UC IPM Online UC ANR home page UC IPM home page

UC IPM Home

SKIP navigation

 

How to Manage Pests

The UC Guide to Healthy Lawns

Seasonal growth pattern of grasses

Warm-season grasses

Warm-season grasses perform best in southern climates where summers are hot and dry or humid and winters are mild. During the winter, warm-season grasses may go dormant and lose their green color if the average air or soil temperature drops below 50 - 55 F. Some warm-season turfgrasses will die if exposed to extended periods of subfreezing temperatures.

Cool-season grasses

Cool-season grasses do best in northern and coastal climates where summers are mild and winters are cold. Cool-season grasses thrive during the fall and early spring. They remain green year-round unless temperatures consistently fall below freezing.

Grass species

Some warm-season grasses may tolerate colder climates better than others. Likewise, some cool-season grasses tolerate warmer temperatures better than others do. When planting, choose a variety that best suits your conditions.

Warm-season grasses Cool-season grasses
Bermudagrass Annual ryegrass
Buffalograss Colonial bentgrass
Kikuyugrass Creeping bentgrass
Seashore paspalum Hard fescue
St. Augustinegrass Kentucky bluegrass
Zoysiagrass Perennial ryegrass
  Red fescue
  Rough bluegrass
  Tall fescue

Find out more about growth of grasses by clicking anywhere on either of the two growth rate curves.

Illustration showing the pattern of growth for warm and cool season grasses

Establish grasses during the period of most active growth: late spring or early summer for warm-season grasses and fall or spring for cool-season grasses.

Hot spot for cool season grass Hot spot for cool season grass Hot spot for cool season grass Hot spot for cool season grass Hot spot for cool season grass Hot spot for cool season grass Hot spot for cool season grass Hot spot for warm season grass Hot spot for warm season grass Hot spot for warm season grass Hot spot for warm season grass Hot spot for warm season grass Hot spot for warm season grass Hot spot for warm season grass

Statewide IPM Program, Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California
All contents copyright © 2014 The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved.

For noncommercial purposes only, any Web site may link directly to this page. FOR ALL OTHER USES or more information, read Legal Notices. Unfortunately, we cannot provide individual solutions to specific pest problems. See our Home page, or in the U.S., contact your local Cooperative Extension office for assistance.

Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California

Accessibility   /TOOLS/TURF/ESTABLISH/seasongrth.html revised: July 10, 2014. Contact webmaster.