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5 Most Common Types of Grass in Middle Tennessee

There are more than 10,000 species of grass in the world, but only 50 or so are suitable to use as lawn turf. That’s because lawn turf needs to stay thick, healthy and attractive despite regular mowing. Lawn grasses can do this because they grow from the base of the plant rather than from the tips.

There are two categories of turf grass: cool-season grass and warm-season grass. Middle Tennessee doesn’t fall squarely in a cool or warm climate; rather we’re located in what’s called a ‘transitional climate,’ which means cold winters that can kill warm-season grasses and hot summers that can kill cool-season grasses. Because of this, it can be tricky to grow Great Green Grass here in Tennessee!

Here are the five most common, and most successful, types of grass in Middle Tennessee


Bermuda is a warm-season grass found in more than 100 countries. It’s hearty and can withstand heavy traffic. It’s drought resistant and is the most tolerant of the warm-season grasses of cold temperatures.

– Mowing Height: 1/2″ to 2″
– Planting Options: seed, sod, plugs, sprigs
– Common Pests: mole crickets, sod webworms, armyworms, dollar spot

Kentucky Bluegrass

Kentucky Bluegrass is most common cool-season grass. It has a shallow root system and is not very drought-tolerant. Because of this, Kentucky Bluegrass does require supplemental watering to get it through Tennessee’s hot summers.

– Mowing Height: 1-1/2″ to 2-1/2″
– Planting Options: seed, sod
– Common Pests: dollar spot, leaf spot

Tall Fescue

Tall fescue is a drought tolerant, cool-season grass. It’s a low maintenance grass with a coarse texture that’s perfect for areas where a coarser texture is not an issue, such as playgrounds, parks, and athletic fields. Tall fescue blends, which may include Kentucky Bluegrass and Perennial Ryegrass, are also a popular option for lawn turf.

– Mowing Height: 2-1/2″ to 3″
– Planting Options: seed, sod
– Common Pests: brown patch, leaf spot

Perennial Ryegrass

Of the five types of grass covered in this post, Perennial Ryegrass requires the most maintenance. It’s the least drought tolerant and needs frequent watering in the spring and summer.

– Mowing Height: 1-1/2″ to 2-1/2″
– Planting Options: seed
– Common Pests: gray leaf spot, leaf spot, billbugs


Zoysia is a warm-season grass that is native to Southeast Asia. It was introduced to the U.S. in 1911 for its drought tolerance, deep roots, and thick green appearance. Its maintenance needs are similar to that of Bermuda grass.

– Mowing Height: 3/4″ to 2″
– Planting Options: plug, seed
– Common Pests: Zoysia patch, mole crickets, grubs, sod webworms, armyworms

Warm-season and cool-season grasses each have their benefits, and as far as maintenance, there are differences. We are experts, and can analyze and plan according to your grass. Call us today at 615.988.6777.