Short Grass Seed Varieties

Updated March 23, 2017

Grow an easy-care green lawn which requires little mowing, watering or maintenance with slow-growing short grass seed varieties. To economically cover large areas with grass, choose from varieties including native, eco-friendly and drought-tolerant grasses to aide soil and water conservation. Lawns grown from short grass seed help reduce your water bills and save extra money by seeding, rather than laying turf squares.

Buffalograss (Buchloe Dactyloides 'Cody')

Buffalograss is a short, low maintenance variety of dark green turfgrass which originally grew on American shortgrass prairies, feeding herds of Great Plains buffalo in states such as Minnesota, Montana, Louisiana and Arizona. Plants grow to between 0.25 and 0.75 feet in height, enjoy full sun and suit dry to medium well-drained soils. This warm-season grass which only requires ¼ inch water per week (or deep watering every few weeks) and an application of light fertiliser every other year. Buffalo grass is a native to North America, similar to, but slightly more blue-green in colour than Bermuda grass. Plants easily tolerate heat, drought, a variety of soil types, adapt to alkaline soils and are winter-hardy between USDA zones 3 and 9, but are sensitive to excess watering and cannot thrive in heavy shade. Plant seeds between April and June and mow infrequently to a height of between 2 and 3 inches.

Bluegrass (Poa Trivialis)

Bluegrass, also known as rough meadow grass, is a tough cool season turfgrass with glossy yellow-green leaves that grow up to 0.25 feet in height. Plants prefer cool climates, medium to wet well-drained soils and partial shade and require 1 and 1 ½ inches of water a week with frequent mowing to look their best. This cold season turfgrass is hardy between USDA zones 3 and 7. Poa Trivialis plants have a less tightly-packed sod and grow more shallow root systems than Kentucky bluegrass. Shoots quickly cover worn spots in lawns because bluegrass spreads by creeping stems. Its self-seeding properties produce a lawn suited for heavy traffic, but clumps of the grass will eventually migrate to flower beds in the same manner, unless restrained by barriers like paths.

Kentucky Bluegrass (Poa pratensis)

Kentucky Bluegrass (KBG) is a dark green turfgrass with fine leaves which grows up to 0.25 feet in height. Plants enjoy full sun to partial shade, cool climates, require 1 to 1 ½ inches of water a week and well-drained neutral or slightly acid soils. Mow Kentucky bluegrass lawns to 3 inches in height during warmer months, especially during the peak of summer (to protect the crowns) and an inch shorter during the spring. Fertilize plants three times a year, spring, summer and fall. Kentucky bluegrass is hardy in USDA zones 3 to 7.

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About the Author

Jane Ann started writing in 2005 for the magazine "The Practising Midwife." In 2009 she began writing for Demand Studios. Jane is a certified midwife and has a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from New Mexico State University.