5 Most Common Types of Grass in Middle Tennessee

How well do you know your grass? Did you know there are over 10,000 species of grass? Only about 50 are suitable to use as lawn turf and only five are truly appropriate for lawns in middle Tennessee.

Turf grasses fall into two categories: cool-season grass and warm-season grass. Because Middle Tennessee is in what’s called a “transitional climate,” it can be tough to grow Great Green Grass here!

These are the five most common – and most successful – types of grass in Middle Tennessee:



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.

  • Mowing Height: 1/2" to 2"
  • Planting Options: seed, sod, plugs, sprigs
  • Common Pests: mole crickets, sod webworms, armyworms, dollar spot

Kentucky Bluegrass

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

  • Mowing Height: 1-1/2" to 2-1/2"
  • Planting Options: seed, sod
  • Common Pests: dollar spot, leaf spot

Tall Fescue

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

  • Mowing Height: 2-1/2" to 3"
  • Planting Options: seed, sod
  • Common Pests: brown patch, leaf spot

Perennial Ryegrass

Perennial ryegrass requires the most maintenance of the five types of grass described here. It is also the least drought-tolerant, needed frequent watering in the spring and summer to survive.

  • Mowing Height: 1-1/2" to 2-1/2"
  • Planting Options: seed
  • Common Pests: gray leaf spot, leaf spot, billbugs


Native to Southeast Asia, Zoysia is a warm-season grass. Zoysia was introduced to the U.S. in 1911. It boasts drought tolerance, deep roots, and a thick green appearance. Zoysia’s maintenance needs are similar to that of Bermuda grass.

  • Mowing Height: 3/4" to 2"
  • Planting Options: plug, seed
  • Common Pests: Zoysia patch, mole crickets, grubs, sod webworms, armyworms

Each type of middle Tennessee grass has its benefits and maintenance needs. Need to know more? Call us at 615-988-6777. We can analyze your unique needs and plan according to your grass.