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A Great Grass Growing Guide For Southern GA

Typically, when you come across a yard care guide, you find tips and tricks for homeowners in regions that experience severe swings of weather. When the summer is warm and the winter is frozen solid, homeowners certainly need to prepare their surroundings in a certain way to stay safe and sane.

However, when you live someplace that stays relatively temperate for most of the year — say, I don’t know, Southern Georgia — you need a vastly different plan for maintaining outdoor spaces. This is especially true when you are dealing with an entirely different variety of plants, including a rather finnicky and incredibly important landscape feature like a lawn.

You can’t always trust a general guide to growing grass if you live somewhere with an atypical climate. If you want to grow a lush, green lawn in Southern Georgia, look no further to this specialized set of tips and tricks.

Know About Your Soil

Your first step for installing a lawn that is effortlessly healthy is understanding your soil. Like most plants, grass gains a significant amount of its required nutrients from the soil; by knowing your soil’s attributes, you will be more adept at choosing a grass variety that will thrive in your environment.

Soil can be acidic or alkaline, dense with clay or sandy, well-draining or extra moist. Georgia enjoys a variety of soil types, so you can start understanding your soil by researching your region’s dominant soil. Some of the most prominent Georgia soils are:

  • Appalachian Plateau. The soil in this area of Northern Georgia is thin and acidic.
  • Valley and Ridge. Wedged between the plateau and the Blue Ridge Mountains, this area has soils that are alternating thin/acidic (ridges) with thicker, more fertile (valleys).
  • Blue Ridge Mountains. As evidenced by the plant-rich landscape, these mountains have loamy soil that has a healthy mixture of clay, sand and silt. The soil is well-draining and acidic.
  • Piedmont. Central Georgia is dominated by the famous red clay, which boasts a strong mix of healthy micro and macro nutrients. Northern parts of Piedmont have thinner soils, but Southern Piedmont boasts some of the best soil in the state.
  • Coastal Plain. Unlike other coasts, Georgia’s coastline offers a good mix of soil types, including red clay, sandy and gravely. Generally, the soil holds onto water well, but is notably nutrient-poor.

Select the Right Type of Grass

There are two main categories of turf grass: cool-season and warm-season. Georgia’s lack of harsh winters and warm temperatures for much of the spring and fall indicate that warm-season grass varieties are your only legitimate options. Some examples of typical warm-season grasses found in Georgia include:

  • Bermuda grass
  • St. Augustine grass
  • Centipede grass
  • Zoysia grass
  • Seashore paspalum

Which variety you choose will depend largely on the exact location you place your lawn as well as the attributes of your soil. For instance, Bermuda grass demands full sunlight, meaning you can’t cover it with nearly any shade trees, and it tolerates wet soil fairly well; conversely, zoysia grass needs partial shade and dry soil to grow healthily.

It is possible to mix varieties of grass together to create a unique seed blend for your circumstances. You might consider consulting with a knowledgeable and trustworthy lawn care and tree service to better understand your options.

Mow to Your Grass Type

mowing

Generally, warm-season grasses need to be kept closer-cropped than cool-season grasses, which means you’ll need to have the mower out about every weekend during the high-growth period of early summer. Still, exactly what height you should set your mower blades will depend on the variety of turf grass you choose.

You should investigate this before you start mowing; mowing incorrectly could damage the long-term health of your lawn, leading to weak grass that grows thin and patchy. If you can’t commit to mowing often during the spring and summer months, you should hire professionals to care for your lawn during this time of year.

Fertilize in Early Spring

Even if your soil is among the more nutrient-dense for the state, you will need to fertilize your lawn at least once per year to ensure the grass continues getting high amounts of macro nutrients.

While cool-season grasses demand fertilizing in the fall, warm-season grasses around Florida do better with fertilizing in the early spring. This will help the grass wake up and start developing bright green, leafy growth faster, especially if you opt for a fertilizer with a higher nitrogen content.

Watch for Fungal Diseases and Pests

We don’t need to tell you that insects flourish in Georgia’s humidity.

While mosquitoes and the like are annoying enough, many insect pests are incredibly detrimental to your lawn. You need to keep an eye out for signs of an infestation of pests like army worms, grub worms, mole crickets and spittle bugs.

You should also be wary of fungal diseases, which tend to spread quickly in humid environments. Any patchy discoloration or patterned grass death could indicate that your lawn is infected.

Georgia lawn care isn’t that much different from lawn care in other places — you still need to water, mow and feed your grass. However, by paying attention to the unique factors around your Georgia home, you can select a grass that reduces your responsibilities and increases enjoyment of your lawn.

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