5 Most Common Types of Grass in Middle Tennessee

Did you know there are over 10,000 species of grass? How well do you know the grass in your own lawn?

The good news is you don’t have to choose from all 10,000 varieties when it comes to your property. Middle Tennessee is in what’s called a “transitional zone,” meaning both warm-season and cool-season grass can be grown here.

Of those 10,000 species of grass, only about 50 can be used as lawn turf. And only five are truly wonderful (and appropriate) for our lawns here in Nashville.

Here are the five most common types of grass you’ll find in Middle Tennessee lawns:

Cool-Season Grasses

Just like the name explains, these grasses typically do better in cooler weather. They’re meant to withstand longer, harsher winters. While we might not see as much snowfall or freezing temperatures as some parts of the country, Nashville still sees (and feels) our fair share of cooler weather, which is why these grasses can thrive here.

Kentucky Bluegrass

The most common cool-season grass is Kentucky bluegrass since it retains its beautiful green color for most of the year. Because of its shallow root system, it isn't very drought tolerant and requires supplemental watering to survive Tennessee’s hot summers.

  • Sunlight: direct 

  • Mowing Height: 1.5" to 2.5" 

  • Planting Options: seed, sod 

  • Common Pests: white grubs 

  • Lawn Diseases: dollar spot, leaf spot, summer patch

Tall Fescue

Tall fescue is a drought-tolerant, cool-season, low-maintenance grass. It sports a coarse texture, making it perfect for areas such as playgrounds, parks, and athletic fields. Tall fescue blends—often including Kentucky bluegrass and perennial ryegrass—are also a popular option for Middle Tennessee homeowners.

  • Sunlight: moderate 

  • Mowing Height: 2.5” to 3.5” 

  • Planting Options: seed, sod 

  • Common Pests: armyworms, crickets, beetles, grasshoppers 

  • Lawn Diseases: brown patch, leaf spot, dollar spot

Perennial Ryegrass

Perennial ryegrass requires the most maintenance of the five types of grass in this article. It’s the least drought-tolerant of these three cool-season grasses, needing frequent watering in the spring and summer to survive.

  • Sunlight: direct 

  • Mowing Height: 2” to 3” 

  • Planting Options: seed 

  • Common Pests: white grubs, thrips, webworms  

  • Lawn Diseases: brown patch, dollar spot, gray leaf spot

Warm-Season Grasses

As the name suggests, these grasses typically do better in warmer weather. They thrive in areas that have a hot summer and a milder winter. And if you’ve lived in or around Nashville in the summertime, you know our summers can be hot.

Bermuda

Bermuda grass, found in more than 100 countries, is a warm-season grass. Hearty and resistant to heavy traffic, it’s also drought-resistant and the most cold-tolerant of the warm-season grasses. Because it’s one of the fastest-growing warm-season grasses out there, it requires more maintenance than others to keep it looking its best in the summertime.

  • Sunlight: direct 

  • Mowing Height: 1” to 1.5” 

  • Planting Options: seed, sod, plugs, sprigs

  • Common Pests: armyworms, fire ants, grub worms, mole crickets, billbugs

  • Lawn Diseases: leaf spot, dollar spot, rust

Zoysia 

Native to Southeast Asia, Zoysia is another warm-season grass. First introduced to the U.S. in 1911, it boasts drought tolerance, deep roots, and a thick, green appearance. The level of maintenance required for Zoysia is similar to Bermuda.

  • Sunlight: direct, but tolerates shade 

  • Mowing Height: 1.5” to 3” 

  • Planting Options: plug, seed 

  • Common Pests: mole crickets, grubs, sod webworms, armyworms 

  • Lawn Diseases: Zoysia patch, leaf spot, rust

  

Get the G3 Guarantee 

Each type of Middle Tennessee grass has its specific benefits and maintenance needs. While the “transition zone” can be tough to grow Great Green Grass in, it can be done. We guarantee it!

Our lawn care professionals at Pure Green can analyze your unique needs and plan according to your grass. Ready to get started or need to know more? Reach out today for a free quote!