drought, which is why you most commonly see them in areas which are regularly maintained.
Because of its ability to produce large amounts of seed and that it has a very dense, shallow rooting system, annual meadow grass can grow and survive in the harshest of environments, like cracks in pavements. This is why it is classed a weed grass.
A big problem with this type of grass is that it gets very weak during the winter and then reproduces during the spring/summer (why it’s called an “Annual” Meadow Grass). This means you’ll be left with loads of little seeds lying all over your lawn, which I guess you can imagine doesn’t look very nice.
This grass tends to look lighter than most others, especially during times of low fertility and drought.
All of its grass shoots are grown from the base of the plant which makes them easy to see.
If you’ve got a particularly shaded garden then this is the type of grass you’ll want to be using.
As it is fine leaved, slow growing and naturally deep-rooted you’ll find red fescue grasses most commonly in places such as campsites, resorts, gold courses and bowling greens. Not only that but its much lower maintenance than the other grass types available, so it could be a good choice if you don’t spend as much time in your lawn as you’d like.
Although if you live in a warm climate then you will want to watch out, this grass doesn’t cope too well in areas with warm temperatures.
Another thing to watch out for it that it’s not as wear resistant as other grasses and it can take some time to germinate.
This type of grass is none for two reasons: 1) having a lot of roots, and 2) having a long lifespan (over two years). This means it can thrive in nutrient poor soil and can be found in a variety of different terrains such as damp soils, meadows, acidic grassland and rough ground.
The fact that it can survive in the most difficult of conditions is why it is seen throughout the entire UK.
There you go, now you should have a bit of a better understanding of the grass in your garden, how to treat it properly and if you need to make any amendments, you should be confident in doing so.
If you found this post interesting then maybe you’d like to see some of my other content, like my robomower reviews? If so then head over to my Robot Lawn Mower Review Page, I’ve reviewed various models all designed for different purposes so if you’re in the market there won’t be a better place to go than here!