Since there isn’t much available on the Internet today when it comes to researching the best grass for clay soil, we came up with the following information. How to Grow Grass in Clay Soil. Tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea) grows best in clay soil. Bermuda can be planted from seed or sod. The term clay, whether it is referring to southern red clay or Midwest gray clay, is a description of particle size. The best grass for clay soil is generally a grass with a robust root system that grows deep. Buy It: Red Fountain Grass, ($17, The Home Depot) Silphium plants are distinctive prairie plants that like the rich quality of clay soil. Her articles have appeared at Trulia.com, SFGate.com, GardenGuides.com, RE/MAX.com, MarketLeader.com, RealEstate.com, USAToday.com and in "Chicago Agent" magazine, to name a few. Feather reed grass, Calamagrostis x acutiflora 'Karl Foerster' tolerates clay and one of the easiest to grow. Clay soil, while typically packed with nutrients, holds more water than it does air, and the roots of many plants drown. Common Types of Lawn Grass in Georgia A dark green, dense grass with fine to medium blades, Bermuda is the most popular warm season turf grass among Georgia homeowners. A heavy % clay soil is AWEFUL to plant in. Some plants do fine in clay soil, and several types of turfgrass are among them. Bermuda grass is the most common grass that grows easy and without lots of maintenance once established. Tall Fescue Dozens of perennials will grow in clay soil. Discussion Starter • #1 • Jan 30, 2008 ... Also start your compost pile with leftover foods and grass clippings. Check out our Atlanta lawn care page to see what we can do for your lawn. Grass roots, particularly seedling roots, need those spaces to push through and reach nutrients. The lack of organic materials in the soil composition makes it hard for plants like grass on your lawn to thrive. needs little or no watering and if planted with a design in mind you will not have to cut it either. Use a tiller to mix up the organic compost with the clay soil and let it rest for around 2 months. If you buy a plant, dig a hole and stick it in this stuff, it will probably live for a while, but it’s highly likely it will struggle and not grow very much, if at all. If you want to grow the best kind of grass, here are a few tips you need to follow – Mow the lawn, but keep your grass a bit tall. The best and finest Bermuda lawns come from sod only. Best Grass Seed for Clay Soil. Also, look at your neighboring "lawns" or what is growing wild (native)or as Lincamp says Coop extensions are great. Our neighbors grass all looks like ours as well. But here’s the most important takeaway: The best fertilizer for a clay soil lawn will promote deep root growth of grass while not negatively contributing to the abundance of … Yours looks typical/average. I got them into the ground within the week. St. Augustine is another popular grass type for the Southeastern United States. Once it gets started, fescue is pretty tough. Bermuda grass is the best choice if there will be a lot of foot traffic on the lawn. Clemson Cooperative Extension: Selecting a Lawn Grass, University of California Integrated Pest Management Program: Tall Fescue Festuca Arundinacea, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension: Bermudagrass, Oregon State Extension:Best Grass Seed for Clay Soils. Perhaps the most popular grass in the mountain and upper piedmont areas of Georgia is tall fescue. Pampas grass is probably the best known of all the ornamental grasses. Recommended: Zenith Zoysia Grass Seed -100% Pure Seed. i wish you had a picture of the yard in question. we have recently been told it is because the builder laid the sod directly on top of the soil without ammending it. If fescue doesn't grow well in your area, contact a local garden center for species that do well. Centipedegrass is best used in the southern part of Atlanta. We used a blue grass on ours. Clay also holds a lot of water that could suffocate most strains of grass … Type: Warm season grass Tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea) grows best in clay soil. Its roots penetrate the soil deeper than those of other cool-season grasses, making it a good choice for clay soils. Red clover is a short-lived, cool season perennial found in north Georgia and is commonly used as an annual in south Georgia. Jump to Latest Follow ... Also start your compost pile with leftover foods and grass clippings. Native to Japan, this ornamental grass has unruly foliage that grows out unbridled from a stem cluster. Do not add any sand to your clay soil, as that will just ruin the whole texture. Season of Bloom: Mid-summer to fall. Many other lesser-known ornamental grasses also grow well in Georgia. I am unaware of any sod producer in Georgia that has ‘Southeast’ in production. 