American Grass

Central States

Central United States has a mix of lawn types and offers some specific challenges for homeowners and their lawns. An irony about living in the High Plains, that is commonly referred to as grass country, is that many homeowners quickly develop a love-hate relationship with their grass.

According to Rodney St. John a turfgrass horticulturist from Kansas State University, "Most want a long season of green. In the central Plains, at least, that fairly well limits them to cool-season tall fescue or Kentucky bluegrass - neither of which is without problems here. What?s `fun? in Kansas is that the weather?s not only too hot for most cool-season grasses but also too cold for most warm-season turfs."

Plant breeders are always working to develop turfgrass varieties that overcome problems with specific turfgrasses in specific areas. Thus far, however, even the newest cool-season turfgrasses haven?t yet tested well in the grassland of the country.

Native grasses of the northern Great Plains are gaining some serious ground as viable options for home landscapes. These species evolved under the environmental extremes of a continental climate and may become suitable as managed turfgrasses.