The grass is drought resistant, although it will need more watering during the hotter months compared to other warm grass types. Of course, no grass grows well in shade or dense shade. Recommended: Zenith Zoysia Grass Seed -100% Pure Seed. This can seem like a challenge at first, but once you understand your clay soil, you can play to its benefits. How to Grow Grass in Clay Soil. The amount of maintenance for turfgrasses varies, as does their tolerance to heat, cold, drought and shade. Resident of Atlanta? Some of the best grass seed for clay soil is fescue, Bermuda, and buffalo grass. It will grow, but not thrive nor spread quickly in hard packed red clay. Jump to Latest Follow ... Also start your compost pile with leftover foods and grass clippings. In contrast, warm season grasses generally yield more than cool season grasses. Pampas grass is probably the best known of all the ornamental grasses. 'Hameln', pictured here, is a dwarf variety that grows about 2-1/2 feet tall and wide. Peony. It's best for low-traffic areas since the blades are easily damaged and compacted. Find out what plants thrive well in clay soil from the experts at HGTV Gardens. If fescue doesn't grow well in your area, contact a local garden center for species that do well. Consider low-growing, clay-and-sun-tolerant woody perennial shrubs for large areas difficult to access. Bermuda and Zoysia grasses work best in Zone 3 of the United States. landscape grass such as fountain grass would do the trick. Perhaps the most popular grass in the mountain and upper piedmont areas of Georgia is tall fescue. Alternatives: Bermuda grass, tall fescue. St. Augustine grass has a distinct, coarse texture and dark green color. Brilliant red fall foliage and bluish-white fruits extend seasonal color. It is tolerant of shade and salt, though it does grow best in full sunlight. When it’s healthy, Centipedegrass is great at fighting off weeds and other grass types. Our neighbors grass all looks like ours as well. I have had surprising good luck with a Fescue mix in my yard in heavy yellow clay. Red clover is a short-lived, cool season perennial found in north Georgia and is commonly used as an annual in south Georgia. Centipede grass is known as the "Lazy Man's Grass" because it requires about half the mowing and edging as does Bermuda. First, your clay soil has great water-holding capacity. A good way to determine the soil’s moisture content is by sticking a screwdriver into the soil to a depth of 6 inches. Perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne). A warm-season grass, aside from being clay-tolerant, buffalograss offers additional benefits and several drawbacks. A cool-season grass, it does well when planted in either full sun or partial shade. Once it gets started, fescue is pretty tough. Native to the Great Plains, buffalograss (Buchloe dactyloides) is a smart choice if your aim is to plant a drought-tolerant lawn in clay soil. These ornamental grasses, Ruby Grass can self-feed; it’s best to harvest the seeds during fall until it’s time to plant them in the outdoors. When you pull it out, if the tip of the screwdriver is dry, the soil is as well. However, red clay does have some redeeming qualities and will allow for the garden of your dreams. Because Centipede prefers an acidic soil, and Georgia clay-based soils are usually acidic, it doesn't require lime to sweeten the soil as do all the other warm season grasses. Fescue is a cool season grass that requires more water in the summer than warm season grasses. Take Care of When You Grow Grass in Clay Soil. Zoysia grass grows in the shade, looks thick, cared for, and survives the 'critters'. Native to Japan, this ornamental grass has unruly foliage that grows out unbridled from a stem cluster. The plants hold their sunny golden flowers high above the foliage. Zones: 9-10. If it’s too wet, it will just create a sticky mess, best to wait it out and let it dry a bit. Zoysia thrives in direct sunlight, but can also grow well in partial shade. An unamended clay soil will never grow a good lawn as grass roots suffocate in the airless environment, drowning when the clay is wet and baking when it's dry. This keeps the nutrients in the soil, instead of allowing them to leech down and away from your plants. For a lawn in south Georgia or along the coast, St. Augustine is also resilient in partial shade. 22 Easy-to-Grow Annual Flowers That Thrive in the Shade 22 Photos 14 Low-Maintenance Plants for Easy Landscaping 14 Photos 10 Plants for Gardens with Alkaline Soil 11 Photos we have recently been told it is because the builder laid the sod directly on top of the soil without ammending it. ... it works well in red clay (like here in Georgia - very hard stuff! It's wet and dense, and it can bake as solid as a brick in the sun. Recommended: Tif Blair Centipede Grass Seed, Direct from the Farm I am unaware of any sod producer in Georgia that has ‘Southeast’ in production. It is as hard as a rock when dry and a sticky mess when wet. In north and middle Georgia, tall fescue is the best grass for partially shaded lawns. Kentucky bluegrass can become semi-dormant during hot weather, and grows best in a fertile soil with a pH of 6 to 7. The hardy nature of the grass provides it with excellent drought resistance, making it an ideal option for those gardeners that are currently working with water restrictions. I was pleasantly suprised when I got dryland pasture grass to grow in the clay around my house first time I planted it Turfgrass Adaptation Map The United States generally is divided into four separate climatic zones of grass adaptation, as shown in the map above and one "transition zone". 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