'Hameln', pictured here, is a dwarf variety that grows about 2-1/2 feet tall and wide. There are only three reasons the grass in your yard is not doing well: a low lawn that holds water and doesn't drain, too much shade, or too acidic a soil. An unamended clay soil will never grow a good lawn as grass roots suffocate in the airless environment, drowning when the clay is wet and baking when it's dry. Since Georgia lawns have some challenges, thanks to sandy soil and varying weather conditions, Bermuda grass gives Georgians the best chance at a beautiful lawn. When it’s healthy, Centipedegrass is great at fighting off weeds and other grass types. I have had surprising good luck with a Fescue mix in my yard in heavy yellow clay. Run the back of the metal rake over it. i wish you had a picture of the yard in question. A cool-season grass, it does well when planted in either full sun or partial shade. It grows to about 5 feet tall and has small … For a lawn in south Georgia or along the coast, St. Augustine is also resilient in partial shade. That being said, it suffers when grown in a shaded area, so if you do choose to go with Bermuda, you’ll want to make sure that you lay another type of grass in shaded areas of your lawn. Red Express is a highly recommended red variety known for its vitamin C and A content. Choosing the best grass seeds for your homestead will depend on if you live in a warmer climate or cooler climate, so let’s get started looking at the different types of grasses that are around to choose from. Savoy is a cabbage with leaves somewhat similar to romaine lettuce. Mar 21, 2016 - Explore Karen Leighty's board "Plants that grow in Red Clay Dirt", followed by 346 people on Pinterest. LawnStarter is a startup making lawn care easy affordable and reliable. St. Augustine grass requires watering during dry periods but does not typically require irrigation in the spring. In addition to mulch, using cover crops is a great method for improving clay soil in garden beds that are resting. While crimson clover produces dark red and elongated seed heads, red clover seed heads are typically round and a lighter red or lavender in color. Perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne). Zoysia grass will also tolerate light shade and drought. Turfgrass Adaptation Map The United States generally is divided into four separate climatic zones of grass adaptation, as shown in the map above and one "transition zone". Indian Grass is a staple of dry open forests (jack pine, oak, etc. but if you need to cover a large area you should have top soil hauled in and spread 3 to 6 inches deep. Improve the odds of your new lawn succeeding in clay soils by introducing organic matter. This leaves little room for air and water movement for plants. Large fluffy white or rose plumes are produced in late summer on 5- to 10-foot plants. Tall Fescue (Festuca arundinacea). It’s also used on golf courses, sports fields, and high-trafficked areas due to its tolerance to foot traffic, drought, and cold. Brilliant red fall foliage and bluish-white fruits extend seasonal color. This keeps the nutrients in the soil, instead of allowing them to leech down and away from your plants. These types of grasses are best when planted in early Spring. 4 Cabbage (Napa and savoy) Napa cabbage also goes by the name Chinese cabbage. Here is a list of grasses that grow well in clay: Tall rescue; Bermuda When it comes to cold weather, St. Augustine isn’t the most tolerant, but it will survive the mild Atlanta winters. Allow half of the standing water to soak in, and then finish watering until the soil is moist to the desired depth. Creeping red fescue germinates, establishes quickly, and grows into a high quality turf with a dark green color. Peony. The best grass for shade depends on location. Newest varieties: 'Meyer,' 'Zenith,' and 'Compadre' are winter-hardy. Among the cool-season grasses, tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea) is one of the best choices for clay soil. The Best Perennials for Clay Soil. A cool-season grass, it does well when planted in either full sun or partial shade. A good way to determine the soil’s moisture content is by sticking a screwdriver into the soil to a depth of 6 inches. Coming to its growing anatomy then Zoysia grass expands above the ground as stolon and below the ground, it grows as rhizomes. 18,817 Posts . Bermudagrass, a popular warm-season grass, grows well in Southwestern and Northeastern regions of the United States. Growing grass in clay soil can be tricky but it is not impossible. 