American Grass

Mississippi Lawns

Every lawn is different. What grows well in one yard may not do so good next door. Sometimes a few miles or even a few hundred feet can make a significant difference in the type of grass that does well.

Growing a lawn using a particular type of grass, especially those commonly found in Mississippi, have different requirements from one variety to another. Soils can vary greatly, as can drainage, and light levels. It is therefore important for the casual reader to understand that just because a certain type of grass is recommended for Mississippi, it should be taken with a bit a speculation. Understanding your geology, topography, and degree of involvement in maintaining a healthy lawn is critical to your success.

Mississippi falls in a geographic region where Warm Season Grasses usually do well and Cool Season Grasses do not do well. When you look at your property you might feel over-whelmed at the task, but this might give you a bit of relief: Mississippi currently has over 2,500,000 acres of turf being maintained with over 2 million of those acres being maintain by the Mississippi highway department.

To select the right grass for your property consider the following:

  1. How much sunlight actually strikes the ground where the grass will be planted? Bermudagrass requires full sun to thrive while St. Augustinegrass can survive with just 30 percent sun.

  2. How hard do I want to work? Hybrid bermudagrass requires almost constant fertilizing, watering, mowing, and pest control to grow well. Centipedegrass thrives on neglect.

  3. Where am I in Mississippi? North of Highway 82 and you can grow tall fescue and people in counties touching Tennessee can grow Kentucky bluegrass, but they should not attempt St. Augustinegrass.

  4. Which look am I desiring? Bermudagrasses provide a smooth, dark green carpet effect when properly maintained. Centipedegrass will always have a yellow tinge to it's coloring.

Common turfgrasses used on Mississippi homes:

Mississippi Pest Problems

Every turfgrass has some major pest problem that could limit its use in certain areas or locations. There are several different types of pest problems on turfgrasses in Mississippi, including diseases, insects, nematodes, and weeds. Proper turfgrass management practices will keep most pest problems to a minimum.

Molecrickets have been found in Bermuda grasses and has become a problem in St. Augustine lawns along the coast.

Mississippi Problem Insects

Mississippi Lawn Diseases

Promoting healthy growth and avoiding conditions that cause stress to your turfgrass is the best way to prevent a severe disease outbreak. Stressed lawns are an open invitation for a lawn disease to gain a foothold. Optimal maintenance practices are the best way of avoiding stressed turfgrass.

Even if a pathogen is present in the soil, infection will not occur unless the environmental conditions are conducive to disease development. Once turf diseases have become active, they can cause heavy damage if not treated properly. Here is a list of common diseases to Mississippi lawns:

Many preemergence and postemergence herbicides are labeled for use in Mississippi lawns. Determine the type of turf in your lawn and the weeds that are present or anticipated. Then determine which herbicide(s) will provide the best control of the weeds in your turf.

Professional lawn care organizations: Mississippi Turfgrass Association was created to improve members expertise through continuing education. Also of interest might be the Mississippi State University Extension.

Mississippi Climate Zones: 7 - 8