Basics of Grass Growth

How Grass Grows


Everyone wants a lush, full lawn, but finding the proper species of turfgrass for your area is essential. It helps to start with the basics of how grass grows.

All major desired turfgrasses found in home lawns are perennial plants. They can be started from seed or vegetative plant parts such as plugs, sprigs or sod. Once established, turfgrasses need adequate growing conditions to reproduce and survive.

Grass growth in turfgrass plants is primarily affected by amount of sunlight, moisture, carbon dioxide, soil temperature and additional factors, including:

  • Nutrition
  • Soil type and pH
  • Pest activity
  • Presence of weeds
  • Cultural Practices
  • Site slope and exposure
  • Use of the turf (i.e. - foot traffic, recreation, etc.)

Grass Growth for Different Types of Turfgrass

Different turfgrasses exhibit different growth types, producing a different visual affect in lawns and landscaping. The right turfgrass for your lawn depends on a combination of personal preference, climate and geography.

Bunch-type turfgrasses spread primarily or entirely by the production of tillers. Grass growth is sometimes patchy and bunch-type grasses have trouble filling in bare spots.

Common bunch-type turfgrasses include:

Stoloniferous grasses spread by lateral stems called stolons that creep over top of the ground. Grass growth happens when stolons root at nodes and give rise to new shoots along the length of the stolon. Stoloniferous grasses fill in bare spots very easily.

Common stoloniferous turfgrasses include:

Rhizomatous grasses are much like stoloniferous grasses. However, these grasses produce below ground stems known as rhizomes. Rhizomes give rise to a new plant some distance from the mother plant, increasing turf density. These turfgrasses are also very good at filling in bare areas.

Common rhizomatous turfgrasses include:

Some turfgrasses feature multiple growth types. These are very aggressive turfgrasses that can quickly fill in bare spots in lawns.

Combination growth habit turfgrasses include:

Scotts LawnService is the trusted industry leader for professional quality lawn care. Our exclusive lawn care products include premium grass seed and professional-grade fertilizers; our lawn service teams are comprised of highly trained, industry-certified professionals. Contact a representative today for help choosing turfgrasses with the right grass growth habits for your lawn, producing a lush, thicker lawn that only Scotts LawnService can deliver.