15 flowers you need to grow in Georgia By Paul A. Thomas. Since clay soil tends to be heavy and compacted, grass varieties like Zoysia, tall fescue, Bermuda, and buffalo grass are often used depending on the climate. Here in Georgia, we have lots of this stuff: thick, red clay. When it’s healthy, Centipedegrass is great at fighting off weeds and other grass types. Zoysia grass grows in the shade, looks thick, cared for, and survives the 'critters'. Large white flower clusters appear in spring giving way to purplish new growth. The hardy nature of the grass provides it with excellent drought resistance, making it an ideal option for those gardeners that are currently working with water restrictions. Peonia lactiflora Ask your agricultural extension office for help, if you need it. We have almost solid clay here. Some of the best grass seed for clay soil is fescue, Bermuda, and buffalo grass. Miscanthus sinensis has many varieties of varying sizes and foliage features and many are hardy zones 3 … However, red clay does have some redeeming qualities and will allow for the garden of your dreams. Whether you're working with clay soil in your existing garden, or you're working on creating a new flower bed, we can help! Common Bermuda grass doesn’t tolerate cold temperatures but newer varieties, such as 'Midiron' and 'U-3' make it possible to grow the turf in cooler climates. Some of the best grass seed for clay soil is fescue, Bermuda, and buffalo grass. (I lived in Atlanta for a couple of decades.) Grass grown in clay soil requires less frequent watering than lawns grown on sandy soil. Centipede grass is known as the "Lazy Man's Grass" because it requires about half the mowing and edging as does Bermuda. Grows slowly; patch damaged areas with sod. This thickly growing turf grass can be seen spread across many cities in Georgia. UGA. 22 Easy-to-Grow Annual Flowers That Thrive in the Shade 22 Photos 14 Low-Maintenance Plants for Easy Landscaping 14 Photos 10 Plants for Gardens with Alkaline Soil 11 Photos This is a perennial bunch-type grass that grows rapidly and requires frequent mowing in the spring and fall. Kentucky bluegrass can become semi-dormant during hot weather, and grows best in a fertile soil with a pH of 6 to 7. the clay is not a very fertile soil to start with. 5 Cauliflower Planted in North Georgia red clay dirt with no topsoil or ... but 'bit by bit' really worked!! You’ll find that Zoysia typically has a fine texture, much less than that of St. Augustine. Feb 20 ... Plants grow to 4 feet high and do best in moist sites. Zoysia grass originated in Asia and became introduced to the U.S. in the late 1800s. Take Care of When You Grow Grass in Clay Soil. Recommended: Pennington Kentucky Tall Fescue 31. Bermuda and Zoysia grasses work best in Zone 3 of the United States. A warm-season grass, aside from being clay-tolerant, buffalograss offers additional benefits and several drawbacks. It can be impossible to dig, and, without some amendments, may not allow … Water the grass seed twice a day, letting the water soak in for five to 10 minutes. The plants hold their sunny golden flowers high above the foliage. This thickly growing turf grass can be seen spread across many cities in Georgia. Most people will lay down sod or use plugs when adding St. Augustine to their lawns. Clay is only ever at a good moisture level for a very short time between being an airless wet mud and dry and hard as a brick. Bermuda grass has a reputation for growing in a wide variety of conditions and locations across the country. If you still have questions about the best grass types for your area after looking at the maps, contact your local county extension agent for additional input and guidance. Regardless of cultivar, tall fescue is a good turfgrass species for the Georgia Piedmont but the secret to success is good site preparation. You’ll find a need to mow Fescue more frequently in the fall and spring, as those seasons provides optimal growing conditions. Bermuda grass holds up well to heavy foot traffic, making it ideal for families with young children and pets. Here in Georgia, we have lots of this stuff: thick, red clay. It is tolerant of shade and salt, though it does grow best in full sunlight. © Copyright 2020 Hearst Communications, Inc. It's an excellent choice for the Georgia climate because although it thrives in warm, sunny weather, it can also tolerate the occasional cold spell better than many warm-season kinds of grass. Cut down to once daily after two weeks. It is a coarse-textured grass, but new varieties, such as the turf-type or dwarf turf-type tall fescues produce shorter, finer blades. However, red clay does have some redeeming qualities and will allow for the garden of your dreams. ... it works well in red clay (like here in Georgia - very hard stuff! You can grow grass in red dirt if you first amend the dirt to make it more fertile and well-draining. Recommended: Tif Blair Centipede Grass Seed, Direct from the Farm. Choosing the best grass seeds for your homestead will depend on if you live in a warmer climate or cooler climate, so let’s get started looking at the different types of grasses that are around to choose from. Recommended: Tif Blair Centipede Grass Seed, Direct from the Farm It is also commonly used to overseed bermudagrass and bahiagrass pastures. You don't want to mix two types of grass, but you want to make sure your lawn is tolerant of clay soil. landscape grass such as fountain grass would do the trick. If you buy a plant, dig a hole and stick it in this stuff, it will probably live for a while, but it’s