Most of North Carolina lies in a transition zone, so you will notice that we grow all kinds of grass in the Raleigh area. There are a number of considerations to keep in mind when either selecting or identifying the kind of grass you would like for your Raleigh lawn care program.
Warm Season Grass
The most common types of warm season grasses we see in Raleigh are bermuda and zoysia. Both types thrive in full, hot sun which make them great to grown in our region. They also are great because they grow by sending out runners (stolons) can when properly maintained can stay thick and choke out weeds naturally. This "alpha" characteristic though can be troublesome as bermuda can quickly invade beds and landscaped areas where you do not want grass growing.
Bermuda is also very drought tolerant compared to fescue and does not need as much watering. Bermuda performs best when cut short and often. Bermuda goes dormant in our Raleigh winter and after the first frost will start to turn brown until Spring.
Cool Season Grass
The most common cool season grass seen in Raleigh is fescue. Fescue is a great choice for shadier lawns. While a healthy fescue lawn can keep a nice dark green color all year round, it does come with its challenges. Cool season grass like fescue is susceptible to disease during the hot and humid months we see during summer. A common disease called brown patch often damages fescue due to overwatering in the summer, when moisture stays too long on the grass.
Fescue also needs more frequent and deeper irrigation than its warm season cousins. Fescue should be cut on the higher side, typically 3-4". Fescue grass also needs to be overseeded every fall to repair damage incurred from the summer