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Lawns & Lawn Alternatives

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Please refer to the following resources for information on how to care for your lawn in the Piedmont region of North Carolina.

Grass in a lawn

In the Piedmont region of North Carolina, homeowners can grow a cool- or warm-season lawn. You should choose the type of lawn you prefer and manage accordingly. View the resources below for details on growing a healthy lawn.

This chart can help you choose the right type of turf for your yard:

Cool-Season Turf Warm-Season Turf
  • Recommended species for the Piedmont: Tall fescue
  • Turf will be green in winter, may stay green through summer if healthy and watered
  • Turf grows in a clumping habit; it will become patchy over time and require renovation every 2-3 years
  • Cool-season turf is more tolerant of shade (but still grows best in full sun)
  • Should be mowed higher (3-4″ height)
  • Grass has wider blades
  • Actively growing in cooler seasons (especially spring and fall) – this is also the season for most lawn maintenance tasks
  • Recommended species for the Piedmont: Bermudagrass or Zoysiagrass
  • Turf will be brown during winter dormancy, will be green during winter
  • Turf spreads by rhizomes and stolons; edging is required to keep warm-season turf out of undesired areas
  • Warm-season turf is more drought tolerant
  • Can be mowed at a lower height (1-2″)
  • Grass has a narrower blade
  • Actively growing in warmer seasons (especially summer) – this is also the season for most lawn maintenance tasks

For any lawn, taking a soil test is key to keeping the lawn healthy. Watch this video for tips on soil testing. You will want to use your soil test report to calculate the amount of lime and the correct fertilizer for your yard. You may not need to apply lime every year.

If you are growing grass from seed, it is wise to choose a seed mixture with multiple cultivars of the grass you are growing. This will improve your success rate as different cultivars may grow better in various areas of your yard. Check the TurfFiles website for the latest lists of recommended cultivars for each type of turf grown in NC.

You will also want to measure your yard to know its area. You will need to know the area of your lawn to calculate how much fertilizer, lime, seed, and other products need to be applied.

A lawn requires regular maintenance. This includes mowing. At each mowing, remove 1/3 of the height or less. If you cut off too much of the blades, the grass will suffer. You also may get a buildup of thatch, which is undesirable and can reduce the health of your lawn. If you are mowing regularly, typically it is okay to leave the lawn clippings in your yard. The clippings will decay over time and return nutrients to the soil. If you are having issues with disease or weeds, especially weeds that are flowering, you may choose to bag your lawn clippings and dispose of them elsewhere.

Most lawn maintenance occurs when your lawn is actively growing. This is the time when the lawn needs fertilization and other care. Core aerification helps to loosen the soil and reduce compaction, and should also be done when the lawn is actively growing.

Resources on Lawncare

In the Piedmont, you can grow a cool- or warm-season lawn. Pick the type of lawn that best fits your needs and follow the recommended practices for establishing and maintaining it. The resources below will help you as you take care of the lawn.




Choosing Cool or Warm Season Grass for Your Lawn

How Much Fertilizer Should I Use for My Lawn?

Printable list of resources on lawncare.

Resources on Lawn Alternatives

Not everyone wants a traditional lawn. Please view our article on lawn alternatives for information on other options.