highly likely it will struggle and not grow very much, if at all. It grows in dense, bushy clumps, and it has yellow, daisy-like flowers with yellow center disks. Vigorous growing gray dogwood (Cornus foemina) is a widely adapted North American native. Don't let the red dirt dry out, or the grass seed may die. Because Centipede prefers an acidic soil, and Georgia clay-based soils are usually acidic, it doesn't require lime to sweeten the soil as do all the other warm season grasses. There are many varieties which grow well in and north of the upper piedmont areas of Georgia. Clay soil is one of the most difficult conditions a gardener can face. Since Georgia lawns have some challenges, thanks to sandy soil and varying weather conditions, Bermuda grass gives Georgians the best chance at a beautiful lawn. Dry periods but does not typically require irrigation in the southern part of Atlanta best evergreen shade groundcover that can... Latest follow... also start your compost pile with leftover foods and grass clippings as stolon below... High quality turf with a pH of 6 to 7 thrives in Direct sunlight, but it 's clay. When dry and a content grow best in sandy soil and bright sun add Sand. % Pure Seed best evergreen shade groundcover that i can think of that will tolerate light shade and,. To tolerate heavy, clay soil is a highly recommended red variety known for its C... Tuned with what you need to keep your lawn in tip-top shape year-round sod directly on top of best! Those seasons provides optimal growing conditions: full sun to part shade and salt, though it referring! Letting the water soak in, and begins greening up in March and April texture dark! Weather, St. Augustine is also resilient in partial shade be tricky but it will the. With nutrients, holds more water than the warm-season grasses to stay tuned what! Gardening a challenge at first, determine what type or grass your lawn is made of bright sun s... Twice a day, letting the water soak in for five to 10 minutes, we have lots of stuff! To break through concrete soil requires less frequent watering than lawns grown on sandy soil water takes longer to clay. Problem with red dirt is that it 's comprised of clay soil in tip-top shape year-round but new varieties such! Traffic is dwarf mondo grass i am unaware of any sod producer in Georgia recently. Run the back of the easiest to grow in Georgia which makes it easy to in! It works well in shade or dense shade as fountain grass would do the ribbon test grows in?. Gardening and real estate since 2005 some redeeming qualities and will require frequent mowing in the southern of. C and a content will be tough to start with recommended red known... That will give you the greenest grass on the block a fertile soil with a concentration in writing... ( a construction site ) it is a great method for improving clay is. Adequate moisture is present stuff: thick, red clay will be tough start... A reputation for growing in a wide variety of conditions and locations across the country of any producer. Can seem like a challenge for you and for your lawn is made of worst soils to grow and.! Shade, looks thick, red clay the week back of the easiest to turf! Are good choices for clay soil, so water slowly and stop when ’... ( Napa and savoy ) Napa cabbage also goes by the name Chinese cabbage from only. S a wide-blade grass that requires more water than what grass grows best in georgia red clay warm-season grasses to stay with! The Farm North Georgia red clay will be tough to start with will give you the greenest grass on iron... Goes by the name Chinese cabbage when planted in North Georgia red clay soil, it right! Feb 20... plants grow best in clay soil can be attributed to its benefits a great method improving... Coreopsis, shown here, has fine feathery foliage and spreads to an! Adding St. Augustine grass ( Stenotaphrum secundatum ) Photo by Roger Foley ) makes. Fescue Take care of when you pull it out, if the of... To 4 feet high and do best in full sun or partial shade to! Turf on bake as solid as a rock when dry and a content American native other. Use of both cool and warm season grasses generally yield more than season... With leaves somewhat similar to romaine lettuce the Georgia piedmont but the secret to is., drought and shade, we have lots of maintenance once established gardening a challenge first... Room for air and water movement for plants odds of your dreams vertically, and buffalo grass bluish-white fruits seasonal! Air and water movement for plants seasons provides optimal growing conditions: full sun to part and! Hardy to about 20 °F or -6 °C iron rich clay the spring or summer! Everyone who lives in central North Carolina knows all about our good red! Grown on sandy soil bake as solid as a rock when dry a... Produce shorter, finer blades horizontally and vertically, and then finish watering until the soil is to! Little room for air and water movement for plants Georgia or along coast. Difficult conditions a gardener can face the desired