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Best Grass for Full Sun Yards

For many areas of the country, a patch of green grass is an ideal place to serve as a backdrop to family fun and neighborhood events. From an impromptu game of touch football with your 5th grader and his friends to happy hours with the girlfriends, the lawn offers a soft and safe playing field. Homeowners who have sunny yards need a different kind of grass than their shady neighbors do (and by “shady,” we’re referring to the amount of sun the property gets, not to the integrity of the people next door).

All grasses are categorized as cool season grasses (prefers temps of 60-75 degrees) or warm season grasses (prefers temps of 80-95 degrees) — we’ll let you know which is which, but if you’re in the market, here are our 4 best grasses for your sunny and active yard.

tall fescue

Top 4 Grasses fro Sunny Lawns

1. Zoysia. This warm season grass is one of the highest quality, low maintenance grasses around. It’s slow-growing and dense habit crowds out weeds and diseases but makes for a more expensive lawn. Buy zoysia in sod pieces and keep it mowed at a 1” – 2.5” height.

2. Tall fescue. This cool season grass has a very deep root system, giving it great drought tolerance. Available by sod pieces, it does tolerate a bit of shade but shows a definite preference for full sun. Keep this low-to- moderate maintenance grass cut to a 2”-3” height for best results.

All Natural Topper

Kellogg Garden Organics

All Natural Topper

**Product not available in AZ, CA, HI, NV, UT. For a comparable product in these states click here.

Zoysia Grass

3. Kentucky bluegrass. Another cool season grass, Kentucky bluegrass makes a stunning lawn but comes with a bit of a higher maintenance price tag. Not quite as drought tolerant as tall fescue, Kentucky bluegrass will go dormant during dry spells to conserve its energy. While it’s possible to obtain seed for this grass, sod pieces are a better choice for those who want an established lawn on a shorter timetable. Mow it a 1.5”-2.5” to keep it neat and tidy.

4. Bermudagrass. Warm season Bermudagrass has some of the best drought tolerance around, and its vigorous growth habit is both a pro and a con. It will rebound from damage quite well and will fill in a bare area in no time, but that same aggressive nature makes it a bit of a pest once it gets into flowerbeds. Keep it mowed at .5” – 2.5” high for the best appearance.

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  1. Hi,
    Thank you for sharing this information. We live in NYC. Our grass is exposed to high sun the majority of the day. Therefore, we always suffer with immediate burnt grass for most of the summer.
    Based on this article, now I know what type of seeds to use in our front and back yards.
    My question, I want to purchase grass seeds now and scatter them right before our next snow storm so that the seeds will have an opportunity to take root, without the birds eating them. What would you suggest?
    Thank you.

    • Hi Yvette, we are so sorry we missed your comment. If you are still looking for advice on keeping birds away from your grass seed we recommend covering and decoys. You can cover your newly scattered seeds with burlap, mulch, mulched leaves, grass clippings, or even stray. You can try placing fake hawks and owls or a scarecrow to keep birds away. Finally, putting up some birdfeeders may temp them away, if they have some nice birdseed to eat they will be less interested in your grass seed. We hope this helps.

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