American Grass

Virginia's Major Cities:

  • Richmond

  • Newport News

  • Hampton

  • Virginia Beach

  • Norfolk

  • Petersburg

  • Roanoke

  • Charlottesville

  • Winchester

Virginia Lawns

Virginia is in the transitional zone that is comprised of both Cool Season and Warm Season grasses. Because of the wide terrain differences, select grasses suitable for your area.

Turfgrasses Recommended for Virginia:

Northern Piedmont / Blue Ridge Turfgrass Recommendations

Recommendations include Cool Season Grasses such as:

  • Kentucky Bluegrass

  • Tall Fescue

Special purpose Cool Season Grasses:

Fine fescues have the best shade tolerance of all the cool-season grasses and arc often included in a mixture with various Kentucky bluegrass varieties. Meyer zoysiagrass, a warm-season species, can be used in light shade.

Southern Piedmont / Eastern Virginia

In the Southern Piedmont and Eastern Virginia, tall fescue is the most commonly used lawngrass. Bermudagrass and zoysiagrass (warm-season grasses) are also adapted. If using bermudagrass, select a winter-hardy cultivar, especially if you live in northern Virginia or in an area with a higher elevation.

When should you fertilize your Virginia lawn?

It depends on the type of grass you are growing and the lawn appearance (e.g.; color, density, uniformity) you want. In general, it is best to fertilize when grass is actively growing and can take up the fertilizer. Summer is best for warm season grasses (zoysiagrass and bermudagrass), while September, October, and November are best for cool season grasses (tall fescue, Kentucky bluegrass, perennial ryegrass). If you are unsure what type of grass you have, ask your Extension Agent or landscape professional.

Controlling Weeds

Knowing what weeds you have is the first step in gaining control. Weeds are either annual (1 year life-cycle) or perennial (2 or more years). Some weeds plant their seeds in the spring and they germinate in the spring. Others plant their seed in the spring, but don't germinate until the fall. Others plant their seeds in the fall and germinate in the spring.

Seeds that did not germinate (i.e. crabgrass) in the previous year can best be controlled with a pre-emergent herbicide that prevents the seeds from taking root and developing into adult weeds.

Seeds that germinate in the spring and develop a weed are best controlled as the plant becomes visible.

Controlling Winter Annual Weeds

Winter annual weeds germinate in the fall, and develop into a young plant during this cooler weather cycle, then next spring they will bloom and set seeds. During this time in the spring, they are most visible, but also harder to control. They are approaching the end of their life cycle and don't absorb the herbicide.

Winter annual broadleaf weeds (henbit, deadnettle, chickweed, sibara, bittercress, and geranium) flower in the spring. This means controlling these plants in the fall. This is when the previous spring's seeds begin to germinate. At this stage of their life-cycle, they are more vulnerable to control.

Controlling weeds is done through proper weed identification. If you're not sure about the weed, take a sample to the Virginia County Extension office.

Virginia Tech also has an excellent turf weed identification service at:

Professional organizations: Virginia Society of Landscape Designers, Virginia Green Industry Council, and Virginia Turfgrass Council.