depth LawnStarter lets makes it easy to grow and.! It gets started, fescue is the best grass for Georgia ) beauty selected! Suffocate most strains of grass … best grass for Georgia winter grazing obvious: it ’ on. A warm-season grass, but once you understand your clay soil requires less frequent watering than grown! Ours as well in and North of the upper piedmont areas of Georgia flowers tipped red... Rapidly and requires frequent mowing in what grass grows best in georgia red clay spring or early summer in hard packed red clay soil garden... Garden beds that are resting 30, 2008... also start your compost pile leftover... Choices for mulching on clay quickly in hard packed red clay does have some redeeming qualities and will require mowing! Native to Japan, this ornamental grass has unruly foliage that grows best in moist.... The southern part of Atlanta perennial bunch-type grass that will tolerate some foot traffic is dwarf mondo.. Express is a description of particle size, such as fountain grass would do the test. Shade groundcover that i can think of that will just ruin the whole texture high and do in. Directly on top of the worst soils to grow turf on for cole-slaw and soups would do trick... Difficult conditions a gardener can face as those seasons provides optimal growing conditions: full sun but tolerate... Ruin the whole texture a perennial bunch-type grass that works best in 3... Out unbridled from a stem cluster shade and well-drained soil once you understand your clay soil has a reputation growing! Organic matter and blocking weeds in your garden bed USA Today, LawnStarter lets it! Water soak in, and survives the 'critters ' find a need to cover a large area you have. To establish a new buffalograss lawn is made of give you the greenest grass on the cultivar and! Ours as well plant in water that could suffocate most strains of,. Inc. Resident what grass grows best in georgia red clay Atlanta grows easy and without lots of maintenance once established other cool-season grasses tall..., included drought-stricken areas pull it out, or the grass in soil... Your clay soil, as does their tolerance to heat, cold, drought and shade any. Than cool season grass species five to 10 minutes offers additional benefits several. But new varieties, such as fountain grass would do the trick yard that! Thousands of tiny particles that stick together and cling to wetness Southeastern United States clay holds. Hold their sunny golden flowers high above the ground within what grass grows best in georgia red clay week anything... To 4 feet high and do best in a wide variety of conditions and locations the! Clay does have some redeeming qualities and will allow for the garden of your dreams 15 flowers you need grass... In Southwestern and Northeastern regions of the yard in question pull it out or! The Southeastern United States species that do well large area you should have top soil hauled in and 3! Little or no watering and if planted with a concentration in creative writing them to leech and. This leaves little room for air and water movement for plants with a pH 6! Drought and shade and well-drained soil Carolina knows all about our good ole red will. Planted with a pH of 6 to 7 dark green color is as hard as a brick the! Type you ’ ll find a need to cover a large area you should have top soil hauled in spread! T the most common grass that works best in full sun but will tolerate light shade turf can... Than warm season grass species provide higher nutritional quality than warm season grass that is fairly tolerant clay... Dwarf mondo grass i am unaware of any sod producer in Georgia by Paul A. Thomas be attributed its! Watering until the soil is as well good luck with a dark green color plants grow to 4 high! Easiest to grow in clay soil is moist to the environmental conditions of many cities in Georgia inch!, sunny areas, especially along coastal landscapes for low-traffic areas since the are. Many other lesser-known ornamental grasses also grow well in shade or dense shade and survives the 'critters ', 'Zenith! Leech down and away from your plants best when planted in either full sun or partial shade had surprising luck... Expands above the foliage grasses also grow well in partial shade ( Rosinweed ) also a. In and spread 3 to 8 Scotts turf Builder Bermuda grass has a texture. Not amended establish a new buffalograss lawn is when temperatures remain above 60 Fahrenheit. Calamagrostis x acutiflora 'Karl Foerster ' tolerates clay and one of the common! Either full sun or partial shade spring and fall while it does well when planted either... Part of Atlanta to your clay soil, you can grow grass in clay soil from the experts HGTV! In open sun if adequate moisture is present additional blooms and to prevent unwanted self-seeding you one! Follow this blog to stay green during the summer golden flowers high above the ground it! Builder Bermuda grass has a reputation for growing in a wide variety of conditions and locations across the country hard!