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What Is Turf Grass?

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By
Updated May 16, 2024
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Turf grass is a landscaping and lawn gardening term for the grass used on a lawn. This type of grass is in contrast with ornamental grasses, which are generally larger, taller, and grow in bunches. Well-known types of turf grass include St. Augustine grass, centipede grass, and zoysia grass.

Though usually prized for its luxurious carpet, which softens the ground for playgrounds and sports events, turf grass has an important purpose in many landscaping designs. Properly planted grass can help prevent flooding and prevent erosion during heavy rains. In hot areas, a well-maintained lawn can help cool the ground and surrounding areas, reducing the need for electric cooling.

Turf grass can also be designed for certain outdoor activities, like golf. Some golf enthusiasts like to set up a special putting green area in their yard to practice the game. However, this kind of turf grass is hard to maintain, so if you don’t think you have the resources, you are better off using an indoor putting mat. An indoor putting mat has all the qualities of putting green, but you can use it indoors and compactly store it when you’re done.

Turf grass has its advantages, but keeping a healthy carpet of grass does present its challenges. Most of these types of grasses are susceptible to diseases, pests, and soil problems that can cause brown spots or lawn death. Generally, good cultural practices, also known as lawn care, will prevent a lawn from developing major pest and disease problems, but some levels of pest or disease infestation must be addressed with direct treatment.

Types of insect pests that invade turf grass patches include grubs, chinch bugs, and sod webworms. Grubs are little white larvae that kill grass in brown patches. One telltale sign of a grub problem is grass that peels easily away from the ground. Underneath the peeled layer, one will find visible grubs in an infested lawn.

Chinch bugs are black with short-looking white wings folded across the back, and adult bugs are approximately the size of an unpopped popcorn kernel. These bugs damage a lawn by extending a needle-like proboscis into the tender base of the grass stem, sucking juices from the plant. A proboscis is a needle-like extremity that extends from the head of an insect. When the chinch bug sucks juices from the grass, it also injects a substance that kills the grass.

There are hundreds of non-insect problems that can also affect turf grass. Some of the most common grass problems include brown patch grass disease, take-all root rot, and damage from dogs. Brown patch grass disease and take-all root rot are caused by fungal growth in the grass, usually under the wet conditions encouraged by watering too late in the morning. Dog urine can damage lawns due to its nitrogen content, but if the soiled area is thoroughly flushed with water within eight hours of its deposit, the nitrogen in the urine can actually be beneficial for under-nourished grass.

Turf grass serves as a versatile and practical solution for both aesthetic and recreational purposes, from enhancing the visual appeal of landscapes to providing a durable surface for sports and activities. For golf enthusiasts looking to practice their game away from the course, the best indoor putting green offers a convenient and realistic experience. By selecting the appropriate turf grass, homeowners and sports facilities alike can enjoy a low-maintenance, evergreen space that stands up to heavy use and complements their needs for both beauty and functionality.

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Editorial Team
By Editorial Team
Our Editorial Team, made up of seasoned professionals, prioritizes accuracy and quality in every piece of content. With years of experience in journalism and publishing, we work diligently to deliver reliable and well-researched content to our readers.
Discussion Comments
By matthew1 — On Apr 21, 2017

Recently, one of my friends had turfing on their lawn. It looks good with low maintenance.

By ethanhh — On Aug 22, 2013

Turfgrass is any species of grasses designed for certain sports areas or for residential lawns. Turf is a grass which may be natural or artificial. A perfect lawn is the combination of different types of turfgrass. The most common types of turfgrass include buffalo grass, Bahia grass, bent grass, village green and many more.

When your lawn looks great, it really pulls the attention of the crowd. The best option is to use the village green grass. It stays lush and green, with dense coverage throughout the seasons. It also uses less water and fertilizer. Turf grass helps you to improve the overall visual presentation of your lawn.

By anon345743 — On Aug 22, 2013

Turfgrass, is any species of grasses designed for certain sports areas or for residential lawns. Turf is a grass which may be natural or artificial. A perfect lawn is the combination of different types of turfgrass. The most common types of turfgrass include buffalo grass, Bahia grass, bent grass, village green and many more. When your lawn looks great, it really pulls the attention of the crowd. The best option is to use the village green grass .It stays lush and green, with dense coverage throughout the seasons. It also uses less water and fertilizer. Turf grass helps you to make the overall visual presentation of your lawn.

By pleonasm — On May 30, 2012

@umbra21 - There are many more lawns out there than homeowners' associations, so if someone wants to do something different with their front yard, they should get a house that isn't under that kind of restriction.

I think most of the time the people who have lawns have children who need a place to play and they maintain the lawn for them.

Growing turf grass isn't exactly easy, after all. Once you don't have to do it anymore, why would you want to when it's much easier to put in a rock garden?

By umbra21 — On May 29, 2012

@Mor - The problem is that increasingly if you want to have a nice neighborhood, you end up with a homeowners association and they won't allow you to do anything but keep a lawn in your front yard.

I can see where they come from, in a way, since some people will do awful things with their front garden and pull down the prices of all the houses around them, with junkyard cars, or piles of trash.

But, they do go a bit far sometimes. I've read about a woman who installed a vegetable garden in her front yard instead of lawn turf grass and was told she had to take it out and replace the grass. What she was doing was out of the ordinary, perhaps, but it would have been very beneficial for her kids to have the vegetables and for her city to have less water wasted (a vegetable garden uses less than a lawn).

But, a lawn is the norm, and a lot of people don't like it when you deviate from the norm.

By Mor — On May 28, 2012

I know people like to keep their lawns well maintained because it looks much better, and in a hot area it might cool down the house and garden around it.

But, maintaining lawns can use up way more water than you might think, and when it's done over a huge scale, like, say in the suburbs, it can add up to a real problem.

Water resources in many major cities are starting to get very low and it's not the kind of thing you want to take for granted.

If you've got a massive lawn, why not plant it in something other than grass? There are many interesting herbal options that need far less water, or you could do something else which would cool down the house, like plant a grove of silver birches, or fruit trees.

I know people associate sprinklers with summer and even affluence, but they are a terrible burden on our water supply and your kids are going to regret them one day if the water supplying your city dries up.

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