The Q&A Archives: Keeping Lawn Green Year Round

Question: I live in Tennesse. What type of grass is there that stays green all year round. Right now my lawn is Bermuda grass, and it turns brown in the fall.

Answer: Turf grasses are divided into two categories: warm and cool season grasses. Warm season grasses do well where summers are hot, but, as you've noticed, they go dormant when the temperatures cool. There's no grass I know of that will stay green year round (except Astroturf!), so the solution is to overseed your lawn sometime in September or October with an annual, cool-season grass, such as annual ryegrass or a fine fescue. Dethatch and aerate the lawn first, then reseed, and top-dress with compost. When weather warms in spring, dethatch and aerate again to stimulate the Bermuda to get growing.

A quicker method is to "scalp" the lawn by using a heavy duty reel mower (you can rent them). This will remove most of the Bermuda tops. Rake up the debris, sow your seed, topdress, water and fertilize.

For the best cool-season turf variety in your region, contact your County Master Gardeners or ask a lawn care professional.

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