I find that more often than not, turfgrass is the chosen landscape element for those ‘left-over’ areas in a landscape. Too often, turfgrass is located where it doesn’t necessarily fit or make sense. So you may ask, where does it make sense to have turfgrass?
Turfgrass has several purposes and each application may require a different variety for your lawn. Parks and athletic fields are great places for large areas of turfgrass. The activity areas, where athletic games and practices frequently occur may require a grass seed/turfgrass that can withstand heavy pedestrian foot traffic, like Kentucky bluegrass. In other areas, where the less pedestrian activity occurs, a lower water-intensive/ maintenance-intensive turfgrass is more desirable. In Colorado, this could be a variety of buffalograss or blue grama.
For the residential lawn, I like to think in similar terms and select a turfgrass based on the needs of the resident. For an empty-nest household, or one without children, water conservation and low maintenance may be desirable. For a household with children where the lawn is used as a primary outdoor play area, a lawn that can withstand the heavy pedestrian foot traffic should be selected. An appropriate turfgrass for this application could be Kentucky bluegrass or perhaps a variety of Legacy Buffalo Grass, Buchloe dactyloides ‘Legacy’ (See Related Posts: Water-Wise Landscapes, Alternatives to Bluegrass for the Larger Areas in the Landscape, What is the ROI for Mowing the Lawn?).
In the next blog post, Landscape Design: General Rules for a Turfgrass Lawn, I will discuss some general rules in the design of a turfgrass lawn.