Most people with gardens have grass, but a lot of gardeners don’t put much thought into it. It’s all over the UK as a favourite for gardens. If you’ve ever had to turf a garden then you’ll know how many varieties there are and what a confusing market it can be. That’s why in this blog post we’re covering a few different grass varieties and their ideal uses.
Grass actually refers to any herb with narrow leaves growing at the base. Obviously this includes traditional lawn grasses, but did you know that bamboo is a grass? As well as plants like wheat and rice!
Many think of grass species as interchangeable, however this is not the case. If you’re considering planting a lawn from scratch or replacing a lawn then grass species are worth getting to know.
One of the most popular types of grass in the UK is Dwarf Ryegrass. This variety can be easily recognised by the red/purple colour at its base. This type of grass is popular due to the speed at which it grows and its ability to produce more tillers (grass shoot stems) and therefore a thicker lawn. It prefers moist soils making it perfect for the rainy British climate. The downside of Dwarf Ryegrass is that it does not grow well under shade. This could cause issues for gardens with solid fences and trees.
Often known by its latin name Festuca Rubra, Red Fescue has a few big differences to Dwarf Ryegrass. It grows well in shaded areas so is often found in shaded gardens and under trees. This variety is popular due to its low maintenance. It doesn’t require much fertiliser, irrigation or mowing.
While Red Fescue is great in dry shaded areas, it doesn’t perform well in hot climates and doesn’t offer the same thickness/coverage as varieties like Dwarf Ryegrass. This isn’t a huge issue as seed can be mixed with Smooth-stalked Meadow Grass, creating a hybrid lawn which performs well in almost all UK garden conditions.
This species has a lot of names: Agrostis Capillaris L (Latin), Colonial Bent, Brown Bent, Fine Bent and Highland Bent. It’s known for its ruggedness, having strong roots and living for over 2 years. This type of grass thrives in a vast array of conditions. It’s a wild grass and can be found in the Lake District as well as many gardens.
This list is far from complete however covers some of the most common and interesting grasses in the UK, if you’re looking to makeover your lawn then this is a good start and there are plenty of other resources online just a search away.